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Should men be allowed to wear shorts in summer?

First it was flip-flops.

Now the sartorial set has man-shorts in its crosshairs. The hate-on might have started in 2011, when designer Tom Ford argued that just two environments warrant shorts: the beach and the tennis court.

Today, The Awl's Alex Balk has taken up the anti-shorts campaign, suggesting men should stick to pants even when it's hot enough to bake cookies in the back of a car. Possibly facetiously, Balk wrote that men who don shorts are "unwilling to admit that they are men and they are unprepared to accept that so being carries with it certain responsibilities one cannot shirk just because it might feel a little unpleasant outside."

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Gawker's Hamilton Nolan retorted with a piece titled "Wear Your Shorts Proudly, Men." Disregard the dipsters and show some calf, men, was essentially the Florida native's argument. Nolan blames shorts-angst on fashionistas who grew up in cooler climes and now blast A/C to make up for their "excess pants material."

"We will not agree to sweat profusely in a pitiful nod to fashion insecurity. We will wear shorts. It's just god damn common sense," he writes.

While it is women who predominantly fall prey to all manner of ridiculous fast-fashion trends, men have long been straitjacketed into clothing not at all suited for the weather as part of a misguided masculine rite of passage.

In Britain, more traditional bans on shorts at certain schools have sparked an unlikely protest during this summer's heatwaves: Boys who refuse to sweat buckets in the heavy trousers prescribed by headmasters are putting on skirts.

As one organizer told the Daily Mail: "Girls can wear skirts, so I don't see why we can't wear shorts. It's a reasonable protest."

Do you wear shorts, men?

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Zosia More


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