An Open Letter Re: Cargo Shorts And The Hideousness Thereof


Fellow Gays:

Please stop. In the name of all that is good and holy and Judy Garland, I beseech you. Please.

Please stop wearing cargo shorts.

I know that there’s a lot going on today. I know that there’s a ruling on Prop 8 due in California, I know that Hillary Clinton is pushing to acquire benefits for same-sex partners of diplomats, I know there’s a big move to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, I know there’s a lot of really important stuff on the burner. However, this is also big.

Let me repeat: please stop wearing cargo shorts.

You want to wear shorts? Fine. You want to wear cargo pants? Fine. Well, possibly fine. But miscegenation of the two sartorial strains has resulted in a godless hybrid that makes any wearer look like an eight-year-old in hand-me-downs. And I understand that many of you would like to look eight years old again, but this is not the way to do it. No, this is classic Peter Pan Syndrome.

But that is not all. Please note this:

Do you see who that is? Can you make it out? It’s David Beckham. Normally smokin’ hot David Beckham. But look closely. Is he hot here? From the waist down? No. In fact, he looks like a douchebag–a douchebag who’s suffering from that Lily Tomlin/shrinking woman syndrome. Under normal circumstances, normally smokin’ hot David Beckham should not look like a douchebag. And yet, here we are.

So please: do yourself a favor. Do our great big sparkly unicorn rainbow community a favor. Put down the cargo shorts. Put them down into a very big Hefty bag and high-tail it to Goodwill.

If none of that has persuaded you, here is a list of ten people who never, ever wore cargo shorts:

  1. Marlon Brando
  2. Jimmy Carter
  3. Jean Cocteau
  4. John Hodgman
  5. Gene Kelly
  6. Karl Lagerfeld
  7. Colin Powell
  8. Vincent Price
  9. Frank Rich
  10. David Sedaris

You are not alone in this. I, too, have sinned. But together, we can make it through. Amen, sisters.

0 thoughts on “An Open Letter Re: Cargo Shorts And The Hideousness Thereof

  1. SmartAss

    Well, for the record, Vincent Price, Karl Lagerfield and John Hodgeman are NOT my sartorial ideals …And, on one hand, I agree … I am getting too old for cargo shorts these days …However, like yourself, I live in a hot and humid environment and jeans or cargo pants are too hot … tennis shorts to short, basketball shorts too informal, and khaki shorts are practically impossible to find because cargo shorts are everywhere …Plus, I have become addicted to all the pockets … one pocket for my large key ring, one pocket for my chunky wallet, one pocket for my iphone ….In agreement, but just can’t give them up, quite yet.Just sayin-


  2. _

    Vince and Kaiser Karlotta are admittedly a bit severe, but the Hodgman? Perfectly tasteful Windsor knot every time.As for your arguments to keep cargo shorts in your life…well, it sounds awfully like the old “I can quit anytime” routine.It’s intervention time, baby.


  3. Anonymous

    OK Missy I hear your argument, so what _should_ I wear instead?PS: Beckam is also guilty of oversculpting his eyebrows, a practice that also plagues the gay community today.OMG you added me to your blogroll!


  4. _

    @Jimbo: How’s about regular, plain-old shorts? You know, the kind you couldn’t hide Linda Hunt in? Or pants? Though that’d cover up your legs, which are probably nice and fuzzy.Thong?


  5. carl

    While we’re on this topic: Men, please don’t tuck your t-shirt or polo shirt into your shorts. If Beckham can’t pull it off, neither can you.


  6. jimbo

    Yes but The Gay demands that we wear a _certain_ kind of shorts – what kind I don’t know. I do not like the plaid shorts that are currently in fashion, and can’t seem to find “plain” shorts. I’m totally out of shorts so this is a pressing issue.I do not like to wear pants. Yep, I do like to show off my fuzzy legs.RE: tucking – I don’t like to tuck, but my upstairs neighbor insists that The Gay must tuck. Tucking makes my crotch all sweaty, I won’t do it.


  7. SmartAss

    Agreed on several counts.No fucking way will I agree to tucking. (Nor waxing my eyebrows, which I like bushy BTW … although I am forced to yank a few cro-magnon hairs on occasion.)As for shorts, I needed a pair immediately last weekend and did the cheap Old Navy Cargo short for lack of any better options.No capris or madras shorts for me, TYVM.And, for the record, Beckham is a hunk but his legs look birdlike in those shorts, while mine are thick handsome, and hairy.So, here’s my question: are the REI/Columbia/Northface convertible pants acceptable? Or are those shorts considered as fugly as cargos?Just wondering-


  8. rob

    Convertible pants? Buy two pairs! Don’t even get me started: elastic waist, built in clipon belt, performance/wicking/waterproof fabric……Might this be the summer to bring back the cut-off jeans shorts worn with Doc Martens boots sported in the East Village sex commando look of the early 90s?


  9. _

    @Carl: Agreed on tucking shirts into shorts–except when it comes to oxfords. I have a soft spot for men in button-downs stuffed neatly into belted shorts. Ideally, there’s a bow tie involved. But then, I’m a Southerner.@Jimbo: Do us all a favor and wear rugby shorts whenever possible. You’ll be comfy, and we’ll have a nice view.@SmartAss: When/if you ever do drag, please agree to tucking. As for those trousers…well, unless you’re Monica Vitti in MODESTY BLAISE, please avoid convertible clothing altogether. Tool kits can be multifunctional; pantaloons, not so much.@Rob: For some, the cut-off/DM look never went away. I won’t name names.


  10. Salty Miss Jill

    I take far more offense to men in flipflops. Or any type of open-toed shoe on men. (For that matter, if women have biscuit heel, leave the flipflops at home.) Women, I believe, should never, ever wear cargo shorts. To do so is vulgar. (And yes, I’m being sexist.)


  11. Buddy

    Flipflops I can handle.Im offended by Crocks.Here in the Boondocks men are now wearing them with socks,cargo shorts and one guy at my supermarket was wearing orange Crocks with a gray suit. I wanted to rip my eyes out.


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