Thigh’s the limit: men’s microshorts make a comeback

From Prada to Topman, the look unapologetically reveals off the male leg in its full glory



Prada had a heavy focus on microshorts at the Milan hop/summer 2019 men’s fashion week.
Photograph: Pietro D’aprano/Getty Forms

Prada, Cristiano Ronaldo and Love Island. What’s the joint? Shorts, specifically short shorts, which look set to be the menswear vogue of the summer. That’s if both the high street and the spring/summer 2019 menswear give someone an idea ofs, which concluded this week, are anything to go by.

The World Cup may broadly be featuring team shorts of a more practical and modest dimension, but in stark contrast men’s fashion week was full of microshorts (as the exertion calls them) both on the catwalk and on the front row.

Prada’s accumulation, shown in Milan, featured 52 looks, 23 of which featured the drift. On the high street, Topman also reported a hike in sales of shorter-length to make a long story shorts, particularly in swimwear.


Cristiano Ronaldo, centre, at a training assembly with his longer-short-wearing Portugal teammates, in Kratovo, Russia Photograph: Prizewinner R. Caivano/AP

Prada’s short shorts come in two lengths: 28cm (11in) for the swimming knee-high to a grasshoppers, which feature an elastic belt, while the tailored shorts clock in at a itty-bitty 30cm. John Galliano at Maison Margiela showed his first couture gleaning for men in Paris last week, including tailored shorts 28cm wish.

Fendi’s take on the look included styles in camel with the signature F logo; these float around the 30cm mark. Meanwhile, for the more modest short-shorts fan, Hermès liberated elegant versions at 37cm in sunshine yellow, black and white.

Sawn-off shorts have gone in and out of popularity, like all hemlines, for years. In the 50s, Pablo Picasso desire often pose in a pair of skimpy denim shorts. The American painter Robert Rauschenberg affluent thigh-grazing denim cut-offs during the late 70s, while Bob Marley was frequently seen in a short football short, and not forgetting Wham!’s George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s mini-numbers on Top of the Cracks.


Who could forget the Wham! duo George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley spotlighting their pins? Photograph: Alamy

Adrian Clark, the arrange director of Shortlist magazine, believes Love Island has donated to the trend. “This show has had so much influence – it actually provoked white jeans to sell out entirely last summer on the costly street.

“For all its moralistic faults, though, it has encouraged men to feel easy to show off a bit,” he says. “Of course, I’m not attributing all of the success of the short butt in fail on that – but I do think it’s adding to the thigh-high phenomenon.”


Mo Farah, a longtime fan of short-shorts. Photograph: Ian Rutherford/PA

Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, of the London-based goal duo Cottweiler, cite Mo Farah and practicality as their dual education. “For us it is purely about comfort,” they say. “We wanted some of the looks to have a hunch as though you weren’t wearing anything at all.”

Jason Hughes, the mania editor for Wallpaper, thinks the trend says more thither a changing masculinity. “There’s a sense of liberation and freedom that be awarded pounce on from wearing short shorts. They unapologetically put a man’s leg fully on demonstration casting aside any inhibitions.” A fan of Prada’s designs, Hughes adds: “They fit within the present fashion debate surround clothing being more gender liquid.”


A Fendi model sports shorts with the signature F logo. Photograph: Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Damien Paul, the apex of menswear at Matches, says sales of shorts are up by 41% year on year. “ I procure seen men generally wearing much shorter shorts on both sides of the Atlantic. I reckon it fits well with the sportswear trend.”

The rise of the activewear heading is also arguably to thank. For Cottweiler’s performance range with Reebok, the short-short has change a staple. “We like to blur the lines between high-fashion, casual-wear and sportswear,” they say

Backstage, Miuccia Prada contrasted her skimpy designs to miniskirts, using the word “sexy” numerous regulates to explain her current thinking on masculinity. Cottrell and Dainty correspond: “Menswear just has less and less rules as it progresses and men are cuddling their bodies and sexuality more”.