How To: Show Some (manly) Leg

Think back to when you were a teenage boy headed to the pool or to the beach. You couldn’t wait to throw on your favorite pair of super long board shorts (usually in some obnoxious pattern or crazy neon color) or extremely baggy swim trunks. You were on top of the world with shorts hanging down to the middle of your shins ( I was one of them too). Fast-forward to present time, I bet some of you are still wearing those same oversize shorts that you thought were cool as an adolescent. It is now time to grow up and shorten those swim trunks and show some leg.

(This weekend I took a trip to the beach and did some fishing which is the inspiration behind this post)

Showing some leg on the beach can scare the average man. The primary reason that most men will not don a pair of shorter trunks is that they feel that it is not very manly. Fact of the matter is,  a shorter more tailored fit trunk is manlier than a pair of long board shorts that you will usually see a teenage boys sporting. The first step is finding the style of trunk/short that suits your personal style and will ultimately be your signature look. Here are some more keys to a shorter trunk:

Tips to shorter trunks for men:

  •  At the shortest your trunks should hit the middle of your thigh.
  • Don’t be afraid of a patterned trunk even though a solid trunk is perfectly acceptable.
  • Please, do not go short enough that your man hood is hanging out.
  • Look out for trunks that billow/balloon out at the leg openings. A straight cut is ideal.

Reasons why shorter trunks work:

  • If your legs are in great shape you will be able to show them off
  • Shorter trunks will make you appear taller and elongate your frame (especially for short guys)
  • When you go for a swim you will not be restricted in the water by shorts hanging past your knees

Check out Esquire Magazine’s Quick Guide to Swim Trunks for some inspiration.

Since we are on subject of shortening the length of your shorts, I’ve turned to the summer style staple of the cotton short. The temperature has risen to summer levels and men across the country are now wearing shorts, but, most men’s shorts that I have seen are just as long as pants (which defeats the purpose of shorts). Most of the general rules that applied to swim trunks apply to non-swimming style shorts, however; the ideal length to wear your shorts is just at the top of the knee. Shorts that are longer will start to give off that skater-boy look that only Avril Lavigne was all about some years ago. Your shorts and your dress pants should have similar tapering, which will come in handy if you decide to wear your shorts to an outdoor party this summer. Your tailored shorter shorts will show everyone that you are a confident man who understands the way clothes should fit, look and has moved out of the kids shorts phase.

With a shorter and tailored pair of shorts, you will be able to wear a t-shirt or even a button up shirt effortlessly. Shorts should not be something that you wear just for athletic purposes.  When the temperature reaches those hell type levels, a pair of shorts can be the most refreshing item in your wardrobe. So upgrade your style today and get a shorter better fitting pair of shorts and never look like a teenage boy on a skateboard again.

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Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: How To, Men's Style, swimwear

Author:Sabir M. Peele

Founder & Creative Director of menswear style & lifestyle blog Sabir serves as an independent brand consulting working with brands like GQ, AskMen, Indochino & Z Zegna (among others). Selected as #GQFall Best Dressed in 2013 & one of Esquire Magazine Best Dressed Real Men in America in 2010. Follow @MensStylePro on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Email with your inquiries.

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7 Comments on “How To: Show Some (manly) Leg”

  1. curranj
    June 20, 2011 at 3:35 AM #

    This is a nice post King

    • June 20, 2011 at 3:36 AM #


      Thank for stopping by and for the kind words. You know I am just trying to keep the world fresh. Keep up all of your good work!



  2. Robert, III
    June 20, 2011 at 3:42 AM #

    Great post, the Plaid Trunks are cool. Unfortunately, my H&M doesn’t carry a lot of the items you post.

  3. June 20, 2011 at 7:03 PM #

    gotta hold that spinning rod up closer to the reel, my man. 🙂 you’ll get more feel and leverage, as well as it just being more comfortable (from a man who regularly decides whether to buy another fishing rod, or more clothing).

    Where’s the ?seersucker? shirt in the pic from? I dig the straw hat look; I’ve been trying to figure out a way to not look like a schmoe while out on the water; my best look has been blue gingham shorts, an orange polo grosgrain belt, and a white jersey polo from target, along with some white spring court g2’s. In this 90+ degree florida weather, you gotta embrace the white.

    • June 20, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

      Hey Shawn,

      Thanks for the fishing advice. I was able to get about 3 good bites and caught some nice Summer Flounder. The shirt that I am wearing is actually linen and cotton from H&M. Yeah, I can dig the white look as well. It is extremely crisp.



  4. June 28, 2011 at 12:06 AM #

    I’ve been trying to convince male friends for years now that shorts showing the thigh muscles are much more attractive. For some reason, I keep running into this notion that people don’t want to see that, but I am in the “Chicks dig it” boat for sure. This is a beautiful, beautiful post.

    • June 29, 2011 at 3:54 PM #

      Hey Maggie,

      I am glad you are on the right boat!



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