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I don’t really buy into those weird “50 ways to be a real man” lists that pop up online. They usually exist to stroke the author’s ego and reinforce their idea that getting a $100 artisanal haircut from whichever popup barber snapchats their temporary location in Brooklyn is worth it. I do have to take a stand, though, and draw a line in the sand:
Shorts are for the day, and if you wear them at night? You better be a dad taking his family to Applebee’s.
Let’s start with discussing a casual night out with some friends. If you’re grabbing some drinks on a Tuesday night with your buddies, you still don’t wear shorts. Have some goddamn dignity and cover those knees. No one wants to see your brutally hairy calves, or your wispy, thin-haired ankles when they’re out at night. There’s a reason that white tie, black tie, business, and business casual all demand long pants: they make you look respectable. You didn’t just walk off the sand from your beach volleyball game into a coastal cantina. Throw a pair of jeans on and let the people around you know that you care about your own wellbeing. If your friends don’t immediately make fun of you when you walk out of your house wearing shorts at night, then you need better friends. It shouldn’t be the goal of trying to pick up women that motivates you to look like an adult; do it for yourself.
That being said, if you are going out to a bar at night to meet women, still don’t wear shorts. You think your dad picked up your mom because he was wearing shorts at night? I’ll answer for you: he didn’t. Your dad would have gone home alone and shot you into a tissue if he’d kept on those 7” inseams. But he didn’t. He finished his day-long bar crawl with the boys, went home, threw on some chinos, and went back out to hunt for your mom (who was definitely a virgin before they met).
The incredibly detailed testing and intensive studies conducted by Dr. Pepper, Dr. Dre, and Dr. Phil have shown that women can only respect men who wear shorts when they see them wearing them during the day, and never the night. Any time you even think about walking towards a woman while wearing shorts at night, she’ll be sending out telepathic signals to her friends to come pull her away. If you approach a woman in a bar wearing shorts, 77-year-old Chuck Norris should appear from the ether and sidekick you into oblivion.
The blame here does not fall on the product, either. Shorts are often misunderstood by their users. You have never seen an ad for shorts that took place during the night. Google it. And obviously I’m not talking about athletic shorts. You shouldn’t be going out in those, but if you’re getting food after the gym I get it, we get it, don’t @ me. But with the exception of athletic shorts being advertised for high school athletes on some football field where the school has inexplicably left the lights on for this future D3 superstar, shorts are not advertised for use during the night. Keep them in the day, and make the time to go home and change.
Listen to me or don’t listen to me. Maybe you’ve already figured it out for yourself. But any picture of you with shorts on at night will age about as well as those frosted tips you always see in those photos from your family’s Outer Banks vacation in ’03..
Image via Shutterstock