Shorts Science: The Formula for the Perfect Length Shorts

Not sure if you’re a 5-inch, 7-inch, or 9-inch inseam kind of guy? We—and math—have your back.

For whatever reason, men’s shorts are fraught territory. When it comes to ideal length, to styling, to office-appropriateness, everywhere the shorts-loving man turns, he is besieged by legislation. Sometimes it feels like the world is terrified of the male leg.

If you’re reading this, “two inches above the knee” is probably rattling around your brain, somewhere alongside other useful heuristics for how a person should live such as “bananas don’t go in the refrigerator.” But the two-inch rule, like “no white after Labor Day” and “the NBA will be boring if the Warriors get Durant,” is horrendously outdated, especially in our current No Rules era of men’s fashion. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a guideline out there that’s useful instead of prescriptive. A north star you can follow to your own optimal shorts length, one that considers a formerly unconsidered variable: just how much do you like your own ham hocks?

Good news: I’ve invented just such a thing. It’s perfect. It may be my legacy. You’ll love it. Here’s how it works:

1. Start with your height, in inches.

2. Close your eyes. Wade into the swamp of your own body hangups and come back out having honestly considered how much you like your legs. Assign that love a number from 1 to 7, where 1 equals “my legs are too beautiful for pants,” and 7 equals “I’ve had at least one calf-implant consultation.” This is your Leg Love…

Read More