Yup, you read that right. It’s time to consider men’s lower halves. (Let’s see if this ends up being our most clicked-on post to date…)
A question that’s been on my mind lately is how tight men’s shorts should be. It feels like we’re in an indecisive place in men’s sportswear. Some brands still favor the baggy look that’s been around since Pete Sampras slouched around the courts. Other brands, like Uniqlo, put a premium on a sleeker profile.
I think athletes are transitioning to slimmer shorts, which makes sense since that’s how we wear our jeans and pants nowadays. Still, we have a few hold-outs adhering to a looser cut. And looser also makes sense, right? Tennis is a sport, after all. You want to be able to move.
John Isner springs to mind as the exemplar of a relaxed court style. Here he is at the Laver Cup, with Nick Kyrgios cheering him on in the background.
What are we to make of these voluminous shorts? You could call it classic American casual–not uptight, easy-going, fun-loving. “Slovenly” might be another way to describe it.
At the other end of the spectrum is the French player Benoit Paire.
I haven’t seen any news articles about Paire splitting his shorts during a match, but that back seam is under some serious stress.
To be fair, the shorts do look nicely tailored when Paire is just standing around. Here’s a shot of that:
But he’s professional athlete. How much time is he spending just standing around?
Now, you might be thinking, “Jeez, Deb, isn’t there anything in between these extremes?” Of course there is. The always impeccable Roger Federer hits the sweet spot every time. I could have included him as the obvious “just right” choice. But what fun would that be?