4 months ago
The year is 1999. Smash Mouth’s “All Star” is blaring out of every open window in America. And you, my friend, are probably wearing cord shorts.
Once a prep staple and — more recently — a truly heinous flag-bearer for everything that was wrong with late-’90s/early-aughts menswear, the corduroy short has never been an inherently ugly garment.
In its favor: comfort, the visual appeal of some texture and a color range that tends toward more subdued, natural tones than you find with Nantucket chinos or Mediterranean flat-fronts. They’re also more robust than your average shorting material, which is probably why they’ve long been a favorite of skateboarders. In other words, they nail California casual in a way that other short styles — boardies excepted — don’t.
Things just went astray when wide wales and below-the-knee cuts inexplicably replaced clothes that actually look good on human bodies.
But a couple decades on, men’s labels seem to have recovered from their PCSD, and the cord short is back with a vengeance. Classically styled with 5-9″ inseams and typically sporting large-format patch pockets, the five options below will give you just the right amount of vintage panache you need to jump back on the bandwagon.
Bonobos Fatigue Cord Short |
Howler Brothers Cornerstone Short |
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