Pretentious-but-earns-it men’s site GQ has found the correct length for men’s shorts. The length depends on two factors: Your objective height, and how good you feel about your thighs. GQ has a simple chart for converting these two measurements into your ideal shorts length. You’ll have to click through to see it, because we’re too nice to steal it.
As GQ notes, the old rule of “two inches above the knee” is reductive and outdated. Men’s fashion is more tailored, more tightened, more shortened than it used to be, and short shorts are back in fashion as our summers get broiling and our planet slowly kills us off. Keep this in mind as you plunder the end-of-summer sales and stock up for next year, which will definitely break as many weather records as this year did.
But personal preference reigns, and if you meet the body standards defined by the clothing industry, you have options for hot pants appropriate only for casual wear, and board shorts that won’t raise eyebrows at the office, but will prompt your co-workers to ask if you left your puka shells at home.
So much for men. Everyone else should wear whatever they like, but if you want to follow GQ’s rubric, you can subtract a couple inches. This whole calculation is made up, and the real point is to realise the importance of how the shorts make you feel.