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The Case for Jorts (Yes, Really)

No, today is not April Fool's.

wwe monday night raw in las vegas
Ethan MillerGetty Images

Shorts are an inherent part of the summer wardrobe. Though we're quick to point out the merits of a lightweight pair of shorts, made from chino cloth or a breezy linen fabric, there's not much been said about jorts. Yes — jean shorts.

They're gauche, the five-pocket butt of fashion jokes, and to some (many), so egregious that it had to be given its own gross portmanteau. It feels cringey just saying the word.

But our sour faces have softened and we've come around to jorts jean shorts. It's seen its share of ridicule and has, like Crocs, somehow transcended trends and reason, weaseling its way into the closets of fashion obsessives.

Though your initial impression may be fratty, brands from up and down the sartorial spectrum have embraced denim shorts, reframing the controversial jort into a variety of contexts. They're no longer a just a fixture of backwards-cap-wearing pledges. Denim shorts are for everyone. The divisive garment is perhaps just misunderstood and needs to be looked at from a different perspective.

They can be rugged like their long-legged progenitor, worn with boots and a muscle tee. Somehow, a beer in hand seems like the right accessory. Japanese brands like Neighborhood and Visvim give denim shorts a streetwear/military edge that's not too far removed from a classic John Cena fit. Is he actually a style icon? We're not not saying that.

denim shorts and black t shirt on model
Neighborhood Denim Cargo Shorts and Graphic Tee
Courtesy Mr Porter

Denim shorts can even be quite chic. The mediterranean daydream of the Loewe Paula's Ibiza collection spins the shorts into a relaxed silhouette, the length of which ventures into the no man's land between shorts and pants — capris.

Both '90s and the '70s have tangoed back into the zeitgeist, too, bringing with them grunge-inspired bleach-stained shorts swirling with tie-dye from head toe. Birkenstocks and trippy tees are par for the course with a hippie-inspired fit. Or you can take a page out of Bob Weir's book and toss on a polo shirt and sneakers.

grateful dead in concert 1991   sacramento ca
Tim MosenfelderGetty Images

Maybe the easiest way to wear them is in a laid-back beach aesthetic. From Mr Porter to Madewell, it's the go-to formula of styling denim shorts: with a striped tee and either sneakers or sandals. The look recalls summertime in SoCal, but you don't have to sit in traffic to get the look.

However you choose to rock them, denim shorts can be incorporated into your closet easily. And if there's a time to take a risk and experiment with your style, the current lockdown might be the time to do it.

Courtesy Mr Porter
Johnny 1838 Slim-Fit Stretch-Denim Shorts
NN07 mrporter.com
$165.00
Courtesy Levi's
505 Regular Fit Shorts
Levi levi.com
$45.00
Courtesy Madewell
9" Denim Shorts in Eastchase Wash
Madewell madewell.com
$54.99
Courtesy Mr Porter
Denim Cargo Shorts
Neighborhood mrporter.com
$450.00
Courtesy Ssense
Indigo Denim Quinn Shorts
Saturdays NYC ssense.com
$145.00
Short Cut Bleach Stain
Our Legacy ourlegacy.se
$170.00
Courtesy Ssense
Blue Denim Drawstring Shorts
Loewe ssense.com
$890.00
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