The Revolutionary Guide to Manly Short Shorts

Yes it’s true, I wear short shorts un-apologetically. And you should too.

Exhibit A

What I’m talking about is drawing a line in the sand. Unchecked aggression. We have a dedicated enemy, a worthy fucking adversary. Men. Women. This is what we’re up against (Exhibit A).

The metrosexual. The skinny guy. The college kid. The hipster. The hippy. They come in many forms, yet they are all the same. And they’re trying to steal America away from us! It’s time to make a stand, and we do that by proudly revealing two meaty, bouldering thighs that emit a testosterone-filled musk that inspire women to savagely claw at your hairy chest, urging you to take them to the promised land.

This is your density.

If we are to make a stand, to show this country that masculinity is not only en vogue, but necessary to teach young children that waify, frail, useless humans are not the future, that children can work hard and have something to show for it, then we must — repeat MUST — reduce the length of our shorts. It is the only way; it is known. (By the way, I don’t know what “en vogue” means, but I think you can take penicillin for it.)

I will teach you the way of the short shorts. I will begin as a leader, but evolve into a member of the resistance, the last chance we have at rescuing the children — THE CHILDREN! Let me show you the way.

What Short Shorts Are Not

As indicated above, evoking masculinity through your short choice does not start with khaki. Sure, khaki must inevitably be worn if you are dragged to a quasi-nice house party in the middle of the summer, but my friend Jeremy and his wife can attest to the fact that I showed up to a quiet house party and not only was I the only one not in a collared shirt, I was the only one wearing short shorts and a tank-top. At first I thought, “This is mildly inappropriate, especially since I don’t know these people.” Then I embraced it, because this is our last hurrah in the “I’m A Little Pansy-Man Frontier”.

Exhibit B

And in case you were curious, masculinity is not emitted in the form of rolled up jean shorts, capris, or shorts that have fake paint splattered on them (Exhibit B). GOD DAMN IT, A REAL MAN SPLATTERS HIS OWN PAINT ON A CUTOFF PAIR OF LEVIS THAT HE HAD TO CUT BECAUSE HIS THIGHS GREW TOO FUCKING BIG FROM SQUATTING HIS DICK OFF EVERY WEEK. This, by the way, is the only acceptable reason to own or wear jean shorts. And if you do wear them, for fuck’s sake…put on some underwear.

Make no mistake, short shorts are not a show of style; they are a show of attitude. Keep this in mind when selecting your shorts. I don’t even understand “style” anyway.

The only exception to wearing capri pants is if your name is Arnold Shwarzenegger in the ’70s and you cut the bottoms of your pants off to remind yourself how skinny your calves are. The only other acceptable reason is if you are a prisoner of war and the enemy is making you wear them to psychologically weaken you. But then you could just rip the bottoms off to make short shorts, and then use the torn pieces to wear a sweet headband.

What Short Shorts Are

Short shorts are a necessary social statement that say, “I’m a man, damn it.” Either that or “Eat shit, skinny guy.” There are several requirements to pulling off the short shorts.

1. Be muscular. 

This should be a no-brainer, but once we start this bandwagon, everyone is gonna want to join. You can’t make a statement about masculinity when you don’t embody the evolutionary male archetype. That’d be like Martin Luther King, Jr. staging a civil rights sit-in protest as a nerdy white guy. If the line of your thigh from your knees to your hips is straight, then you do not qualify.

Additionally, “muscular” means there is shape to your quads instead of just a fatty log. Clean up your diet and clap dem cheeks let your quads boulder out over each other. The more those striations pop, the more effective your message, especially when you just got done squatting over 4 or 500 pounds.

2. Don’t be creepy. 

The last thing we want when trying to induce a lustful rage in women and inspire children is to give them the “I’m a creepy uncle” or “no-no” feeling. If you’re pretty fat and hairy, you’re gonna creep them out. Sorry dude, that’s just how it is. Get less fat by cleaning up your diet, and reduce the scare of your hairy-ass thighs by getting them in the sun. A tan/hairy specimen is much better than a pale/hairy one.

This last part is the most important part: trim your pubes. I don’t know where it became cool to not trim certain body hair, but if you don’t trim your groin area, and you inevitably put your foot up on the couch when talking to your nieces, you don’t want your ball hair to protrude out and tickle their noses. Please, think of the children. If you aren’t willing to trim, well, maybe short shorts are not for you.

3. Don’t wear a t-shirt.

Unless you’re doing squad PT, take that ridiculous shirt off. The sun is out, it’s over 70 degrrees (F), and you should enjoy some quality Vitamin D. Go shirtless or bump a sweet tank top. The best tank top I’ve ever seen is this “bear wearing sunglasses” one that my friend Norman has. Note that rocking a tank-top or going shirtless requires the machoism to shine from your upper body too, so hurry up and press over 200, bench over 300, and then do at least 1,000 barbell rows every week.

4. Don’t neglect the hams

One of the worst things you can do for our cause — other than make a child sneeze with your pube hair — is to not develop your hamstrings. We aren’t mirror lifters. So RDL your fucking face off. With, like, a bajillion reps a week.

5. Have the right shorts. 

Exhibit C

And finally to the equipment section. Some of you may remember the sweet shorts that Arnold Schwarzenegger wore in Pumping Iron (Exhibit C). These were undoubtedly my inspiration.

I don’t know how Arnold came across some used high school football shorts, but he inadvertently set the tone for our social movement. Though I will point out that wearing Keds with long socks is a bit out of style. That’ll put you in the “creepy” category, especially if you’re hairy and fat.

When shopping for a pair of shorts, ensure that a) there is a liner inside of them and b) the tip of your dugan is not easily visible when viewing the front of your shorts. The liner will help hold your junk in place, and the “not showing your mushroom tip” will prevent us from being banned from cable television. Oh, and Marine Corps “silkies” made by Soffee will inevitably outline your wang, so steer away from those. And if your dong isn’t outlined, you probably should stop wearing them now that everyone knows it’s supposed to be outlined and they’ll just think you have a wee little pee-pee.

Exhibit D

People usually ask where I get my shorts (Exhibit D), and I usually get them on military bases/posts for about $10 a pair. Soffees are pretty cheap on their website, but then you run into that “everyone is drinking in the view of my bone” thing. Feel free to post other brands to the comments, but I highly recommend having a liner in your shorts. The last thing anyone needs is an “accidental ballsack discharge” or “peek-a-boo-wiener”.

Fight the Good Fight

Remember, every time you clothe yourself in the morning you make a statement. Do you want that statement to say, “I will conform to how skinny, no-lifting puke-faces are shaping modern society”? Or will you say, “God damn it, I’m a man”? I know some of you have real jobs and can’t show up to work wearing short shorts, but the aforementioned Jeremy routinely shows up to the office wearing multi-colored cowboy boots and a beard. He paves his own way.

We shall take back America!

Join the resistance — WEAR SHORT SHORTS!

135 thoughts on “The Revolutionary Guide to Manly Short Shorts

  1. So much truth. When I went from training in my and friends’ basements to training in commercial gyms, I stopped wearing short shorts. I’ve recently admitted to myself what a crime it is to hide my admittedly handsome legs. This was spurred on largely by starting rugby, where big men wear small shorts.

  2. “It’s time to make a stand, and we do that by proudly revealing two meaty, bouldering thighs that emit a testosterone-filled musk that inspire women to savagely claw at your hairy chest, urging you to take them to the promised land.”

    Coming from a woman, this is entirely accurate. SO. MUCH. TRUTH.

  3. I normally rock a pair of rugby shorts I got overseas in the gym. That and knee high socks means I stand out like a sore thumb. But I haven’t brought myself to wear similarly short shorts out and about because of paleness. The only thing worse than blinding people with white thigh meat is getting pitiful stares for sunburned ones. Also…

  4. Does it fall under creepy to wear compression shorts under these shorts?

    And can we get an addendum that they don’ have to be worn for deadlifts because dragging the bar up your legs is sticky and theres only so much baby powder in a bottle.

    • I second the compression shorts underneath. Not wearing those gives me mad chaffage on my legs, something I know without a doubt will scare the children whilst wearing short shorts.

    • Compression shorts under short shorts is just weird. Non-committal. So you want to support the Rebel Alliance and still dine with Darth Vader, you traitor scum?

      Do what you need to do for deadlift performance.

      As for chaffage, Mark, use some Body Glide on the inner thigh when you know you’re gonna have mad friction. I’ll note that these shorts aren’t really wearable for running activities. Or Olympic lifting. Too much junk flappage for weightlifting.

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  6. Unfortunately I have the world’s dumbest legs – huge upper quads and Christmas ham glutes and no mass around the knees. To even look like I lift, I would have to wear shorts that were damn near briefs. I will support the movement from the sidelines.

  7. This is everything I love about 70s Big. Even if you’re not ready to make the plunge to truly short shorts, at a minimum your shorts should never touch the patella. In other words, no $50 Rogue board shorts. I squat exclusively in $10 academy shorts (maybe the same ones as Cloud) and they’re always comfy.

    • I also wear cheap Academy or non-name-brand shorts. I’d say that they need to be two inches above the knee in any scenario. Touching the patella is entirely too long (I’ve never worn shorts that do since I was a youngster).

  8. Finally I have found my brothers! For years I have been scorned for wearing 1in running shorts while people hid from my enormous quads. In the gym no one wears them this short. They suck. At the kickball field it is an intimidation tactic. Yeah I am going to bash the shit out of the ball. Look at these tree trunks. (Kickball is awesome don’t even think about bad mouthing it) Do you think anyone wants to take a round house kick to the face from a guy wearing 1in shorts and quads the size of sequoia’s? Didn’t fucking think so.

    With that said Soffe’s are boner showers and not great for the gym. I prefer 1in running shorts with liners. Favorites are made by Puma. Works for Usain Bolt, good enough for me. Also, Brooks make a nice pair as well. And yes they are $30+ a pair but aren’t your legs worth it? (I go to a Puma outlet and get them for $5 a pair as no one apparently wants to be awesome)

    • I’ve ripped every pair of jorts I’ve had whilst squatting or running or being awesome. If I had a Grandma, I’d have her make a quilt out of them, and I’d keep the quilt in my van.

  9. YES! Viva la Revolution!!!

    I have been wearing my rugby short-shorts since I started playing the sport 8 years ago. I love them. I feel so uncomfortable when trying to workout and my shorts keep falling over my knees. I purposely hike my shorts up until they become wedged against my thighs every time I attempt a squat, deadlift, clean, or snatch.

    Thanks to your inspiration, I will no longer limit my short-shorts to the rugby pitch and post-match social.

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  11. Like the Kiwis in the 70’s. L&P had an ad in NZ a few years ago about the Stubbies. Glory.

    I have been a cheerleader since ’99, and back at the turn of the century we wore short shorts. Although I had enough “Why do I cheer? Because fuck you” to be a male collegiate cheerleader, I was still 19 and welcomed the change to longer shorts so I wouldn’t feel like such a piece of meat sex object on the sidelines.

    Now I’m in my 30’s I am embracing my shrinking shorts as my quads get bigger.

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  13. So funny, I have tears in my eyes. Thank-you! With every female wearing short shorts, I keep telling my husband to begin the revolution! Us ladies like a nice pair of gams too. And Justin, if you do make that clone, can I have it? I guess men can be jealous bitches too.

  14. We wore tiny shorts up until 2006 in the Ranger Regiment. I remember seeing them the first time and being unsure, and then it morphed into a symobol of badassery. Seeing the rest of the Army in long shorts made me think I was looking at a bunch of homeboys in basketball shorts. They first banned them in the chow hall in Afghanistan for “offending people” (read: people not manly enough to wear them, or possibly people that didn’t like when a nut sack fell out). That was the beginning of the end of the Ranger Panty era. It was a sad day.

    • There is nothing better than knowing that me and my brothers are wearing the shortest shorts on post….. I think it is jealousy since fat regular army pukes dont look good in Ranger panties

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  16. Been rocking the short shorts boat since… a long time ago. Unfortunately, I am still really pale… I guess I’ll make a more conscious effort to tan them a bit so I don’t fall in the creep zone, besides a little color will better show the definition in your yammed stilts! Win, win baby!

  17. When RGT went to the In-Sports, I died a little inside. The Ranger panties were awesome, and they made great going home gifts.

    There was nothing better than holding someone’s feet for sit ups on a PT test and they were wearing their Ranger Painties with the liner ripped out.

  18. I agree that Ranger Panties are fantastic, but best left to less public settings. I have gotten some lululemon shorts hemmed a few inches above the knee and those are great, but absurdly priced. A grayish khaki that I can wear to work with plenty of room for my thighs to “breathe.” I also just got a pair from, and although quite fratastic I am a fan. Some of you larger guys will have to wait until they start making XLs, I’m only 200lbs and they are a bit snug on my leg and glutes.

    • I have two pairs of the lululemon shorts w/ the liner and they are tough as hell. One pair going on 8 years. I love them, but its tough to justify $60/pair. You can get a pretty comprable pair of shorts from Nike for half the price (running stuff) which, conveniently enough, is shorter anyways.

      • 60 bucks spread over 8 years is 7.50/annum for shorts, so in my mind its a pretty good value… i belive its EASY to justify your purchas, good sir.

  19. I’ve been wearing short shorts and and one of two tank tops all summer the shor shorts are made by asos and are really comfy the tanks are 80s-era cammo and two variation s of “I love America” wearing these clothes a lot with my authentic Australian outback hat has easily doubled the number of fish I’ve caught and left me cool and comfortable at all times. It also cuts down on chaffing and makes skinny men ask me questions about what I do in the gym

    • Also, I will be in SF all next week for a college study tour, and will be rockin these bad boys. Will gay men hit on me? Probably, but that just means I’m attractive, so whatevs. Sadly these are too tight to squat in however; I need some rugby shorts for squatting.

  20. After reading this article, I have seen the light. Never again shall my legs be sheltered from the day light. Never again shall my below average penis not be flaunted to the rest of the world. I am solidly behind the revolution. All of my days shall be spent in the comfort of real man short-shorts.

  21. I’m gonna go out on a limb and state, as a corollary to Justin’s awesome post, that I think the cutoff for the short shorts / tanktop combo is age 30. So enjoy it while you can, whippersnappers. I’m too old for this shit.


    Your creepy uncle.

    Also, I’m 6’2″ with monstrously long femurs and can barely squat 300lb. I certainly can’t pull off the short shorts.

  22. Very sound advice re: underliners and pube trimming.

    When I was a young boy of about 5, I was down at the supermarket and saw an old, withered man in the shortest of shorts. As he lent over to put something in his trolley, a hairy, saggy testicle drooped a good 3 inches down the leg of his pants.

    One of the most fucked up things I have ever seen.

  23. It’s likely that I was the hostess of that “quiet little house party” you attended and I can attest that we really didn’t mind your attire! The shorts especially added credibility and authenticity to the free mobility advice you passed on to the middle-aged desk jockeys in attendance. I just thought it was part of your “branding.”

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