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A Pop-Culture History of Men and Shorts

  • Kempt Staff

Vacation

The prospect of celebrating summer’s inaugural weekend might have you toying with the idea of spending the entire three days in a pair of shorts (especially if you plan on being poolside the whole time).

But going pantsless is a deceptively tricky move—wrought with pitfalls and misconceptions.

More often than not, they’re considered a necessary evil. Tom Ford famously said that a man should never wear them. Inevitably, someone will rib you with that moldy chestnut about never taking a man in shorts seriously. But in the right hands—er, on the right gams—they can be serviceable, arguably even stylish. It’s been done before, to varying degrees of success.

So, as menswear anthropologists, in our quest to find out how we got into this pantsless existential crisis, we present to you:

A pop-culture history of men and shorts.»

Dusting Off: The Politically Charged Oscars Speech

  • Najib Benouar

Brando

Before the advent of the 24-hour news cycle and Twitter, a movie star’s biggest offscreen stage was an awards show podium.

And there was none grander than the Oscars. So if a celebrity wanted to unequivocally take their stance on the current state of government, war, immigration, gay rights or what have you, they’d have to win first—then decide whether it was more important to thank the list of people who got them there or go off-book on some rant that would surely ruffle a few feathers. (Or, in the case of Marlon Brando, send up a Native American woman to decline accepting the award on his behalf.)

It made for the sort of incredibly surreal moment that we’ve been seeing less and less of lately. And that’s a shame. So, in honor of those sometimes patronizing, sometimes endearing and always overly passionate moments of stardom, we’d like to look back at a few of the finer exhibitions of celebrity political grandstanding.

Let’s go to the video, shall we.»