Been seeing a lot of shade tossed in the direction of the cargo-shorts wearing public lately and frankly, I’m not going to stand for it any longer — not stand for it on my two legs draped with four or five pockets on either side, that is!
Yeah, that’s right. I wear cargo shorts. Once fashionable for all, they’re now viewed as a relic of simpler days — a space in time that existed somewhere between The Andy Griffith Show and Breaking Bad. And, like many things we all used to love, they’re now the focus of much mockery.
Mockery that we must not tolerate any longer.
Listen, I’m not going to make the argument based on fashion merit. I may dress like one, but I’m not an idiot. I am well aware that you won’t find cargo shorts on the streets of New York City (not unless they’re being worn by middle-aged, Midwestern tourists, that is). And while I may also still wear loose-fit, boot-cut jeans, I am smart enough to know when I’m out of fashion.
Guilty as charged.
While I’m not against the stylistic critique of the cargo short, I am appalled at how quickly we can turn against an article of clothing so dependable, so utilitarian, and so steadfast. When was the last time your cargo shorts turned their back on you, my man?
This isn’t about style. This is about loyalty.
I’ve got a pair of cargo shorts in my closet that I’ve had for going on ten years. I’m not about to abandon them now, just because Europeans and frat boys want to show off a little more thigh. I’ll take my seven pockets and you can keep your pale, skinny legs, fellas. Or shall I call you “Nancy?”
Cargo shorts are like 4×4 pick-em-up trucks. A pair of those Easter egg-colored straight leg mini-pants are like a Mazda Miata. It’s not wrong to own one, but it does say something about the guy inside. Frankly, I think the wrong set of people are being questioned. Why shine the spotlight of scrutiny on the group that’s stayed true to the time-tested, tried-and-true, trustworthy 4×4 of leg coverings? All we’re doing is repaying our shorts for their commitment to us by remaining loyal to them.
This one time I went to a carnival with two of my buddies. I was wearing cargo shorts, of course, but my buddies are more fashion forward and each had on a pair of britches with stunningly few pockets. We played games, won prizes, rode some rides, got popcorn and soda. We had tickets we’d won on games and flyers we’d picked up from the booths and as we walked we accumulated all sorts of junky keepsakes. Wouldn’t you know, we weren’t there forty-five minutes before those poor dudes were griping because they didn’t have any more pockets left to carry all their loot. Cargo shorts to the rescue! I had three large sodas, two popcorns, half a funnel cake, a wad of tickets, and a stuffed koala bear in my pockets…
On one side. Room to spare, fellas! Room to spare. We didn’t even need one of our old ladies to hold our stuff while we hit the Tilt-o-Whirl. I’ve got buttons, bro. Just baton down the hatches and away we go.**
(Utility available in a variety of colors!…Photo Credit)
Look, I’m not here to put anybody down. You wear what you want to wear. If that’s skinny jeans, so be it. If that’s “salmon” shorts with an inadequate amount of storage space, just put your little iPhone in your back pocket, honey. No skin off my nose.
But I’m the kind of guy who carries all my groceries into the house in one trip. I grow a goatee out from time to time. I own a decent amount of plaid. I wear flip flops year round. I may not be a fashionista, but I know a good pair of shorts when I see one. And until my cargo shorts are threadbare and I can’t find any more in stores, that’s what I’m going to be wearing.
I have at least five pair. One set is camouflage. So you can toss all the shade you want in my direction. But don’t come crying to me when you don’t have enough space dangling from your hips to store all your gadgets. Although chances are, you probably have a man purse that will do the trick.
As for me and all the other human pack mules out there, don’t pay us any mind. We’re going to keep finding lost pacifiers, crumpled up twenty dollar bills, and small mammals inside the pockets of our cargo shorts not just the rest of this decade, but well into the next. And we like it that way.
We like it that way just fine, thanks.
**The carnival story never happened. But it certainly could’ve, thanks to cargo shorts. LIkewise, if you ever want to climb Mount Everest but don’t want to tote all that gear five miles into the sky, you can hit me up on Twitter. I can fit a tent, sleeping bag, and three months of non-perishable food items in my shorts.