Cargo Shorts: A fashion statement or faux pas?

By Dan Teano

Elm Staff Writer

“What are those.” Those baggy, dirt colored, heavily pocketed monstrosities. They’re cargo shorts. We see them everywhere from the wild African safari to Boulder, Colo., but why on campus?

Needless to say, we are college students. As students, we do not need to trek to class with utility shorts. Look anywhere on social media, and you can quickly find a rant about the blatant ugliness of cargo shorts. On Yik Yak especially, numerous students have voiced their unanimous disapproval . For no justifiable reason, we continue to uphold a trend which at it’s very core, diminishes our masculinity.

President Barack Obama is seen wearing the outdated article of clothing known as cargo shorts.
President Barack Obama is seen wearing the outdated article of clothing known as cargo shorts.

Let’s be honest, cargo shorts are the least comfortable type of shorts the retail world has ever produced. And yet, given their discomfort and atrocious appearance, we consider them a closet staple. Understandably, cargo shorts run deep into our male history. Up until the dawn of the Age of Industrialization, men required sturdy clothing that would not bog them down. From working machinery in an automotive factory, to panning gold out west, men needed a hybrid article of clothing that would keep them safe and cool, thus the birth of cargo shorts.

While cargo shorts have long served their vital societal role, their function is no longer suitable in this modern day and age. Currently, we live in an era where technology rules the work force. As a result, ultra-durable clothing is not a necessity. Why is it that we still keep at least two pairs stocked in our closet.

Truly, our stubbornness highlights a host of underlying issues with the male race. For one, it shows how much some men simply do not care about our appearance.

Self-confidence should stem from feeling good about ourselves, not just being disinterested about other’s opinions. Too often, we leave our rooms wearing an outfit that we threw together in a morning rush. After a quick glance at the bathroom mirror, we acknowledge our unappealing attire, but we give ourselves solace with the justification, “It doesn’t matter what other people think.” Cargo shorts are indicative of that apathetic mindset.

Those anachronistic shorts are a screaming reminder to those around us that we disregard other’s opinions only because we were too lazy to give a little thought into our wardrobe.

At its core, our unguided fashion sense reveals our sheer laziness and our cultural ignorance. It’s about time we fix this hypocrisy, and updating our closet space is a good place to start because whoever said, “Chivalry is dead,” most likely was not wearing cargo shorts.

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