There are few summer style sins greater than wearing shorts. Even though shorts have been slimmed and trimmed over the past few years, they’re still synonymous with struggle fits and are rarely worn by the few people who can actually pull them off without looking ridiculous and lame. 

Sometimes, however, social protocol and oppressive weather make shorts a necessity, and you’d be a dolt not to wear them.  Mind you, these instances are rare, and I’m not, and never will give you a free pass to wear shorts every day in the summer - even if you work out of coffee shops like I often do. 

Herein lie the occasions where it’s alright to flex your short game, and your outfit is still guaranteed to look fire.

1.When it’s 100 degrees out – Sweltering summertime weather is a free pass to sport shorts.  Case in point: I often wear a pair of Left Field selvedge chino shorts right now because it’s hotter than 1000 burning suns in Minneapolis during the summer.  Keep in mind that the guys flexing tailored linen (or insert other warm weather fabric) pants are doper than you, but copping slim, tailored shorts for this inevitable occurrence gives you more cred than the sucker wearing cargo shorts. 

2.If you’re Nick Wooster – Menswear impresario Nick Wooster deserves his own category because he flexes harder than the rest of you peons. 

He’s among the elite few who look good in short suits, and is the only person in the world who can pull off ghurka shorts, a sartorial move you shouldn’t try at home.  Ever. 

3.There are no other permissible situations to wear shorts, ever – If you’re at the beach, wear a swimsuit.  Even if one of the two instances above pertains to you (assuming Nick Wooster is reading this), you’ll still look better in pants.  The cantankerous culture critic Fran Lebowitz put it best in an interview with Elle, where she called men who wear shorts “repulsive” — “I’d just as soon see someone coming toward me with a hand grenade.” 

In short, if you want to keep your outfit palatable, stay away from shorts.