On Monday, cargo shorts became the unfashionable subject of vitriol when the Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Hong published a disapproving story about the many-pocketed style. Today, men at the storied paper are wearing cargo shorts to work in protest and solidarity with their questionable taste.
Hong’s story began with a man named Dane Hansen, who’d noticed that his wife had been systematically, secretly getting rid of his beloved cargo shorts. He began their relationship with 12 pair and now he’s down to one, which he now hides for fear she’ll toss them out. Apparently Hansen represents a lot of men who are clinging to the style, which is useful, yes, but not attractive. The love of cargo shorts is serious, Hong reports, that men are wearing them only when their wives and girlfriends are away, like watching porn or eating food that’s bad for their lactose intolerance:
His wife, however, isn’t a fan. Mr. Lommel, who often works from home, seizes opportunities when his wife is away at work to wear his cargo shorts.
“Every time I put them on, I am conscious of the fact that I am now being disobedient in my marriage,” he said.
Days later, Hong wrote a response piece detailing the many, many men and women who wrote her about their confusing relationship with the short. There were girlfriends who sent the story to their boyfriends, who became enraged after reading it:
‘Hi. I just sent a link to my boyfriend of your article about cargo shorts, and he immediately got very angry. I sent it to him because I thought it was funny, but he took offense that men are being sincerely judged for wearing cargo shorts. Can you clear up for us if you wrote this article to be humorous? Or was it a sincere piece about cargo shorts?
I fear he will push back with wearing even more cargo shorts and being even more proud about it. What have I done?’
And famous men who know they’re flawed, but carry on anyway:
Hong wrote that she’s now become a sort of “cargo-short therapist” in her office, giving advice on whether their garments fall under the cargo category.
Look men, you can do as you please if you’re clinging to the days when Polo shirts, weathered baseball caps, flip-flops and yes, cargo shorts were viewed as what an attractive guy would wear if he wanted to make out with a hottie at that night’s Theta Chi party. But gentlemen, if I may call you that, we’re grown. You can wear the cargos; just be honest with yourself that what you’re really saying with the look is “I can’t let go.”