Acceptable Jorts: Oxymoron or Brave New World?

Acceptable Jorts: Oxymoron or Brave New World?

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Jun 23 2022 | 4 min read

I never would have thought to put the words “acceptable” and “jorts” in the same headline, but here I am, doing it now.

Life takes unexpected turns sometimes, amirite?

Picture 30

My friend Rachel took this pic just last week when I was getting my new phone. I figure you understand why.

If you don’t already know, “jorts” stands for “jean shorts.” The not-quite-here-nor-there look is generally reserved for only the most unconcerned with their appearance kind of people. Jorts are often spotted in the wild paired with wifebeaters (ribbed white tank tops generally meant to be worn under shirts), trucker hats, work boots, and large tees with howling wolves on them.

The negative stereotypes against this articlee of clothing are the strongest argument for trying to make a point about caring about how you look. Just read the most popular definition for jorts on Urban Dictionary:

“Jean shorts. Worn mostly by children and douchebags. Jorts are perhaps the easiest way to recognize people you will not like. If you wear jorts, you probably don’t talk to girls.”

So you see, jorts could be the most hated garb ever. There’s even, where you can browse pictures of people in jorts and rank how funny they look.

But I’m here today to blow your minds and tell you, there’s a new jort in town. And women would love to see you wearing a pair.

The cut of the “modern jort” (MJ?) is similar to chino shorts, so they can be worn like so. With a tee and a pair of Plimsoll sneaker feels right, but you could probably try a casual short sleeve button down. The look is definitely waaay more casual, so they can’t be dressed up quite like chino shorts. Embrace them for what they are: casual daytime summer apparel.

Picture 31Hat – The Hundreds, $28; Tee – Saturdays NYC, $40; Shoes – Bellfield, $31 ; Shorts – ASOS, $38


Here’s what makes the modern jort work:

1. Fitted

If they aren’t baggy, they are tailored. If they are tailored, they work. Therefore, if they are tailored, they work, even if they are jorts? Yeah, that’s what I’m sayin’.

2. Cut above the knee

Any shorts cut past the knee are begging not to be called shorts. They want to be more than shorts, because they aren’t shorts, but not yet pants…much like Britney Spears wasn’t a girl, not yet a woman. Do you really want that kind of parallel association for your pants? You’re practically asking for me to call them capris or clam diggers, neither of which sound remotely masculine.

3. Cuffed at the bottom

Something about cuffing pants seems very sophisticated because it is a conscious decision (under most circumstances) so that tells me that you do care about your look WHICH I LIKE. With an item that is so deeply rooted in a negative stereotype of being mega-casual, this kind of effort is necessary. It’s akin to adding negative numbers to get to a positive.

4. Not “dad rinse”

I know that you know what I’m talking about, especially if you’ve read the SG Guide to Denim, which is half the definition of “jorts”.

Also, while the original jorts tend to be worn by men over 40, I’m going to ask that the “modern jort” is kept to those under 30 (Sorry mature men out there, but I know you wouldn’t want to be mistaken as any of us crazy kids.) If a guy over 30 wanted to try out the look, I would say opt instead for a denim blend fabric, like denim chambray or Japanese twill to keep people from calling you a “cool” dad instead of a cool dad.

Here are some shades that can make ’em work:


Picture 24

Chocoolate, $102

Did you ever think jean shorts could look like this? If your answer was no, we’re in the same boat. These are simultaneously sleek and casual, brooding and brawny. What’s not to love? I really couldn’t tell you, because I love every bit of them.


 Picture 27 Jack & Jones, $77

 These are essentially colored chinos in disguise. If you are hesitant about this look, I would say this is a good starting point. Test the water with some pseudo-chino colored denim shorts, and then fill your summer wardrobe with them after you’ve come to a conclusive decision that is “Yes, I like this look.”


 Picture 26ASOS, $34

These skinnier fitting modern jorts have a slightly skater vibe, so a pair in black seems totally fitting.


Picture 25

ASOS, $48

Getting dressed should be a fun thing to do; that’s why little girls love to play dress-up! These jorts have such a Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High feel that if I saw a guy wearing them I would just know I was going to have a great time with him. They’re quite possibly the most nonchalant pair of pants I’ve ever seen.


Picture 29Bellfield, $51

White jeans are made for summer, so it only makes sense to consider a nice pair of white jorts.

Now you know that jorts are a viable option, especially for any pairs of pants that literally got dragged through the mud.


Tell Us:

Would you rock the modern jorts? Which style would fit best in your wardrobe?

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Gabi Meyers went from Team SG's first-ever intern to a trusted fashion editor and stylist. She currently lives in Chicago with a very cute dog.