Monday, March 29, 2010

Blogger Survey: Ideal Shorts Length

Lands End Plain Front 6" Legacy Chino Shorts--my shorts of choice

The Concept

It seems like whenever the weather starts to warm and people start pulling their shorts out of winter hibernation, debates inevitably ensue regarding the "correct" length for shorts. Some men prefer a 9" inseam while others wouldn't think of going longer than 6" while still others will insist that anything under 7" is simply scandalous.

It occurred to me that these debates are essentially moot since everyone's legs are different lengths, but I wondered if most of these men imagined them hitting around the same place on the leg. Essentially, I wondered if there was a common ratio for the "ideal" length for shorts. So, I conducted a survey of a number of bloggers whose opinions I respect and whose blogs I enjoy, and tried to figure out what that ratio is.

The Survey
I figured the easiest way to figure out the ratio was to compare the inseam of everyones' go-to shorts to the typical inseam of their pants. I asked each of the bloggers: 1. Their preferred length of shorts; 2. The inseam of a typical pair of pants; and 3. Their go-to brand/style of shorts. I will note that many of the bloggers elucidated on their choices, and it often wasn't an easy "Shorts length is X inches; Pants length is Y inches," so I did my best to interpret what each person sent in and have tried to simply it for the sake of the calculations. Below for each blogger you will see the lengths I have interpreted for each person based on their response, and have included, verbatim, their favorite type of shorts. Without further ado, here are their responses (in no particular order):

The Data
Greg of Manifold Destiny
Shorts Inseam- 8"
Pants Inseam- 32"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "Vineyard Vines Twill Club Shorts. Sortof expensive, but I bought a pair at Dick Ferguson's in Athens my junior year of college (5 years ago) and they are still going strong."

Max of all plaidout
Shorts Inseam- 7"
Pants Inseam- 33"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "Honestly don't have one. I have favorite pairs from Tommy Hilfiger, J Crew, Polo, and Murray's Toggery. I still wear a pair of Gap shorts that I bought when I was a freshman in high school. Khaki, Navy Twill, Nantucket Red, and OD Green."

Skip of Alex Grant
Shorts Inseam- 9"
Pants Inseam- 30"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "My go-to shorts are a pair of Polo plain front blue Gingham Shorts and a pair of Eddie Bauer plain front shorts in British Khaki. Both are probably over 5 years old."

Paul of Components of Enthusiasm
Shorts Inseam- 8"
Pants Inseam- 30"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "i'm in a bit of an transition with shorts, typically it's jcrew khaki shorts though."

Angelo of Class Act
Shorts Inseam- 7.5"
Pants Inseam- 32"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "my favorite shorts by far are a pair of cutoff Gap khaki trousers."

Fred of Unabashedly Prep
Shorts Inseam- 5"
Pants Inseam- 30"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "My go-to-shorts are plain front chinos by Rugby."

Daryl of Southern Gent
Shorts Inseam- 7"
Pants Inseam- 30"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "J. Crew Essential Chino, 7" shorts."

Conor of Young Man, Old Man
Shorts Inseam- 9"
Pants Inseam- 31"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "I don't have a ton of shorts but the ones I do are a mixed brand bag. I have bill's and bb's and some mossimo from target (really good actually). They are almost universally gth. Madras, and seersucker. In most cases when I would wear khaki shorts I think I'll do rolled khakis."

Lawrence of Sartorially Inclined
Shorts Inseam- 7.5"
Pants Inseam- 32"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "Honestly, I don't wear shorts all that much, but when I do J. Crew usually fits the bill with styling and price...their shirts suck, but I always got down with their bottoms."

Jay of Red Clay Soul
Shorts Inseam- 7"
Pants Inseam- 32"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "Khaki shorts: J. Crew Essentials 7" (flat front, of course)
Seersucker/Madras: Anything flat front...not too picky.
Weekend: Patagonia Stand Ups, Columbia Half Moons"

Foster of A Restless Transplant
Shorts Inseam- 9.5"
Pants Inseam- 32"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "Right now i am wearing some Save Khaki cut off khaki shorts. They are great. I also have a few pairs of draw string Rogues Gallery seersucker shorts that i wear when lounging or broing out."

Tucker of Tucker
Shorts Inseam- 9"
Pants Inseam- 32"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "Brooks Brothers Advantage shorts (Polo a close second, don't know the style, but they're both about 9")."

Justin of A Duck Gets Dressed
Shorts Inseam- 7"
Pants Inseam- 30"
Go-To Shorts Preference- "For shorts I usually wear a seven inch inseam, years ago I was a five inch inseam and would wear the hell out of a pair of Patagonia stand ups. They are still my go to shorts, but I throw in the occasional madras pants."

Trip of A Trip Down South
Shorts Inseam- 6"
Pants Inseam- 27" (yes, this is what happens when you are 5'6")
Go-To Shorts Preference- Lands End 6" Plain Front Legacy Chino Shorts

The Results
Average shorts inseam= 7.68"
Median shorts inseam= 7.5"
Average pants inseam= 31.27"
Median pants inseam= 31.5"

Ratio of pants inseam to shorts inseam:
Range= 2.91:1 to 6.00:1
Average= 4.17:1
Median= 4.27:1

Shorts inseam divided by pants inseam, as a percentage:
Range= 16.67% to 34.38%
Average= 24.57%
Median= 23.44%

(Can you tell that I do this kind of crap for my job?)

Conclusion/How to Use This Guide
First I have to say that I was somewhat surprised about the range of results from the survey. While there did appear to be a general trend, in the end personal preferences did win out. I was surprised to note, however, that while I prefer shorter shorts, there were three others who, as a percentage of their pants inseam, wear shorter shorts than me.

I would also like to point out that many of the guys survey indicated that they wear their pants with little to no break. While I tried to compensate for this where I could based on the information provided to me, this could have possibly skewed some of the results, resulting in lower ratios/higher percentages. It should also be noted that general body types/shapes were not accounted for in this survey, and that could certainly play a role in a person's length of preference.

So you might be asking yourself "What's the point of this? How does this apply to me and the length of shorts I should be wearing?" I would suggest that its most practical application is to take your pants inseam length and multiply it by 24.91%--the average shorts length as a percentage of pants inseam length. This would give you your "ideal" (according to the survey) length of shorts to wear. For example, I would multiply 27" by 24.57% and come up with 6.63, or 6-5/8 inches, rounded. Maybe slightly longer shorts would look better on me; I don't think I'm going to be giving up my 6" shorts anytime soon, though.

Thank You
I'm not sure if this is going to be any use to you, dear reader, but I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did putting it together. I want to extend a special "Thank You" to all of the bloggers who participated, and if you haven't checked out all of their blogs yet, I suggest you pay them a visit.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dark jeans and a navy blazer: too much navy?

Image from Rugby (not actually me, believe it or not)

While jeans and a navy blazer seems like a pretty sure-bet combination, I find myself unable to ever pull it off. My jeans are pretty dark, and when I put on a blazer, regardless of what shirt I'm wearing, I feel like there is too little contrast and am afraid that from a distance it will look like I'm wearing a navy suit. I recognize that there is a difference in texture, but that seems like something that would only be noticed upon closer inspection. Am I the only one who has this problem? Am I over-thinking it? I'd love to hear your opinions.

Thoughts on Las Vegas

As I mentioned last week, I went to Vegas for a couple of days for a pseudo-Spring Break with my college roommate. This was actually my second trip out there, but here are a few random thoughts and observations.

1. We flew AirTran from Atlanta to Vegas. I'm not sure I had flown AirTran before, but it was actually a pretty good experience. While the trip was long, it was made a lot better by the fact that AirTran was offering their wireless internet for free for a limited time. I've got to say that being able to talk to people on Gchat on my Blackberry while in the air made me feel like the President of the United States.

2. For our trip out there we did one of those airfare and hotel room package deals. It actually ended up being pretty reasonable, but we chose to stay at the Monte Carlo. I have to say that I wasn't really impressed, with the hotel room or with the casino, and was marginally impressed with the pool. If I were to go out there again (which remains to be seen), I would not stay there again.

3. Sperry Topsiders, even with an insole, make for awful walking shoes, especially when walking 4+ miles a day up and down the Strip. My feet were not happy with me after a couple of days.

4. We went to downtown Las Vegas on Sunday and had a great time. Downtown is way better than the Strip in that there is cheap food ($1 hot dogs, anyone?), cheap booze, cheap tables ($5 blackjack was pretty easy to find), and excellent drink service while gambling. Also, many of the casinos along Fremont were a lot nicer than I imagined they would be, the Golden Nugget in particular. Again, if I were to go back out there, I would even consider staying down there instead of the Strip.

5. Speaking of cheap drinks, if you are on the Strip and looking to get some cheap beers, be sure to go by Casino Royale. It is located on the east side of the Strip, between Harrah's and the Venetian, and looks almost as gaudy on the outside as it is on the inside. If you can handle the vomit smell that seemed to mysteriously linger by the bar, you can take advantage of $1 Michelobs, which can be combined with an easily-obtained 2-for-1 coupon. $0.50 beers are never a bad thing.

6. Part of our decision to stay at the Monte Carlo was related to its proximity to the new City Center that was recently completed. When I was out there last, in fall of 2007, it was mostly a hole in the ground, so it was difficult to imagine what it would be like. Upon seeing it, I wasn't really that impressed. For something that bills itself as a "city center," there was very little effort made create a positive pedestrian environment, particularly one that draws people in off of the Strip, and there was very little interaction between the buildings. Instead, it just seemed like 3 or 4 separate projects that didn't relate to each other at all rather than a "center." The only real interaction with pedestrians along the Strip was the stupid "mall" that was there that you could walk through to get to the other side of the project. Perhaps I completely underestimate the all of the schlubs walking around Vegas, but I simply have no idea how a mall made up completely of ultra-high end stores (Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Zegna) can possibly be financially viable, especially in this market.

7. Speaking of the City Center, we did actually manage to make our way over to the casino at the Aria, which is the new hotel/casino there. It was actually pretty cool, and we both had a good time there.

8. In case you were unaware, Las Vegas is an absolute blackhole of manners, good taste, and style. Believe it or not, people out there actually wear Christian Audigier/Ed Hardy clothes like it isn't some sort of gigantic cliche. Same goes for all of those MMA-related brands like Tap Out and Affliction.

In the Bible there is a story where God tells Abraham that He plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but Abraham asks God if He will spare the cities if he can find fifty righteous men. Unable to find fifty, Abraham goes back to God and asks if He will spare the cities if he can find forty-five righteous men. Again, Abraham is unable to do it, and subsequently asks God if He will spare the cities if he can find thirty righteous men, then twenty, then ten, and he is unable to do so each time. I think we all know how that story ended. I highlight this story because if God planned to destroy Las Vegas but agreed to stay His wrath if only ten well-dressed men were found there, I've got a feeling that Las Vegas wouldn't make it.

9. In spite of its lack of class and prevalence of obnoxious tourists, there were a large number of very attractive women all over the place. This is always a nice perk, especially if you have the confidence to actually go up and talk to them (which my buddy and I are not famous for possessing).

10. There is a double-decker bus that runs between the Strip and downtown Las Vegas called "The Deuce." It is only $3 for a one-way trip, or $7 for an all-day pass. We gave it a try when we went from our hotel to downtown, and after the five mile trip took something like 45 minutes, I've got to say that the "the deuce" is a pretty appropriate name.

11. We got a two-for-one coupon for the ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel and casino, so we decided to give it a shot on our last night there. This was definitely worth it, especially for $7.75 per person. I would highly recommend it.

12. Finally, while there is plenty to be cynical about in Vegas, I would say that the fountain show at the Bellagio is one thing that is hard to not be impressed by. It is free, it happens every 15 minutes, and it seems like it is always set to a different song. It is easily one of the best things on the Strip.

Well, in case you are fortunate/unfortunate enough to be taking a trip to Vegas anytime soon, I hope that this guide will be of some help to you. Also, be sure to check out the website Cheapo Vegas. It is a very useful and humorous guide to just about everything to you need to know about Vegas, including reviews on all of the hotels and casinos in downtown and on the Strip. It was a lifesaver while we were out there, and I constantly was referring to it on my Blackberry.

P.S.- The lack of images from my trip is not due to the fact that they were incriminating, rather it is due to the fact that I only took a few. I apologize that I could not include a Hangover-style photoessay with my review.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Results: OPH by a landslide

In case you hadn't already seen the results of last week's cage match between The Official Preppy Handbook and Take Ivy, the OPH was declared to be the superior book by the not-so-narrow margin of 61% to 31%.

In the interest of presenting the original cage match as unbiasly as I could, I didn't really give my thoughts on either book. I would agree that the two books are really quite different in both their intended use and the perspectives they are coming from. Additionally, I understand that only a handful of people have actually seen Take Ivy in person, and that it is doubtful that many of those people could read Japanese. As a result, perhaps it was not a completely fair contest.

However, even once Take Ivy is reprinted later this year, it is my prediction that the OPH will still be the better book. I suspect once people can actually read the book for themselves, in English, that the Japanese fetishism of Ivy League clothing will only seem that much weirder, though it may put a lot of the pictures in more of a context than they exist now. Anyways, thanks to all who voted.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Tomorrow I'm heading to Vegas for a few days with my college roommate. He has spring break from med school, and I certainly don't mind pretending that I also have spring break, at least for a couple of days. Needless to say, I won't be updating the blog for the next few days (unfortunately I don't have a similar reason for not updating it much the past two weeks), but wish me luck. Hopefully I will return with a few good pictures, a few good stories, and a little extra cash. If you've got any suggestions of places to find cheap food, blackjack, or drinks, please leave a comment. I'll have my Blackberry with me so I can follow up on any ideas you may have.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Photo tour: Casa de Hovey

Based on the pictures of her apartment that Hollister Hovey has posted on her blog over the years, it is certainly no secret that she and her sister, Porter, have a knack for decorating. However, the two were recently featured in an article on Apartment Therapy, and any questions about whether their apartment is one of the most awesome places in Brooklyn have been put to rest. I am going to be moving in a few weeks, and this article is definitely going to be lending some inspiration for my new place, though it appears that I am going to need to seriously up my quota of taxidermed animals. Go here to check out the article and be sure to view the slideshow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guest Post: Manifold Destiny on Imogene + Willie

I have known Greg from Manifold Destiny since back in high school. I'm not really sure how, but in spite of not really staying in touch for the past six or seven years, our paths crossed again in the men's clothing forum/blogosphere world, which as been pretty cool. Greg is currently living in Nashville, and a few months back he was telling me about the store Imogene + Willie. Having only been to Nashville once in my life, I wasn't familiar with the store, but it sounded pretty awesome, so I asked Greg if he'd be interested in doing a guest post about it. Somehow managing to squeeze it in during his last semester of law school, Greg made a trip to the store and took a bunch of great photos, in actual film, believe it or not. Check out the photos and his write up below:

Trip asked me to do a guest post about my favorite store in Nashville, Imogene + Willie. Relatively new, the store was founded by Matt and Carrie Eddmenson in a former service station in Nashville’s eclectic 12 South neighborhood.

Matt and Carrie are denim pros, having worked for a company in Kentucky that did denim washing long before jeans cost $300 and came from Japan. They moved to Nashville last year and started Imogene + Willie, which sells a really well-curated selection of vintage stuff, cool brands (LVC, Billykirk, APC, and RRL), and most importantly their own stuff, made right there in the store.

Aside from selling stuff, Matt and Carrie have succeeded in creating a great place to hang out, holding weekly “Supper and a Song” nights where the local taco truck pulls up to sell food while singer-songwriters play in the back yard.

All of the employees are friendly and really really know their stuff. If you’re ever in Nashville stop by, you won’t find a cooler place filled with better people (and dogs). More pictures below.

Thanks a lot to Greg for his post. In case you haven't seen his blog, Manifold Destiny, it's definitely a must-add to your daily blog roll. It's like having a butler who reads all of the style blogs for you and just shows you the awesome stuff.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cage Match: "Official Preppy Handbook" vs. "Take Ivy"

Inspired by a discussion on Twitter last week, which was inspired by the supposed republishing of Take Ivy, I have set up a poll to the right where you can vote on which book is superior: Take Ivy or The Official Preppy Handbook. No need to further expound on either book, this is a cage match, and there is plenty of info on both books floating around the internets. Without further ado, submit your vote.