When Did Cargo Shorts Become The Enemy?

by Mike Julianelle
Originally Published: 
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Who knew cargo shorts were this despised?

I’m the first guy to admit that my wife upped my fashion game.

I went from baggy clothes to stuff that actually fits. I went from t-shirts to… better t-shirts (I love t-shirts!). I started wearing jeans that look good, shoes that look good, got a hairstyle that looks good, and I even bought an extra belt or two. At my wife’s behest and/or at my wife’s “without my knowledge,” a lot of the stuff I’d been wearing since college went into the garbage or over to Goodwill. And I’m mostly better for it.

For all its aggravations, being married turned me into marriage material. I’m happy to take my wife’s fashion advice, especially since I’m color-blind. But even so, everyone has things are off-limits. For me, it’s favorite t-shirts. For other men, it’s their cargo shorts. Which hasn’t stopped wives everywhere from declaring war on them.

According to recent article in the Wall Street Journal of all places, cargo shorts are the literal worst. Women and fashion gurus everywhere hate the unsightly things. Golf courses ban them, TV’s Tim Gunn called them the “least fashionable” thing in his closet (which: Tim Gunn has cargo shorts?) and women want them dead. They want their families dead. They want cargo shorts set on fire.

“I despise them,” one wife, who secretly disposes of her husband’s shorts, said. “There were so many good things about the ’90s. Cargo shorts were not one of them.”

First of all, there weren’t that many good things about the 90s. Second of all, they were invented during WWII. You know? Because they’re functional! Men don’t have purses, so we sometimes need pockets. Especially dads. I don’t wear cargo shorts, but I know plenty of dads who do, and I’ve seen them pull smoothies, pacifiers, wipes, diapers, yo-yos, bubble juice, bibs, and more from their hideous shorts. I’ve never seen a woman pull anything useful out of her yoga pants, and I’ve never seen a single pair of cargo shorts with “JUICY” written on the back. So slow your roll, ladies.

Redbook Magazine published an article entitled “Cargo Shorts Are Ruining Marriages Across America” and even without reading it I can tell you clothing doesn’t typically ruin marriages. Although if I caught my wife in a Yankees shirt we’d need to see a counselor.

Another women in the WSJ article stated, ““It’s a reflection on me, like ‘How did she let him out the door like that?’ ” she said.

If I ever told me wife that I was embarrassed by what she’s wearing, or I clandestinely escorted her yoga shorts, or, better yet, one of her hideous, bottomless handbags to Goodwill? That would ruin our marriage. Maybe don’t mock your spouse and then violate his or her trust by doing stuff behind their back.

Of course, I would never throw out my wife’s yoga pants. Not because I fear retribution, but because I like them. I envy my wife for her yoga pants. They look so cozy. If she wants to wear those around 24/7, more power to her. I mean, maybe throw on a dress if we’re going out to dinner, but we have two kids, she doesn’t need to get dressed up just to get one of my son’s filthy hand-prints all over her. And neither do dads.

Dadding is hard work, often dirty work, and definitely work that requires reinforcements, even if they come in the form of some band-aids or maybe a few stickers inside a ratty pair of bulky, multi-pocketed shorts. I know they’re not the best-looking item in the world, but they do get the job done. And they’re comfortable.

Of course, if your husband is wearing camouflage cargo shorts? I think you can get your marriage straight-up annulled.

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