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April 10, 2017

It's time for cargo shorts haters to back off

Folks who rail against those who choose to wear cargo shorts are the worst people on Earth.

This definitive statement – which I’m pretty sure appears in the Bible itself – applies to Business Insider snowflakes labeling the convenient garment “a scourge.”

It applies to pinkie-off-the-teacup “fashion gurus” who call them the least fashionable item of clothing they own.

It applies to trend-statisticians maintaining that “relationships around the country are being tested by cargo shorts.”

It applies to you if you’re a snooty cargo shorts hater, as well.

With the temperature creeping up in the 70s and 80s this week, this evergreen fashion debate's revival is inevitable. When it does, don’t be the fool who lands on the wrong side of history by passing staunch judgment against the garment.

Embrace positivity and understand why people like myself proudly sport them when the weather gets warm.

Listen, I’m no fashion icon. In fact, I’ve been accused of dressing sloppily from time to time. (It’s true, it’s true, I actually have.)

But I know convenience and utility when I see and feel it. Cargo shorts are all that – and more! – as evidenced by this “acceptable to wear” photo gallery in GQ. It holds true even if that publication hedged its bets with a cheap shot just last month.

Sure, I hate on many things in this world: Cruelty. Pestilence. The ignorant sect of Philly’s Mummers otherwise-somewhat-respectable community. Diner en Blanc. Pickles.

Still, I don’t get from where this particular brand of hate comes (other than last year’s version being stoked by widespread attention being paid to a 328-page, 2007 Drexel University doctoral thesis entitled, “These Aren’t The Same Pants Your Grandfather Wore: The Evolution of Branding Cargo Pants in 21st Century Mass Fashion.”)

We all need to belong to something in this world, but when group-speak becomes fashion bullying, the line must be drawn.

For one thing, fashion is as subjective as art. What looks good to you might not look good to others and vice versa.

For another thing, the anti-cargo shorts contingent seems to thrive off unity in the face of a perceived foe. They find comfort in that preachy hive mind. 

We all need to belong to something in this world, but when group-speak becomes fashion bullying, the line must be drawn.

Well, here’s why I like all of the cargo shorts I own: When I leave the house, I carry a wallet, car/house keys, an iPhone 7 Plus, a reporter’s notebook and a couple pens (yes, even off hours). They are all things that I need to have in my possession.

These extra pockets also afford me places to carry things that my bride can’t carry when she doesn’t want to bring her purse to, say, dinner.

I also have a steadfast, vehement opposition to carrying a man  purse a la Alan in “The Hangover” (NSFW video).

The things I carry are too unwieldy to fit in the slimmer, fewer-pocketed shorts that the Fashion Mafia maintains I should wear.

My shorts are not intended to make a fashion statement. They are designed to help me get through the day with the items I need. This is what cargo shorts shamers fail to concede in lieu of giggling about the clothing needs of others. This is why pushback is necessary.

On the verge of another spring and summer where this ugly debate could rear its ugly head, it’s time for the other side to accept utility as reason enough to back right off because real men DO wear cargo shorts.

If they need another target, move along to the jorted among us, for jorts are the worst garment known to humankind. 

On this, I think we can all agree.