Cargos: An Economic Solution

“Utterly Tasteless”

We’ve been told we — men as a gender — can no longer wear cargo shorts. It’s one of those high-concept movements that will polarize generations, but in practical terms, it faces some very harsh realities. Men only have 4 other choices in shorts:

  1. The skinny high cut stuff that was preppy when I was in junior high. A generation typically swears they won’t wear the clothes they wore in junior high. It’s a rule of civilization. This is why my mother doesn’t wear poodle skirts, my older cousins don’t have bell bottoms, and nobody, nobody wears leg warmers.
  2. Track shorts. And you thought cargos were hopeless. Please consider of the can of worms you open here. Sweat shorts are next on this slide into casual. Is that where you want to push civilization?
  3. The plaid stuff. I refuse to wear shorts of any design that look like they were cut from the curtains Motel 6 dumped when they were remodeling.
  4. Denim shorts. Most men won’t go there, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But if you want to go tit-for-tat with fashion faux pas, here it is: as a rule, there’s only a percentage of men wearing cargos. But there seems to be an equal cadre of the fairer sex that will spend almost every waking moment in yoga pants. Everywhere. Supermarkets, banks, restaurants, DMV, school meetings, classes, churches.

As a gender, however, men don’t actually want women to stop wearing yoga pants. If you want to look like you just fell off the spinning bike in a 4 star restaurant, we’re not saying much. We’re OK with this. We’re easy like that.

But fashion believes it is absolute. And I’m no an expert, but I can’t imagine ‘utilitarian clothing’ being bad in situation A isn’t also bad in situation B. But as I said, as a gender we want to be able to put a framework around something that the fashionistas have deemed evil.

So it should be like carbon offsets for controlling emissions. A variation on cap and trade but for fashion. You get credits for the evil things you do which can be traded for the evil things others do. For every woman who wears yoga pants literally everywhere, a man gets to keep his cargos. Detente.

There’s also degrees of cargos, maybe that should form the basis of the cargo/yoga trade rate:

There’s ordinary shorts with big pockets which might fit the cargo mold. Then there’s blue camo cargos with pockets on pockets that have the rope belt built-in because the designer knows the man won’t go find his own rope no matter how bad the crack problem gets.

But whatever the math, it’s a system we can live by. That way nobody has to sound like shrill sexist pigs for dictating what the opposite sex can wear. Or is that “everybody gets to?” Either way, a fairer option.