Do you have a pair of red shorts lying around at the back of your wardrobe? Stuck on what to wear with them? Well, here at The Idle Man we've come up with a few tips and suggestions on what to wear with red shorts.Read more Men's Style Guide features and check out our Store.
With temperatures on the rise and an increasing number of outdoor sports screenings, beer festivals and gigs filling up your social calendar, it's time to bring out that classic summer staple - the shorts. But since when did shorts become the ultimate summer piece? It wasn't until after World War II that shorts started to emerge. Even then, they were still considered to be a boyish garment. Shorts became popular with (as you might expect) particular sports or recreational activities. They were often associated with tennis players, but only during the game. For any socialising afterwards, the players had to be properly dressed. Despite Hollywood icons and other famous men wearing shorts during the 1950's, it took a while for the idea to catch on with the public. Today, there is still a debate about the place of shorts in the world of fashion, but there's no doubt that they are the go-to garments for the summer season.
So know comes the important question, what goes with men's red shorts and how can you make the combinations work? Well, we may just have the answer.
What Colours Go With Red?
Before we dive into the types of clothes to wear and how to wear them, should look at the sort of colours that match red. Now, red is not the most versatile colour in the spectrum, and we tend to keep items such as trousers and shorts firmly in the neutral category. Neutrals are generally the safe option because they match every colour. But it is summer and you want to be more daring, so what goes with red? Red is striking, bold colour and surprisingly, it does match a lot of colours if you know the rules. White, delicate neutrals such as beige and pale blue work really well with red however, other pale or pastel colours such as pale pink or pale purple look washed out and don't work very well. Darker colours such as charcoal and black complement red too. It's a good idea avoid red and green. Red and green may look nice on the Christmas tree or as traffic lights but it won't do your style reputation any good!
How To Wear Red
Being one of the three main primary colours, red easily stands out, so when you think about what colour goes with your red shorts, first think about how 'red' they are. Like all colours, there are various shades, tones and tints of red, so knowing what works and what doesn't is the key to pulling off red shorts for men.
If your shorts are in its pure hue or what's commonly known as 'Chicago Bulls' red, then it's best to stick to white or a light blue. The shorts are bright enough without adding another bold colour unless you want everyone's eyes to bleed! White and light blue will soften the look of red shorts. If your shorts are a darker shade of red, for example wine or burgundy,then you do have more choice. You can always stick to white or light blue tops, but you can also wear black or dark grey to give you a more refined look. Avoid bold colours obviously. Anything orange, yellow or pink just won't work. Also avoid any sombre shapes or purple and khaki. The overall effect makes the outfit look dull and you will lose yourself in the crowd.
If the shorts are a more washed-out shade or dusty type of red, then you just might get a bold colour to work if you really want to embrace the summer theme. A bright blue top can work here, providing there are no bold prints or complex designs on it.
Types Of Shorts
It's also a good idea to consider the type of shorts as well as their shade or tone or red. There are in fact at least five different types of shorts:
When it comes to how to wear red shorts however, we should happily dismiss patterned shorts otherwise it will be difficult to find anything that matches. Even though shorts are casual wear, you need to make sure they're suitable for the event or activity you're planning to attend. For example, formal shorts won't do for the beach and denim wouldn't be appropriate at a more formal occasion such as a garden party.
What To Wear With Red Shorts?
As we've previously mentioned, red is not the most versatile colour so you have to be careful with your choices. If you get the colour right, you can wear anything from a buttoned up Oxford shirt to a loose t-shirt. Polo shirts work well with shorts too, especially those in darker colours. So let's have a look at some outfit ideas.
Men's Red Short Outfits
So, what matches red shorts? If you're out and about for a leisurely walk in the park or on the beach, then it's best to stick to a pair of chino shorts and team them up with a short sleeve shirt or a polo shirt. A white Oxford shirt would work really well too if you want a more formal look when you're strolling around in a nice park. Tuck it in or leave it out and open the top buttons for a cool look. A light coloured shirt will also complete the look if you are after something more formal.
Remember, if the shorts are a 'Chicago Bulls' red then stick to white or pale blue during the day. They'll balance the brightness of the red and help keep you cool in the sun. On a cooler day, a black or dark grey polo shirt will work really well making this the ideal men's summer fashion. Those of you who prefer a darker, or more sophisticated shade of red, have the benefit of more choice when it comes to choosing colours. If you're going to a posh bar one evening, try pairing your burgundy (or similar shade) shorts with a navy short sleeve shirt, or a dark grey or charcoal thin jumper for the cooler evenings. Complete the outfit with a pair of good quality driver shoes, preferably in black, for a more dressier look. If you're lucky enough to be allowed to wear shorts at work or at special social event like a formal garden party, then you'll to need to look sharp.
A dark or dusty shade of red will work best in terms of shorts so team them up with a blue Oxford shirt and a grey cardigan. If it's too hot to wear just let it rest on your shoulders and let your sunglasses hang on the top button. A pair of brown loafers will complete the look. Red dress shorts will also go really well with a shirt and blazer. So for those cooler evenings you can always wear a white buttoned up Oxford shirt and pair it with a grey blazer. Leather drivers will give you a more sophisticated look. Particularly black ones.
What Shoes Match Red Shorts?
So we've looked at red shorts and the kinds of tops that match them. But what about shoes? We briefly touched upon shoes just now, but let's have a look at them in more detail. Again, it all depends on the type of shorts.
Most shoes will match the ever versatile chino shorts. Boat shoes work especially well and are great almost any summer-weather scenario. Brown or black will suit but you could experiment with navy blue or a forest green colour. If you want a smarter or more formal look, then you can't go wrong with a pair of drivers or loafers. For the beach or by the pool, espadrilles, sandals or flip flops will suit your chino shorts really well.
What if your shorts are denim? Denim has an urban, street style vibe to them so footwear that's a little bit sporty will work really well. Plimsolls and canvas trainers (especially Vans) are the easiest options here. Go for a clean white trainer as this will keep the red shorts looking smart casual.
For those smart casual events like a garden party or perhaps a wedding reception, your chino red shorts should be teamed up with a pair of formal (ish) shoes. Classic leather sandals in navy, brown or tan are just the ticket here. If you prefer something a slightly bit less summary, a pair of chic loafers or boat shoes will be perfect. These will give your outfit a sharp, refined, smart casual look.
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