Dear Dads: It’s (Way Past) Time to Ditch the Cargo Shorts

Short-season is officially upon us. Do the shorts you’re currently wearing have pockets on the sides of them? If so, go inside and change right now. We mean it.

Yes, yes, we’ve heard it all before. Cargo shorts are comfortable and convenient. They’re also a crime.

The truth of the matter is that our polite society has been letting 30 and 40-something men get away with this for too long. Now is the summer we have to stand together and officially purge these 90s grunge relics from the world.

When Did Cargo Shorts Officially Die?

The time of death is not clear, but cargo shorts have been dead for some time. If you’re reading this with a surprised look on your face, you’re way behind the curve.

The cargo shorts first rose to power in the mid-90s as a companion to your flannel shirts and graphic t-shirts. Yes, it may be confusing because graphic tees and plaid shirts are as prominent as ever. But cargo shorts didn’t make the cut.

The first reports of their demise came in around the turn of the century. However, this was far from a sweeping change. Every summer for the last 20 years we’ve seen articles written that politely say, “No, seriously, please throw those out.”

At this point, hipsters don’t even wear them ironically.

“But They Still Sell Them”

Yes, cargo shorts are still being sold in malls across North America, which is helping nothing. In fact, you may find an entire rack of them in the chain American Eagle.

However, let’s all try to remember that young people do not actually shop at American Eagle and they are not, in fact, cool. AE’s target market is made up of parents who mistakenly think the store is cool, and whose kids are too lazy to return things on a gift receipt on time.

Any other cargo shorts you see in major stores are a loss-leader used to draw dads in to spend money on their kids while they’re there. They are the $1.99 DVD bin of the fashion world.

What Can I Do to Help a Loved One Who Wears Them?

The time for niceties is over. It’s time for action.

It’s time to tell the cargo short wearer that you will not let them leave the house looking like Adam Sandler.

Kids, if your dad is about to leave the house in cargo shorts, ask them if they’re on their way to Lollapalooza 1998. If they respond “No,” tell them to change their shorts into something an adult would wear.

It’s also on you to buy them more acceptable shorts. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas and there is snow on the ground, start filling their drawers with better alternatives as gifts immediately.

If you’re having trouble finding something that you think they will wear, try something out of 40-something golfer Tiger Woods’ collection. They have star-power from his generation and there are no side pockets in site. This could be the best place to meet halfway.

We’ve got the 21st Century’s Roaring 20s a few years away. Let’s all band together and try to eradicate cargo shorts by 2020. Who’s with me?

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