Floral shorts, £180, by Neighborhood, mrporter.com; belt, from a selection, by Ally Capellino, allycapellino.com / Luke Kirwan


Who wears short shorts? It's not a song lyric but a genuine question.

Photographs by Luke Kirwan

Styling by Lee Holmes

Model Chris at Models 1

Although hemlines have been inching up blokey thighs for a few seasons now – not only on the catwalk, but on the high street (actually on real-life legs too, and not just Rootstein's fibreglass finest) – most of us are more comfortable with something hovering around the knee.

That's about the only conservative thing about them though, because the relative brevity and uniformity of shorts invites a multitude of interpretations.

Maybe it's the fact the fabric is scarce, and hence the effect not quite as full-throttle as a full-length leg, but shorts allow a gentleman to express his wilder instinct, splattering the leg with prints, peppy colour of just a fascinating fabric.

Christopher Kane scrolled his with a webwork of digital print this season, while other opted for more traditional Hawaiian florals, influenced by Miuccia Prada’s sinister vacation-inspired show.

Raf Simons coloured his in block hues of bottle-green or blue – shorts being virtually ubiquitous in his spring/summer 2014 show dedicated to the Belgian gabba scene of his youth.

Youth is what shorts often indicate. That scares plenty of men off them, branding them as a choice only suitable for those pre-GCSE. Not so. Especially as temperatures are hitting the thirties even in London, shorts are a sure-fire way to stay cool and look cool.

Click on the gallery above to see a few of the season's finest.