Sounding increasingly like Hardy Amies way back when, Tom Ford declared this spring that a gentleman should never, ever, wear shorts.
Other than on the beach or the tennis court, this arbiter of style argues, they are simply "never acceptable". While he might have a point where the type of battered old men's cropped cargo pants in sludgy colours that proliferate are concerned, at least for any man over the age of, eight, say, designer shorts are a different matter entirely, as Comme des Garcons' Rei Kawakubo knows only too well. For the past 20 years or more, this label has offered up dropped-crotch shorts every summer, pleasing her loyal customer in so doing. And CdG is not alone. What's more, Mr Ford said nothing of women in shorts.
Phew. That's alright then, I told myself, as I pulled on a pair of my own last week. I should point out that, not being a hot-pants, pink opaque tights and sequinned top kind of a person, they're black, oversized, fall to mid-calf and have a low-slung, self-tie waist.
"You look like a man," says my other half, who often says that – is he calling me butch? "Your mother's turned into a home-girl."
Much hilarity between father and son ensues.
"Where's your surfboard, cobber?"
My shorts are Rick Owens, they're pure silk, I tell them, and are therefore unlikely ever to make the waves.
"I think I look like a fireman," I say – it's something to do with the volume. Firemen are sexy, obviously. More importantly, if I invest in a pair of high-top sneakers and a ribbed jersey vest, I might actually be Rick Owens and there's nothing wrong with that.
"Firemen don't wear shorts; you look more like a postman," comes the retort, before, in a torrent of mixed and somewhat confusing messages, a baseball cap is unceremoniously jammed onto my head, sideways, because "people never wear them back to front any more", apparently.
Henceforward, my shorts will be known as gangsta trousers, then. And I'm MC Frankel and don't even care.
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