So my love of vintage style short shorts is no secret from anyone who knows me or knows of me. Laugh if you must but it is what I love for reasons I don’t even quite fully understand. Maybe it does have to do with being an autist – in my experience with fellow autists we seem to go more for comfort than what’s trendy and we tend to be bothered by a lot of various types of clothing, but I’d be lying if there wasn’t a certain element of vanity in my choice of lower half wear.
Nonetheless, in 2017 it can be hard to source short shorts for us dudes (I really was born too late I think). Blokes down under have Stubbies in plentiful supply as well as various styles of rugby shorts, and I do have some of those in my closet but they are hard to source here. Running shorts are of course in plentiful supply but for everyday wear they aren’t very practical with their lack of pockets of any kind.
Alas, that’s when I took a play out of the book of The Dukes of Hazzard. Old used up jeans will always be in plentiful supply and can be had cheaply from any thrift shop. And they are perfect for modifying into shorts. After a few trials and experiments I’ve practically perfected the art of cutting a pair of “Davy” Dukes – a term I coined as a male equivalent of the ever famous Daisy Dukes. I will say there are some nuances that make it different and somewhat more difficult to cut than the Daisy variety but it can be done, and I am here to tell you how to do that.
First things first, you need to start with the right type of jeans. Avoid loose fit or baggy jeans. Not only are they extremely loose in the leg but also the crotch. Men’s pants naturally have more room in the crotch to compensate for the male anatomy but even so there are different levels of this. I’d also advise staying away from skinny jeans as they could have the extreme opposite problem. Regular fit jeans would be preferred but I’ve successfully altered relaxed fit as well, albeit with a little more compensation that we will talk about later. Of course inseam length matters not since it’ll be hacked off anyway.
So with the right pair of jeans in hand, now we need to gauge length. Ideally you have a pair of running shorts or something you like the length of to gauge. Put the jeans on and then put those on over them and place a sticker or a mark of some kind to tell you where to cut. Otherwise you can measure the waist to the bottom of the outer leg, assuming you want them to sit on the same height on your waist. If all else fails you can go blindly but start conservative and trim as needed to get to where you want. In my opinion, they should be as short as possible while still covering your ass but you could maybe tease with a little cheek if you want.
Now here’s the tricky part. Remember where I said men’s pants have a roomier crotch? You have to compensate for this. If you just cut straight across you’ll cut the crotch off entirely. As such, as you near the crotch you’ll want to follow the contour of it. When you are finished, lying flat your Davy Dukes will look almost like boyshort style underwear. The degree of taper required will vary based on the fit and make of jeans but will always be there. See these two examples:
But when you put them on your anatomy will fill them out and you’ll have a small, but definite inner inseam:
Once you’re done here then you can do any extra slight trimming needed to even up the legs or remove some longer sections. It just depends on how anal you are about that kind of thing.
The last decision you have to make is how to deal with the front pockets. I personally leave them as is as to me they add character and retain their functionality but you can if you wish cut them flush with the leg and sew them so they don’t stick out. It’s a matter of what you wish to do.
That’s all there really is to it. As you wear and wash them for the first time they’ll develop a fringe. Once you get that, you might consider putting in a horizontal stitch to hold the fabric together. I’m no good at that kind of thing so I avoid excess unraveling by hand washing and air drying my Davy Dukes. Doing this will cause less unraveling and prolong their life.
That’s really all there is to it! Pair them with your favorite T-shirt or sleeveless shirt, or wear them alone without a shirt on the beach or at a pool as a cover for your Speedo (I don’t care what anyone says, nothing beats a Speedo for maximum comfort and mobility while swimming). Above all, enjoy the breeze on your thighs that can only be found with short shorts and stay cool. Long shorts serve no purpose. So why wear them?
A couple of examples (sorry for the poor image quality; I had to do a video recording with my webcam to catch these poses – and yes, this is my first time posing shirtless in decades; I’m still a touch pudgy but that’s OK):
Oh, and if anyone tries to judge you for what you’re wearing, this is what you do:
Embrace something different and don’t be afraid to tell society where to stick it. Make yourself a pair of Davy Dukes; you might just enjoy it (and no, you don’t have to be Autistic to rock the look; I promise!).
So what did you think of this guide? Are you a Davy Dukes loving man or are you dating or married to one? Let me know what you think.