Is It Fine to Wear High Tops with Shorts – Men & Women

Is It Okay for Men and Women to Wear Shorts with High Tops?

Short Cargo Pants and High Top Sneakers

Short Cargo Pants and High Top Sneakers

Fashion is about art, style, aesthetics and functionality. Why would you want to wear high top sneakers with shorts? This fashion style was adopted from the NBA basketball sporting attire in the USA. It’s best suited for young men because of its cool casual look which gives you a sporty appearance.

How To Look Cool in High Tops and Shorts

First, we need to know what high-top sneakers are. They are sneakers with a higher than normal cuff or topline. Classic basketball sneakers such as the Nike Air Jordan 1 High FlyEase and Retro High OG are the best example.

Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG

Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG

In order to look good and cool in this attire, you have to think of the context in which you are putting on this outfit. This involves many factors pertaining to your body size, height and shape. Fashion is not about copying someone and slinging the outfit on without thought to physical configurations. The same outfit may look cool on one person but not the other, so you have take into account your physical structure and dimensions if you want to look good.

With the exception of sneakers, basketball attire is loose and baggy. The players are wearing baggy knee-length shorts which allow air circulation and cooling in this intense sport, as well as a loose-fitting sleeveless top, all made from breathable fabric to minimize sweating and cool your body.

The rule in wearing baggy loose-fitting shorts for casual attire is that they shouldn’t be too baggy as this can make you look ridiculous, neither should they be tight fitting nor too high above the knees, as this doesn’t match well with high top sneakers in terms of aesthetics and dimensions. The same applies to baggy tops and t-shirts for casual attire. A tight top doesn’t go well with baggy shorts.

What Type of Baggy Shorts Are Good for High Top Sneakers?

Long shorts such as plaid shorts, Bermudas, cargo shorts and Hip Hop shorts are good for wearing with high-top sneakers. This is true, especially for men. Women have many options, they can wear tight-fitting long shorts to accentuate their sexy figure or curves. While it’s okay for women to wear Bermudas with high tops, this combination is ideal if you love the Tomboy look. It’s also well-suited for manual jobs and recreational purposes such as hiking, travelling, field work, nature walks, amusement parks, camping, gardening, moving house, packing, cleaning and other outdoor adventures. If you are thinking of casual attire for shopping malls and streetwear, skirt-like shorts with high top sneakers will give you a sexy sporty appearance.

Young Woman in High Top Canvas Sneakers and Pleat Skirt

Young Woman in High Top Canvas Sneakers and Pleat Skirt

As you may have realized by now, it takes a professional fashion stylist to choose the right sizes for your body. He or she will determine the size of your loose-fitting shorts and top by using a variety of methods, some of which are listed below:

The height of your shorts is easy to determine, but how do we find the right girth? If you have ever watched a basketball game, there are players of all sizes. What you may notice is that players will be wearing shorts of the same girth. Someone with slim thighs and legs will have baggy shorts that look extremely oversized, while a person of bigger build will have tighter shorts that are not sufficiently baggy for big thighs.

You then have other players of medium size who look good with well-proportioned outfits. Taller players might be wearing shorter than normal outfits which are way above the knees, and short players might be having fashion blues with longer than normal outfits which are way below the knees.

Improperly fitting outfits can be avoided by consulting a fashion stylist who will pick or make a custom-sized outfit for you.

How To Determine the Right Girth for Short Trousers in Inches.

In order to get the right size for your trouser shorts, you have to measure the circumference of the upper thigh and knee, as well as the circumference of the waist and seat. These four measurements should be helpful in determining your size. The physical structure of the body varies from person to person. As an example, two or more people of the same height might exhibit a wide variation in waist, seat and thigh size.

Tools:  You will need the following:

  • Tailor tape measure
  • 15 or 30cm ruler or alternatively a stiff tape measure made of metal
  • A full body life-size mannequin. Alternatively you can find a human assistant who will act as a model to determine the right size for your shorts.
  • Notebook

A mannequin is a life-size statue of a human body used to display clothing in shops. It is usually made of fibreglass, silicone or sturdy composite plastics such as polystyrene. It’s very important for a mannequin to match the real dimensions of human limbs and torso. This allows the fashion stylist to see how clothing will fit on a real human being. As an example, if you are looking for the right girth of your plaid shorts or Bermuda, you should try different sizes on the mannequin and see which is the right fit. It must be emphasized, you will need an eye for fashion to make correct judgements, otherwise you will need a qualified fashion stylist.

Once you have determined the right size on the mannequin, you should measure the gap (surface to surface horizontal dimension) between the knee and fabric. Pull the hem one side of the knee to a tight maximum stretch, then measure the horizontal gap using a ruler or stiff tape measure. Write down the measurements in a notebook.

Measure the size of the mannequin waist, seat, upper thigh and knee as well, and write them down in your notebook. The mannequin measurements provide a standard or control on which outfits can be scaled based on the body size of the person. Let’s say the stretched horizontal gap between the hem and knee is 70mm, and the circumference of the knee and upper thigh on the mannequin are 37cm (370mm) and 58cm (580mm) respectively. We now know that these dimensions correspond to this specific outfit (plaid shorts or Bermuda) which is of a particular size X.

The next step is determining the gap (allowance for circulation and space) between the upper thigh and fabric of horizontally stretched shorts. This can easily be measured with a ruler. Write down the measurements in your notebook. Let’s say this is 3cm (30mm).

This method allows us to obtain constants , fabric gap allowances for upper thighs as well as knees. These are 30mm and 70mm respectively. In science, a constant is a number that does not change regardless of changes in the environment. That means we can use these constants to design appropriate shorts for people of various sizes. The aim is to achieve outfit proportions and uniformity among people of different body sizes. Thus, a slim guy will have the right size that offers the same comfort and function, rather than shorts which are ridiculously too baggy. A big guy will have right size that is not tight. Adjustments for height are easier than trouser girth, not a big problem.

Man in Jean Cargo Shorts and High Top Sneakers

Man in Jean Cargo Shorts and High Top Sneakers

Long Shorts for Men and Women

The following types of long shorts look good with high tops:

Cargo Pants – These are military style pants available in long and short form. Long pants are also available in detachable form whereby the legs can attached or detached from the knees with a zipper that connects the two parts. These pants are available in all types of civilian colours and not necessarily the camouflage or fatigues. The distinctive features about cargo shorts is the extra utility pockets on the lower thighs including the normal side and back pockets. With these pants, you don’t need to carry a wallet as they are designed to carry most of your personal items such as cash, cards, keys, lighter and smartphone.

Sweat Shorts – These are made of loose, baggy and soft material. Just like tracksuit shorts, they have that casual sporty feeling if you are going out for a jog, lounging at home or taking out the trash can. They are good for a lazy day at home, vacationing, outdoor sports and you can even go shopping in them on weekends. Sweatpants are tightened at the waist by an elastic band and strings.

Bermuda Shorts – These long shorts have their origin from the British island of Bermuda. They were also worn by the police in British colonies as formal wear. British businessmen in vacation spots were also seen in Bermudas, so they evolved into a typical casual attire for wealthy men. Bermudas look simple if you imagine long formal trousers which have been cut to knee length and finished with hems or upturned edges.

Skorts – These female shorts look like short skirts. It’s a sexy and sporty design that goes well with high top sneakers. Perfect for young women and girls.

Short Palazzo Pants – These loose and flowy pants are almost indistinguishable from a short dress. They are aesthetically placed to match with high-tops for that attractive look. Other types of short female pants will also work with high sneakers if they look like skirt hybrids, for example Bohemian pants, high-slit overlay pants and skirt pants.

How Long Should Shorts Be?

To combine well with high-top Vans, Nikes and other brands, your shorts should be knee-length or longer to mid leg position for men. This is ideal for cargo pants and jeans, if you like the Hip Hop look.

Young Woman in Short Skirt and Sneakers (2)

Young Woman in Short Skirt and Sneakers (2)