Who Wears Short Shorts? Paul Mescal!

I’m sure you’ve heard of Paul Mescal by now. Perhaps you watched him in the heartbreaking Normal People starring alongside his longtime friend (and speculated soulmate) Daisy Edgar-Jones. Or maybe you caught him in blockbuster films like Aftersun or All of Us Strangers. He’s the next big thing in the film industry.

Or maybe you’ve seen the paparazzi shots of Paul Mescal running in the tiniest pair of shorts known to man…Maybe you’ve heard about the TikTok rumors that claim Mescal meets women in bars and - after they spend the night - he takes them on a walk in Central Park, before genuinely running away from his hookup. Either way, Paul Mescal is at the forefront of our frontal lobes quite often these days.

But we’re not here to talk about his love life. We’re here to talk about his short-shorts. Yes, Mr. Mescal is often photographed in a 4-inch inseam, flashing the world a glimpse of thigh as he prances around from city to city.

Mescal’s personal style isn’t necessarily one I’d advise all men to emulate…however, he does get one thing right: he believes more men should be wearing shorter shorts.

The Trendscape Cycles Back

Humans are creatures of habit. Which is why we see trends recycled every 10 years or so. Think of the resurgence of Y2K fashion - low rise jeans, cargo pants, baby tees are suddenly our closet staples. The Cheetah Girls are (once again) considered style icons in their thick headbands and Juicy sweatsuits.

And if you think way back, like to the 60s, you may notice that men’s shorts were once shorter than women’s. It was socially acceptable for everyone to walk around in Daisy Dukes. Up until the 90s, men’s shorts were short.

It makes sense that the 60s were a time for outrageously scanty clothing as…when bands like The Beach Boys rose to stardom and surfing was all we sang about. Music has a huge impact on fashion.

60's mens shorts 60's mens shortsVintage Dancer

But then we arrived at a time where baggy clothes were super celebrated. Slowly, we watched the glory of the short-short fall into oblivion. Even girls were wearing bermuda shorts.

Yes, in the 90s everything changed in terms of men’s shorts. For close to 30 years now, we’ve been stuck with men sporting long inseams. Anything shorter is a crime.

But now, as retro style is coming back in full force…times are slowly shifting again. Women are donning bell-sleeved, A-line dresses. We’re wearing Jackie O-inspired tweed skirt sets. And men, men are wearing shorter shorts again.

Paul Mescal’s Short Shorts

Which brings us to resident It Boy, achievable fashion icon Paul Mescal in the year 2024. What I like about Paul’s style is that it’s something any man can pull off while strolling around the stores in the mall. It’s not over-the-top, it’s just right.

During this year’s Milan Fashion Week, Paul was Gucci’s right-hand man. He donned tiny, cotton-striped shorts reminiscent of boxers that are ever-so-popular among men and women this summer.

He’s an outspoken advocate for O’Neills shorts. In interviews, frequently asked questions revolve around his short-short collection. In fact, he’s at times implored it to stop…but it’s too late. He’s the face of the 5-inch inseam whether he likes it or not.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Mescal gushes about the shorts,

"’I don’t know how I would go about my summer if I didn’t have these. I don’t do well in the heat.’ He holds up a black pair with three white stripes down each side. They’re O’Neills, an Irish brand of Gaelic football shorts, he tells me.”

They’re surprisingly affordable, starting at $17 for a pair…but you can see Mescal donning these running shorts at any given moment. Whether he’s running through Central Park or from one of his exes...It’s O’Neills.

Dress Like Paul Mescal

So, if you want to stay comfy and cool this summer, take a page out of Paul’s stylebook. Short-shorts are back and better than ever - especially when paired with a long shirt.

Whether you want to dress the shorts up or down, there’s never a bad time to shorten those inseams.

Here are my top picks for best mens short shorts:

O’Neills GAA Men’s Sydney Shorts

Gymshark Apex Run 4 in Shorts

Chubbies The Flints Short

J.Crew 5 in Flex Chino Shorts

Hollister Twill Pull On 5 in Shorts

More from Trueself