The North Face's Belted Shorts Are an Instant Summer Classic

If you're still wavering on whether to commit to a pair, now's the time to take the leap.
IMAGE Allie Holloway

There's a streak of functional fetishism (no judgment!) running through menswear right now, and coupled with a renewed nostalgia for retro style (the '90s, in particular, remain an era ripe for reinterpretation), tactical-leaning shorts like The North Face's Class V belted trunks have never looked better. Which means if you're still wavering on whether to commit to a pair this summer—or were simply unsure of where to look—now's the time to take the leap.

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Photo by Allie Holloway.

Shorts are having a serious moment.

For many, many years, shorts were a favorite enemy of the fashionable. Reduced to a punchline by well-dressed dudes the world over, shorts seemed destined to remain a mere footnote in the annals of menswear history, a perennial style non grata whose very mention left classic menswear heads sputtering with ill-concealed contempt. (Almost a decade ago, no less of a style authority than Tom Ford famously weighed in on the matter, stipulating that shorts should never be worn in the city but are still acceptable as beach-adjacent attire.)


And then something strange happened: Guys—fashionable guys!—started wearing shorts in public with impunity, out and about on the streets of their respective cities in all their calve-baring glory. And it was glorious. There's something incomparably freeing about making something so long-derided look so damn good—it's a feeling that's informed many of menswear's more intentionally ironic moments recently, and it serves as a sign that the times, well, they are-a-changing.

Photo by Allie Holloway.

The North Face knows what it's doing.

For over 50 years, The North Face has outfitted adventurers of all kinds with sturdy, well-made gear ready to handle whatever curveballs the elements throw at it. The brand's bona fides are unimpeachable. The chances that you'll ever need to capitalize on any of that hard-earned industry credibility? Very slim. But menswear has always had a thing for small details that gently allude to some general sense of functional purpose, and if you're pressed for a reason to explain why your outfit has so many pockets, falling back on functionality is always a safe default response. In other words, these are shorts you can conceivably wear every single day this summer, regardless of what you're doing, without worrying that you'll unexpectedly split a seam or rip through the liner in the process.

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Photo by Allie Holloway.

You can buy 'em in an assortment of colors and lengths.

The single most important distinguishing factor between the shorts you should look forward to wearing this summer and their earlier-era counterparts? The fit. The North Face is no fool. It sees the hesitation written plainly all over your face when confronted with the reality of menswear's evolving position on shorts, and it wants you to relax. It's got your back. Because the brand famous for kitting out some of the world's bravest expeditioners doesn't fuck around. Offering the style in a variety of different colors isn't enough. Instead, the brand committed to making the style available in three (count 'em, three!) inseam lengths, so you can choose the right fit completely stress-free. Sure, it might not be the silver lining we've all been looking for, but right now I'll take any lining I can get. Even if it's made out of mesh.


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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About The Author
Avidan Grossman
Avidan Grossman is the Style eCommerce Editor at Esquire, covering men’s fashion, shoes, grooming, and accessories. He spends way too much time deciding what to wear. Needless to say, his parents still have no idea what he does.
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