How Long Should Guys' Shorts Be?

08/03/2006 at 04:34 PM ET

Believe it or not, men worry about hemlines, too. And when it comes to how short shorts should be, there is a growing debate. After seasons of long, droopy shorts ruling the lower bodies of men, they have been creeping up on some of summer’s hottest bodies. Matthew McConaughey (left) has become the ubiquitous boy of summer, spending all of his time outdoors in shorts and not much else. If you can pry your eyes off his torso, you’ll see that he is sporting the most popular short length for the summer: just at the knee. For those who feel even buffer? They may follow Hugh Jackman’s (middle) lead and head for a few inches above the knee. Or for the superfit, like David Beckham (right), the teeny, tiniest briefs will do nicely.

Tell us: What length do you like men’s shorts?

To see more Guy Style click here

For more summer fun, check out our 9 Star Ways to Beat the Heat Gallery

Photo: DR/X17, carlos costas/austra/zuma, louie d/ldpimages

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Showing 93 comments

Gretchen on

No man, no matter how hot or well-endowed, should wear a speedo. Most guys look best in a longer board short!

SouthChick on

I prefer at the knee like Matthew wears. Hot! Especially with great abs!

Melissa on

Can you say “Speed-no?”

Jennifer on

Like Matthew McConnaughey. Right on or above the knee’s.

Jen on

I have to say, they all look HOT!!! If you got it, wear it! Go Beck……Matthew, yummy…….Hugh, yeah baby! They’re all great to look at!

Andrea on

The more I can see of Beckham the BETTER!!

Kathy on

Teenie speedo’s are like tighty whiteys…not so hot! He makes enough money, you think he could afford a real bathing suit! Go Mathew! and Hugh! Now that is hot!

T.C. Robson on

Really depends on the guy, but on most men, I prefer what Hugh or Matthew has. Leaves more to the imagination.

Kristen on

Yes, Yes, Yes to Becks speedo!

alexa on

Most european men prefer to wear speedo type shorts. I personally do not understand this. I personally prefer longer shorts both to the knee and above the knee. However, I live in Germany so I guess I will have to accept the horrible speedo look and hope some fashion guru gets thorugh to european men’s brains and makes them realize that speedos are a major fashion no-no. Hoping for the best and not giving up hope,


anon on

looking at a guy in speedos gives me a new found respect for men who are able to avoid staring at women’s breasts. it took me 2 minutes to focus on beckham’s face. too distracting. go for the long shorts.

minerzz on

I like Matthew McConnaughey’s kind especially since he’s lookin SO HOT ! i say he should swim with nothin on and still he’ll look gorgeous ! haha

Dawn on

Anything McConnaughey wears is fine by me. He is soooo fine! But I also live in Germany and so I’m used to the speedo look. I definitely prefer at the knee or a little above.

nah on

i think that all guys should wear a long board short in a nice bright solid color or a hawaiian print is always good NEVER A SPEEDO they look awful

Sarah on

Speedos are usually a no-no… but Becks pulls them off!

anuta on

when a guy wears speedos i cant helt myself but look at the bulg when i’m talking to them. so i prefer guys to wear shorts. leave the sexy stuff for the bedroom!
David Beckham looks HOt in them though!

John Holzman on

As far as i’m concerned us white people don’t have a chance with the color of race, and we’re not prejudice but you african americans sure are, we need to be a 50/50 lifestyle in my book.

John and Karen

Johnny Boughton on

Just look at these strapping “Aquamen”! Amen,and a healthy Judeo-Christian nod in their general direction! Living proof that the cult of Speedo truly does call the shots in “Hairywood”. Are these men smuggling endanged sea-snakes in thier trowsers? Someone quick, call the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Ger-animals! Have they cleared that “Cargo” with customs? Shall we x-ray thier “Goods” Someone alert Homeland-Insecurity!

Alicia on

It doesn’t matter how “hot” he is…I will never be able to stifle my laughter when I see a man in Speedos. Maybe that’s juvenile…I don’t know, but it’s true. Speedos are just ridiculous on any man.

Stephie on

Personally, I like the to the knee length. I only hope that all the old, pot-bellied, combed-over, out-of-shape men learn that Speedos are not for them. Beckham pulls that off SOOOO well!!!

rebecca on

Nobody should EVER have to wear a speedo, except for david beckham cuz he can work it(soooooo hot). but the nicest bathing suits for men would be mathews cuz they look hot on any 1, especially him.

Natalie on

Matthew’s are a perfect length

miranda on

i am in love with becks. he can wear speedos any time!!!

Delia on

I would love to see McConaughey on speed-do!! He looks good!!!!!!

Shell S on

Leave just a little to the imagination guys! Matthew has it right for sure. Would much rather look at the nice abs leave the bikini bottoms to the ladies.

lynn on


joanna on

As long as the guy has the body and especially the legs, I prefer the Hugh Jackman look best. Speedos best for the bedroom.

Lindsay on

I also live in Germany and am used to the Speedo look. However I like it! Am I the only one who thinks McConnaughey looks hot, but needs to shave?

missi on

Go Matthew, GO,GO,GO,GO,GO……….
as always pleasing to the eyes!
oh thats right,the shorts, I prefer at the knee!

Jennifer on

I like shorts the length of Matt’s, right at the knee.

Joanne on

Speedos are grosso

Kris on

Although ordinary guys look best in shorts at the knee, Hugh Jackman is ravishing in his shorts! All the girls at my office were drooling over this photo.

Lizza on

Knee length all the way. Becks looks hot in a Speedo, but I’m scarred for life after seeing a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger in one.

Izabela on

C’mon..if you go to brazil we gonna see how hot the guys down there look wearing a speedo!!!!!is 100% sexier and better than those long shorts…you need to have the body ,and in this case they all have…speedo.yesssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!and if you are from north america and think they are bad,try one,you gonna like it…bye bye

Mish on

Anon — Beckham has a face? Different shorts for different dudes. They ALL look HOT!

Lillith on

Hugh’s got the right length of bathing suit – not too long not too short. Flattering to most all body types. Save the speedos for swim meets.

ella on

i like all three looks they all pull it off they are all hot the shorter the better

Amy on

i like the first one- Matthew. it’s a good length. DEFINITELY NOT the briefs. i find them disgusting.

Lisa on

Beckham looks like he’s wearing a diaper. I prefer men’s shorts right at the knee or just above.

Rebecca on

I think all three men look wonderful; however, I think 99% of men look best in the longer versions. As a former swimmer, Speedos look awesome on a trim, fit, buff man! :)

Kim on

Matthew is HOT!!! WOW! Oh the trunks forgot what was I doing for a moment, his are the perfect length!

Tal on

Hot! Hot! And not. The longer the better.

Ronnie on

Speedos should be outlawed. I will sign the petition.

Tina on

Wow! David is looking good! I never really liked that look but WOW! I would have to say that I now support the teeny, tiny briefs

laura on

the only thing that would make david’s picture look better is if he was naked. i prefer the shorts matthew is wearing but damn! david beckham can wear whatever the hell he wants to. he’s sexy no matter what.

Steph on

Long trunks like Matthew’s make him look like a teenager straight out of an Abercrombie catalog. As soon as guys get in their 20s and 30s they need to grow up and get men’s swimwear (like Hugh). The knee-length trunks look too juvenile and silly on a man Matthew’s age. They should shoot for mid-thigh.

Paola on

I love Matthew’s shorts… Hate speedos

Kiks on

If you look like David, BE MY GUEST!! Anyone that looks that HOT deserves to wear anything he wants or nothing at all. But most guys dont look like David, I would stick with the Longboard shorts like Matthew. They’ll look good on anyone.

Melis on

I would rather see Matthew or Hugh in the speedo. They both have a better physique then Beckham.

Deb on

Speedo’s should be outlawed!! The worst is when your at the beach and see an old fat guy in speedo’s-EEWWWW-always go with the board shorts.

Sonia on

I think all 3 men look HOT!!!!! CALIENTE BABY!!!!
But I do have to say..Matthew baby, please SHAVE… YOU look growse with all that hair on your face! Mr. Jackman you’re looking very YUMMY these days! As for David Beckham the teeny,tiniest briefs are very nice for now!

Tania on

I’m against boys briefs… don’t like to see this guys with huge bellys in briefs (yuck!!!)… but… MY GOD!!! Beckham can wear them any given day!!! ONLY if you have the awsome body Beckham has a man can wear them.
On the other hand we have Matthew and Hugh… BOY!!! They look sooooo damm HOT!!!! I rather have men wear Hugh’s type of shorts… but both look stunning!

donya on

usally i prefer men in in shorts but beck loos H-O-T-T HOT!
but,only beckham can pull of da speedo look!!!!!!
i think matthew is kinda hairy now with his beard and all but if he shaved or something he’ll be looking FINE

Mirna on

Hugh and Matt got it right

sarah on

speedos are nasty, why does any guy, no matter how good their body, think we want to see their package. Please leave a little to be imagined, shorts should be no shorter than half way between the knee and the butt. And on a side note cut off blue jeans are never ok!

Jen on

I think all guys should wear board shorts. David Beckham’s is way too short, but Matthew McConaughey’s and Hugh Jackman’s are just the right length.

Alexia on

No man should ever swim in clown pants! Speedos are for swimming. Shame on you children for wearing skimpy suits then saying men shouldn’t.

Andrea on

Wow! White shorts are fab on a bronzed toned bod. Where can I get a pair for my boyfriend? (who luckily for me has a good bod too!)

Yo on

Guys shorts should be somewhere between at the knee and…at the knee. LOSE THE SPEEDOS!

Chad on

There was a time, about 20 years ago or so, that men’s swimshorts were actually swimshorts, cut somewhere around the upper thigh. They were lightweight and easy to swim in. Now what we have are really swim pants, with cargo pockets and all. They are heavy, they drag and take forever and two days to dry. I for one don’t understand Americans big phobia of men brief swimwear, especially considering how small and getting smaller womens swim attire is becoming. For crying out loud – it’s just a swimsuit. For the ladies, they ought to put their actions where their mouth is. You all aren’t exactly Victoria Secret models!

Erik on

I realize a majority of women say they don’t like speedos on any guy. The approval for wearing speedos I get from the 5% of the ladies makes the rude gestures and comments from the other 95% more than tolerable.

Begriddled on

For practicality and looks a man’s swimsuit should be no longer than mid-thigh and preferably a brief swimsuit otherwise know as a speedo. Women, whether they are skinny, medium or huge, wear maillots, tank suits and bikinis with impunity so a man of any fitness should be able to wear a swimsuit like a speedo that is less revealing than what women wear and more practical for swimming than board shorts. I’m from the US, but Europeans and Brazilians have it right. I only hope Americans will eventually learn from them instead of spreading the blight of speedo-phobia to them. And, trying to ridicule a man because of one’s own insecurities and spite is very juvenile so man shouldn’t let the giggling of a child in an woman’s body stop him from wearing a swim brief.

sherri on

I think the longer the better! But… I have to say *WOW* to how David Beckham looks in that suit! He’s Awesome!(slurp) :)

Walleed on

I think mens shorts should be under the knees, no one needs to check out my thighs!

olha on

theyre all good…as long as theyre not naked…lol. u go to ukraine or russia everyone is swimmin in briefs…so its all good=)

kent on

Speedos are practical — they are comfortable to move in while being in and out of water. They provide support and carry little water.

Women wear form fitting swimwear; why is a man’s body in a speedo “gross” when a women’s body in a bikini is “fashionable”?

I would like women who are against speedos to go swimming with just a t-shirt and board shorts and then they can decide what they rather swim in — boardshorts or a speedo!

Celestine on

Got to know the limits, Beckham.

Ivan on

I wear speedos and I have the body and package Beckham has. No one’s ever complained or given me a negative look. I think girls who say don’t like it are lyiers. hahaha

Nawh, but if you really don’t like them, then DON’T LOOK AT ME! I feel comfortable and I honestly could care less who I offend with so many Christians being offended by everything.

night on

I don’t think there is a single other man who can pull off a speedo like David Beckham can. Until just now I thought a speedo was the single most disgusting look for any man. I have changed my mind..this guy is hot…even in a speedo.

Pat on

Board shorts = American burqas.

Maisie on

Baggies are ridiculous, speedos are the best!!! Male shorts should be at least above knees…. the shorter the better. Why hide all the beauty of nice muscular thighs?

EuroCanadian on

Are you kidding me? The only reason you Americans have a disdain for speedos is because you are prudes. It’s all about how much gets covered, eh?

Bearing in mind how people in your country dress and the extent of disregard for their appearance, it is really shocking to me as someone born and raised in Europe to read here that Europeans need to learn fashion sense. Again, are you kidding me? Hellooooo? Look around yourself. You are surrounded by a continent of morbidly obese baggy-sweatpant-sporting SUV-driving Jabba the Hutt types. Give me a break!

And, of course, for those of us who swim for fitness (or competitively), the speedo is the only way to go.

Americans teaching Europeans fashion sense. Oh. Come. On.

just being honest on

I am sooo obsessed with Hugh Jackman…how hot can you get?? He looks amazing in a bathing suit…Matthew also looks pretty sweet but the facial hair has to go. As for Beck, I have nothing to say except that Posh can have him for all I care.

Johnny on

Speedos rule and 80s short shorts are coming back. No more bags for me!

katie on

look, im an emo kid and a liberal who thinks that guys in skinny jeans and eyeliner can be hot, and even i agree with most of the people here that as a rule guys shouldnt wear speedos…that should tell the rest of you people something!

SwimJim on

I have to say that I have a body similar to Beckham and I wear Speedos all the time. You can’t beat the freedom that a brief suit provides. C’mon ladies, give us guys a break who can proudly wear a Speedo without looking grotesque. Some women can pull of a bikini, some can’t…it’s the same logic.

jim on

IF you have the body for speedos go for it,but I think the middle ground is best.whats wrong with the upper thigh length (denim short style) wich ewveryone loved,why does it have to be one extreme,board shorts are too long,why is america still trying to hide the american male,while female swimwhere can be almost nothing,stop the male bashing!!!!!

Lindsay on

Beckham is HOT! I think on the right guy Speedos work. I’d like to see more of that.

Mark on

Those baggy shorts don’t make anyone look good.

seth on

DAVID BECKHAM IT’S SOW SWEET MEN AND WERY SEXY, L LOVE HIM I FROM SPAIN and Im really sad that they are leaving spain

Shandra on

all you girls who say speedos should be outlawed, need to say fat people or overweight people including woman should be banned from wearing anything but shorts. As for the speedo dude If I was to compare him to an over weight woman in bikini, I bet he is better to look at. As long as the guy has a smooth hairless trim bod, i guarantee he is better to look at then 65% of the woman in bikini. So ladies let’s think about what we wear sometimes, and realize how rediculous we sound when we say speedos on a guy is disgusting. your pretty much putting down 65 percent of woman

togolf1 on

I can’t believe the contempt some people have for how someone else chooses to dress. Wear what you want. Look at whom you please. If you don’t like someone’s appearance turn your stupid head. There are some places where a dress code is proper. I don’t want to see a naked person selecting produce at the grocery store. A women may want her wedding to look just right. At the park, or doing the yard work, or at the beach do what YOU want to the hell with what anyone else thinks.

KL on

Yes, Katie, that tells us you are a hypocrite. Like all the male bashing here, it is alright for the goose but not for the gander.

O' on

Speedo’s, unless you swim competitively are not a good look for anyone. Baggies or extra long board shorts are stupid drapery and a lowest common denomenator marketed to disguise the sorry fitness of most of us. If its hot out it is more comfortable to wear shorter shorts (within reason) Shorter trunks, mid thigh or above, are the only way to go unless you are more concerned with posing than living your life.

LightenUp on

EuroCanadian said it best: Americans are prudes, at least when it comes to the male body. I’m American, and I cannot believe the lack of objectivity regarding fashion styles of women vs men. Boys on swim teams in USA have trended towards the jammer style for fear of being labeled “gay.” Yet, little girls wear some very skimpy bathing suits and nobody gives it a second thought. Talk about patriarchal!

As for American women, some of y’all don’t look so hot in your skimpy spandex suits, but I don’t impinge on your right to wear them. Live and let live. Stop shaming boys about their bodies and implying sexuality based on their swimsuit.

Besides, it’s 2007 and people are still using the term “gay” as derogatory. How unenlightened is that?

Mr. Mom on

who wear short shorts? I WEAR SHORT SHORTS!!!:D:D:D:D:D

Pat on

With Becks in California, will he change the fashion scene in America? Will the hombres be able to show a little bit of leg when on the beach or in the pool?

Steve on

For all the women who give Speedo’s a thumbs down, I have one question. What do you wear to the beach or pool and why? A comfortable bikini or baggy board shorts down to your knees? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander (as they say).

KL on

Steve has a very good point. Nowadays it is difficult to find a woman wearing a one piece swimsuit. Why, ladies, answer Steve and I this, do you have to wear a two-piece suit when most of you do not have perfect bodies?

Don’t tell me, we have to accept “real” women. So why can’t you accept “real” men?

How about this, let’s us all go back to the 1900s when women actually wear skirts and stocking to swim.

Women pride themselves on their so-called sensitivity, but reading all the anti-male comments here, they are worst than men.

Maggie Smiths on

It is getting slowly boring with that looooong surfer shorts. Especially it is really useful for islamic people who pretend that they follow fashion closely in lands like Turkey… Are fashion designer radical islamists????

Mark on

It’s simple — guys should wear whatever they comfortable in. I wear speedos for swimming and suntanning, shorts for beach volleyball and playing with my kids on the playground equipment by the beach (yes it’s possible to wear shorts OVER a speedo, it makes for easy changing). Actually, men wear shorts on the beach only in North America and some Arabic countries (don’t try even long shorts in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan), everywhere else in the world it’s speedos.

jeanfor on

This is this hypocrite puritan background …..
Men should wear speedos or short shorts if they want to. End of story….

John on

I notice that all of the comments are from women…many of whom will think nothing of wearing shorts that are really just underwear and walk around with their butt and boobs hanging out. Such a double standard! Women’s clothes get more revealing yet men have to wear shorts that are only a few inches shorter than regular pants. Ridiculous.

I say we make women wear out “shorts” on a hot summer day and then tell us if you still think long shorts are okay.

Granted if a guy doesn’t have the body for short shorts he shouldn’t wear them, but I see a lot of women out there wearing revealing outfits that are are not flattering for their body.

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