By Jonathan Lee
Summer may literally be the hottest season, but let’s face it, not when it comes to fashion seasons. When the annual heat wave hits, people want to wear as little clothing as possible, severely limiting their style options. This sartorial dilemma has prompted two menswear brands to get a bit creative this year.
On May 29, an Instagram account titled Sparkle Baby Official uploaded a photo of three male models sporting pastel pink, blue and green lace shorts that barely concealed their tighty-whities.
“#LacyShorts for men are here,” wrote ZJ Sparks, the owner of the Instagram account. “Would you wear these gentlemen? Ladies would you like to see your boyfriend or husband rock one of these?”
Believe it or not, a lot of people would, apparently. Many users commented asking where they could buy a pair, and some even complained that they didn’t come in more colors.
As it turns out, the culprit behind Lace Me Up shorts is Hologram City, a Los Angeles-based brand known for producing mesh clothing worn by pop stars. The line of see-through lace shorts for men has already sold out since its online debut earlier this month.
However, not everyone is a fan of the new trend.
“If I see someone wearing these, I’m running them over with my car,” one Instagrammer commented.
“The romps, sure I could see some guys pulling it off,” another commenter said. “Lace?! Maybe in some detail but the whole thing lace and in that fashion…now you’re just being tacky and overly dramatic.”
Hologram City took the criticism in stride, joking on Instagram that the shorts designed for rapper Cazwell to wear for his next single “Loose Wrists” became a meme before the video was released.
Lacy shorts for men are nothing new. In 2013, Versace male models wore black lace underwear for the fall/winter collection show in Milan, and Gucci showcased a similar feminine look in its spring/summer 2016 menswear collection.
The recent lace shorts phenomenon occurred just weeks after the bro romper, or “bromper,” trend blew up the internet. In mid-May, a group of business school students launched a Kickstarter for RompHim playsuits, which are essentially onesies for grown men.
The latest feminine outfits marketed toward men have stirred controversy on social media over what’s acceptable for men to wear. Others raised eyebrows at the hyper-masculine advertising, featuring bros drinking beers and positioning romping around to be the next big thing in frat culture. Because God forbid a man should just be allowed to look feminine.