Here’s the basic problem. Shorts are ugly. Moreover, male legs leave a lot to be desired. Shorts tend to do nothing for the masculine pins, being ill cut, ill-conceived, and often ill coloured. Men demonstrate far more sartorial bravery in shorts than at any other time, and they should not be surprised if I label it what it really is: foolishness. Few men can pull it off. In large part it has to do with the choice of footwear that is paired with shorts. I occasionally see a man looking enviously good in well-tailored shorts, with expensive boat shoes, and then I think to myself: those shoes are going to be ruined by his sweaty feet, and he will smell. Of course, had he been wearing socks I would have thought he was sadly misguided. Trainers are for training. Sandals are for hippies, geography teachers, and those men generally lacking in taste. Flip flops? Please. Canvas deck shoes I can nearly picture, but the sweating! There’s no escaping those leaky feet. It’s just a no-win situation.
Unfortunately, I shall be in Italy in late May and it will be so hot that my betrousered legs may slow to a stop. In that case I shall be forced to make a difficult decision. I shall not make it lightly, but only after due apologies to the gods of good taste. If, in the meantime, anybody can suggest some plausible way to look good in shorts and shoes without the aforementioned problems, I shall be much obliged.