I like to think of myself as a relatively hip dad. I try to stay current with what the kids are up to like Snapchat, Spikeball, Pokemon. It’s not to say that I participate in those pastimes but I am saying I’m aware of them and I understand the fundamentals behind them. I’m not a flashy dresser – unless I’m going out on a Friday. I wear the “Southie Dad” uniform. What is the Southie Dad uniform? Well it consists of following: A t-shirt or what my wife likes to refer to as the “free t-shirt” i.e. Southie Pop Warner, Jim Kane 5-Miler, L Street Handball Tournament – i like to remind her that I usually paid $20 for the T-shirt but it’s a t-shirt emblazoned with some sort of logo, event etc., sneakers or flip flops, in the winter, it’s jeans and in the summer it’s usually cargo shorts. Yes, cargo shorts.
When I discovered #CargoGate yesterday on Twitter, I had no idea that it would involve the mayor’s choice of summer attire. But that’s exactly what it was about. Boston Globe writer Steve Annear wrote a piece about Mayor Marty Walsh and his cargo shorts and just cargo shorts in general. Evidently there is a great divide between Team Cargo and Team No Cargo. Team No Cargo deem them out of date, bulky and uncool. Really? The mayor defended his choice in shorts by saying they’re comfortable and guess what they are. I began to question my sense of fashion and wondered if I in fact have become uncool. Are cargo shorts the new jorts – those terrible jean shorts that middle aged dads wear with a shirt tucked in with a belt? Maybe I’d lost all sense of reality. I am middle aged. I asked my wife – who is extremely fashionable and always cool.
“Do you hate cargo shorts on me?” I asked her accusingly.
“No, I think you look cute in them.”
“Believe me, I’d let you know if I didn’t like them. Remember that sweatshirt from a few years ago.”
Cargo shorts are a man’s equivalent of a handbag. We have things to carry. Wallet, keys, tin of Altoids, stuff. Would a European man-tote be more acceptable? I think not. Those might be a tad douche-y. And why isn’t anyone calling out douce-y attire. Would the mayor have been considered hip and cool if he rocked a fedora and wore one of those tight striped tank tops I’ve seen the millennials wearing at M Street Beach? No, of course not. Social media would be blowing up with, “The mayor has lost his God-damn mind. First Boston 2024 and now a douche-y fedora.”
Team No Cargo also brought up James Bond. “Men want to be like James Bond, Bond never wears cargo shorts.” This is what we men are comparing ourselves too? James Bond – international spy and playboy? How about just a regular guy living in the world, who wants to be comfortable and needs a place for his stuff? Bond might not wear cargos but do you know who does wear them? Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio. He might even be cooler than Bond. At least Leo is a real guy not a fictional character like 007. If cargo shorts are good enough for Leo, Marty Walsh, and my wife, then they are good enough for me.
I say wear them if you like them. Haters gonna hate.
Image via The Boston Globe