We’ve sang the praises of Patagonia’s Baggies shorts on repeat for years. Summer after summer, Yvon Chouinard’s masterpiece has soundtracked warm weather dressing the world over, the go-to option for fashion insiders and everyday shorts enthusiasts alike. And we’re not tired of them yet. But in the interim, Baggies-style swishy shorts have become an inescapable earworm, yielding plenty of solid riffs on the source material—some more on-the-nose than others. But the silhouette that might actually overthrow Baggies reign at the top of the charts this year? Fear of God Essentials’ running shorts.
The Essentials line sits beside Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God label as a more affordable—but no less stylish—counterpart. (Think sweats, tees, and sneakers, all rendered in the designer’s signature dusty color palette, and all at very reasonable prices.) So it’s hardly surprising that the whole range routinely sells out, and fast. But the sub-label’s shorts remain among its most coveted products. Like Baggies, they’re cut from a sturdy-but-lightweight nylon fabric. They also have an elastic waist with a hidden drawstring for easy size flexibility, and two crucial hand pockets. And in typical FOG fashion, they’re elegantly, well…baggy, oozing refined California cool. Unlike their Patagonia counterparts, though, they don’t come with that telltale mesh banana hammock. And hey, maybe we’re talking to a crowd of mostly boxer-brief warriors. But if you ask us, it’s that freedom of choice (not to mention the extra air flow) that just might dislodge the Baggies from their current position in the menswear pysche.
Fair warning: At a healthy three inches, the Essentials silhouette is shorter than the five-inch industry standard. If that scares you, good. A five-inch inseam is always a safe bet, but great fits favor the bold, not the safe. And as our Golden Rule of Shorts stipulates: right now, shorts should be either about two inches shorter or four inches longer than you’re used to.
The real clincher? They only only cost $70, a mere five bucks more than Baggies. We’re not Billboard, but something tells us we’ve got a hit on our hands.