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Even if you weren’t alive in the 1970s (like myself), you probably know what the basketball uniforms used to look like — high socks, Converse, and shirts tucked into those tiny little shorts. They were iconic.
I’ve always preferred that look to the loose-fitting, low-hanging, or cargo shorts that many men wore as I was coming of age. Luckily for me, short shorts for men are coming back in a big way.
Let hoochie daddy szn commence!
What are hoochie daddy shorts?
Hoochie daddy shorts are any short shorts that show off more leg than other types traditionally marketed to men. For some background, hoochie daddy szn is obviously summer.
“It’s just the article of clothing that matches the season, you know?” said Angel Landry, the 33-year-old insurance agent whose viral TikTok introduced many to this apparently controversial trend. “It’s hot outside.”
When Landry spoke with BuzzFeed News in June, it was 103 degrees in Texas, so she really doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t be interested in showing more of their knees or legs.
Landry, who goes by Lady L on social media, is pretty thrilled that the style has returned to the spotlight. “We all know those shorts have been around since the ’50s,” she said. “I remember seeing pictures of my dad in them, so I got on [TikTok] and I saw a lot of controversy around the shorts, like what some people thought about them and how guys were wearing them, so I decided one night I wanted to give my little 2 cents.”
The controversy she was referring to surrounds the perceived lack of masculinity some associate with shorter shorts, including the anti-gay attitudes that said lack of masculinity engenders in many people.
Claude George Jr., 27, who is an actor and model in LA, has been a fan of smaller shorts for a while now, maybe even 10 years, but he just started seeing the “hoochie daddy shorts” trend spread over the last two months. “Everybody’s kind of late to the game,” he said. (The audio to his TikTok is from Atlanta-based marketing manager Jasmine Clark’s Instagram story about hoochie daddy shorts, which has been used as the soundtrack for almost 3,500 TikToks.)
In Clark’s video, she jokingly encourages women to catcall men they see in hoochie daddy shorts. And while the majority of the responses were from people who understood that it was meant to be lighthearted and funny, Clark told BuzzFeed News that she also got some heat from, as she described, “those masculine guys saying, ‘I’m not doing that, that’s feminine.’”
When her video later went viral on Twitter, she also had some people calling her out for promoting sexual harassment or objectifying men’s bodies. “I’m like yeah, that’s the point! That’s what women go through.” As she says in the video, she’s trying to turn the tables after so many years of women being objectified.
“So those who understand, understand, and like go with the joke and stuff,” Clark said. “And then I hear some guys like, ‘No grown man should be wanting to be called a hoochie daddy,’ and I’m like, it’s a lighthearted, fun comment!”
George, for one, is not offended by their commentary. He’s happy to take the opportunity to show off his thighs and likes that others are appreciating it. He also said that he actually finds shorter shorts more comfortable to work out in.
Any shorts with a 3- to 5-inch inseam could fall into the category of hoochie daddy shorts, according to George.
“Me personally, I like 3 inches above the knee,” said Landry, who also said the only real requirement is to show some thigh. “So anywhere between like a 4- or 5-inch inseam just depending on how tall you are.”
Clark concurred that it has to be more than just sitting above the knee.
“If you just have them above the knee, you’re just running errands or anything like that,” she said. “But if you have just a little bit of that thigh meat showing, you being a hoochie and you being fast and I’m gonna snatch you up. I just want you to know, I’m willing to take you to brunch.”
When it comes to other criteria beyond length, Landry is flexible but highly recommends a tighter fit. She also loves colorful hoochies and supports a bold print. “Hoochie daddies are essentially peacocks, so put those feathers on and let’s see you in these shorts,” Landry said. “That’s just the bottom line.”