If you thought a men’s romper was the most hilarious gift from the fashion gods this summer, think again.
Tricia “Zj Sparks” Spence, a Jamaican actress, DJ and radio show host, posted a photo to Instagram yesterday depicting three men dressed in pastel-coloured lace shorts, and the internet promptly erupted in a collective guffaw.
Comments on her post range from tongue-in-cheek “where can I find these?” questions to flat-out declarations of “No no no no NO!”
It’s unknown where the picture comes from or who designed the shorts, but the responses on social media indicate strong opposition to the style, while many claim they’re still licking the wounds inflicted upon them by the RompHim romper.
— Lelena (@LelenaPeacock) May 31, 2017
All the mens tryna be "suns out, buns out" this summer https://t.co/6sqFI3c7ix
— S. (@Shaptacular) May 30, 2017
So what you lot are wearing net curtains now? https://t.co/ekuQu60bpR
— Diced Plantain (@LeonardIhenacho) May 30, 2017
Loooool wtf is going on https://t.co/WXq1V5Wqik
— ace 🇳🇬 (@HumbleLukey) May 30, 2017
— Kenton Lane (@TheKentonLane) May 31, 2017
While the shorts are — perhaps understandably — drawing ire from the mainstream, they’re nothing new in the world of men’s fashion.
The Gucci spring/summer 2016 collection featured an array of outré items for men, like gold lamé pants and a pink floral suit with lace collar, and lace shorts were among them. In his review of the collection for Vogue.com, fashion reporter Tim Blanks described it as a “recontextualization,” summing it up as “The New Punk.”
The New York Daily News interviewed Toronto model Ryan Keating, who wore the lace shorts on the runway, after the show.
“It felt great,” he said. “I love it because it is so different from what everyone else is doing.”
Versace similarly trotted out lace shorts in 2013, although their marked resemblance to women’s lingerie had Natasha Burton of Cosmopolitan questioning their viability.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love me a bit of man-leg every now and then. But, I was a bit thrown by the Versace short-shorts male models were recently rocking down the Milan runway,” she wrote. “Lace on me is one thing, but lace on him? Um…”
Based on social media users’ reaction to the most recent display of men’s lace shorts, it would seem they share her confusion.