Justin Bieber and His Gigantic Shorts Don’t Care About ‘Thigh Guy Summer’

Retro short shorts come and go. Ankle-length basketball shorts are forever.

NEW YORK NEW YORK  JUNE 23 Justin Bieber is seen on June 23 2024 in New York City.

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It’s a simple enough concept: If it’s warm outside, you wear shorts. The logic stands. The science holds up. And yet every so often, the expected characteristics of those shorts may shift, their shapes and hemlines malleable to the whims of a trend cycle. In the last couple months, we’ve seen a host of Hollywood men—namely, actors Chris Pine and Paul Mescal—creating fan frenzies around their snug, single-digit-inseam shorts. This “Thigh Guy Summer” fervor might be enough to sway any famous, oft-photographed man to throw on a pair of teensy shorts to gam out with the best of them.

But not Justin Bieber.

During his recent stay in Manhattan, JB has shown out in a succession of shrouding, trend-defying outfits. He kicked things off over the weekend, heading to a date night at the upscale Italian spot Torrisi in a Marine Serre wheat-toned crewneck sweater, a coppery velvet Chicago Cubs fitted cap, and ankle-length (!) mesh basketball shorts by the New York designer Willy Chavarria, whose hems waded right down to a pair of brown leather T-strap derbies from the Danish brand Vinny’s with thin white crew socks. In a classic instance of the Biebers’ sartorial dichotomy, Justin’s wife Hailey—who is expecting the couple’s first child—walked a few steps ahead in a full-body lace bodysuit and broad-shouldered leather trench coat (both by London designer Alessandra Rich) with black Saint Laurent pumps.

Image may contain Clothing Shorts Accessories Bracelet Jewelry Footwear Sandal Hat Adult Person Bag and Handbag

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Image may contain Hailey Baldwin Clothing Coat Jacket Hat Footwear Shoe Adult Person Accessories Glasses and Bag

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The next day, during a lunchtime jaunt to the Greenwich Village stalwart Bar Pitti, Bieber wore another whopper of an outfit: a butter yellow, bubble-hemmed shirt from New York City label Ouer (a garment that Vogue’s Laia Garcia-Furtado recently classified as an “IYKYK item of sorts among New York City’s fashion cognoscenti”), baby blue Bottega Veneta shorts that hit right at the knee, and the same Vinny’s T-strap Mary Janes. He accessorized with a backwards cap and orange-tinted Balenciaga sunglasses.

“We’re just out here rattling ur minds,” Bieber’s longtime stylist Karla Welch wrote in an Instagram story on Monday, alongside a photo of Bieber in his voluminous pastel ensemble. (And you know what? Seeing this outfit does make me feel like I just swished my brain around in Listerine. How refreshing.) “I feel like this is one of those outfits I don’t understand but will totally be wearing in two months,” one commenter opined on Welch’s post. “He’s dressing maternity style in solidarity with Hailey 😜,” wrote another.

NEW YORK NY  JUNE 23 Justin Bieber is seen on June 23 2024 in New York City.
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Later that day, the Biebers headed to West Village steakhouse 4 Charles Prime Rib where, in delightful contrast to a glowing Hailey in her silk Phoebe Philo sheath, Bieber strode in wearing a padded denim vest zipped up to his neck, a roomy pair of iridescent purple cargo shorts from Ouer, and his favorite hotel-style slippers from his own brand Drew House. The Biebs fulfilled his usual cap-and-shades quota with a green Los Angeles Angels fitted and mirrored blue Off-White glasses.

While menswear trends ebb and flow between slouchy and skimpy every few seasons, Bieber has remained consistently devoted to wearing the most enormous garments possible, be they jeans or hoodies or puffer coats or boots or sunglasses or crocheted ponchos or Balenciaga sweatpants. If you have felt, even for a moment, wary of—or vulnerable to—the damp promise of a slutty shorts summer, the Biebs is a reliably welcome font of short-shorts counter-programming.

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