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The Playbook

Every guy has their favorite pair of shorts. That old one with the paint stains, broken drawstring, and frayed hems.

Maybe they got it in high school or college, maybe it was during their summer abroad, or when they first starting running, but it’s been broken in and in between the worn out threads, there’s a thousand stories and a million memories. That history is what keeps those old pair of shorts alive year after year, escaping every move and spring cleaning, sustaining against the protest of friends and girlfriends who think a grown man shouldn’t wear the same pair of shorts for ten years.

Well we disagree. And when we set out to create what has become our most successful product, the All Over Short, we wanted to create a pair of shorts that would grow old with you and collect memories that don’t wash away. To celebrate the shorts that have stayed with us, we asked a few of our favorite guys to share their pair and a short story to go along with it. Here’s what they came back with.

It was the middle of August 2009 as I methodically slipped on my training gear for the first day of training. Compression boxers, soccer socks, Adidas shorts, and a Adidas training top. I shuddered at how ugly my shirt and shorts looked. What was coach thinking when he bought these for the team?

It was my first day of training, Freshman year, Roberts Wesleyan College. I was nervous yet excited for the first training session. Today signified a culmination of years and years of work to achieve this level of play. 8:40am, I started to walk down towards the soccer field. I could already tell that it was going to be one of those Rochester summer days of high humidity and intense heat. I have often found the Rochester summer ironic because we are also buried under the snow for six months out of the year.

My training session was an average one, a foreshadowing of how my entire season would go. Sophomore year followed a similar pattern - those ugly Adidas training shorts and very little game time.

I stumbled across the ugly Adidas training shorts a couple nights ago, buried underneath Junior and Senior year Roberts Wesleyan soccer gear. "Why do I still have these?" I thought to myself. As I held the ugly Adidas shorts in my hand though, memories came flooding back to me as I reminisced about my first two years in college. " Wow these were ugly, and wow I was a bad soccer player back then."

I never had my name up in lights on the college soccer field, and dreams of playing pro faded away during my first two years there, but by the time Junior and Senior year had rolled around, I had learned the importance of hard work, a positive attitude, and most importantly, the value of teamwork. Sure, these ugly Adidas shorts remind me of a difficult time during my life, but more importantly they remind me where I have come from and the lessons I've learned to get where I am today. I think that's why I still own them - they keep me humble. It's important to remember where you came from, and sometimes you need to keep an ugly pair of Adidas shorts around for just that purpose

Andrew Stewart, Soccer Coach in Rochester, NY

Everyone needs some shorts that can be worn hard, shorts that will wear in, not out, like a Rawlings catcher’s mitt or a Campagnolo gruppo. These here are the current pair in a long line that stretches back quite a ways. Unlike the others, they actually did begin as shorts, but they were a little stern so I had to dock them a few inches to derestrict motion and get more jaunty with the thigh. After cutting them down—a 5000-year-old Jewish ritual—I washed them twice and took them rock climbing because I didn’t have a car to run them over with, which of course is what you’re supposed to do to inaugurate a new pair. Some might wonder why I got them in “natural”—a color that shows all the dirt, bike grease, chalk, and sweat. Cause that’s patina, baby! And make no mistake, it’s a value add. It's the smile lines you’re supposed to have before you die, the gray in your beard from that passport fracas in Tenerife, the crooked finger from building your own table. These shorts appreciate in value every day until a hole comes along that can’t be patched. Then after a brief moment of silence, it’s time to do it all over again. You'd think it's sad, but the circle of life ain't sad, it's just life.

Ethan Wolff-Mann, Reporter for TIME

I have to admit, most of my shorts started off as pants. But after grease marks and run-ins with a front chainring, most have seen some good old-fashioned home tailoring. The thing I like most about making shorts rather than buying them is the ability to have the inseam fall perfectly on my thigh. It also ensures there is no Neapolitan tan line showing while spinning around town.

Colin McSherry, Art Director for Bicycling Magazine

I own a pair of S.T.A.R. Erasmus Phys. Ed. shorts that I will never throw out. In my junior year of high school, I was wearing these shorts when I first dunked in a game of basketball. I have only ever dunked 2 times since before retiring in fear of injury. They are well worn with a hole but will not throw them out because they reminds me of a better time... or at least a time when I was in better shape.

Jose Diaz, Content at FANCY

In High School I noticed that it was difficult to find a gym short that would actually fit me. I am quite small and every short I tried was either down to my knees or too big at the waste, my only solution at the time was to buy children’s gym shorts. So all through high school and into adulthood I wore them and got used to the fact that there wasn’t a short for men out there that would fit me properly. Now 24 and in need of some proper fitting work out gear I found OLIVERS All Over shorts, finally a short that fits my waist and doesn’t hang down past my knees. OLIVERS nailed it on the head with these shorts, they have quickly become my go to for running a quick errand, working out, or just lounging around the house.

Justin Weeks, Cyclist in Tucson, AZ

These are my 2008 Denison College Intramural Dodgeball Championship shorts. When I accepted the fate of no longer being a college football and basketball athlete and I decided to pick up the beer can instead, these became my athletic uniform. First and only college championship! Will forever cherish!

Marc Pierre, Operations at FANCY

I received these shorts 13 years ago, when I was a 7th grader, at the annual Family Fun Day held by The Freedom Mine, my father’s place of employment. Since then they have been my sleeping shorts, weekend-morning-bum shorts, gym shorts, painting shorts, and when I don’t get them first my wife’s evening-relaxation shorts.

Noah Kupcho, Founder at Wolftree Magazine

The Switz Shorts bought in 2009. These may not be pretty, but these shorts from the Switzerland Inn on Keuka Lake sure bring back fond memories of debauchery.

For five years, a wild crew of my friends would spend the 4th on Keuka Lake living the good life. Boats, basketball, beer, and always a trip to the Switz to end the night. What started off one year with one friend buying all of us Switz t-shirts would soon become a game of "who could buy something new...for more people."

Sure enough, my best friend made the inebriated mistake of buying these shorts...for the whole bar. For forty dollars a pop on a busy holiday weekend, you do the math.

Thanks, Gill. Miss you, Switz.

Charles Gorra, Partnerships for HYPEBEAST in New York

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