Take a walk around any large university on a warm summer day, and you will likely see hoards of ‘frat boys’ wearing unusually short shorts. These shorts, branded as Chubbies, are the latest craze among the ‘bro’ culture of many university-aged men. While these short, multi-colored shorts expose an uncommon amount of the wearer’s thighs, they are the latest style craze and are a must-have for the college-aged man this fall semester. Ladies have been wearing ‘short shorts’ for decades, but now it is the man’s turn. While above-the-knee shorts for men have not been in style in the last few decades, shorter shorts for men are absolutely the latest trend in men’s bottoms.
Frat boys are known as having a stereotypical look regardless of the campus or location. Backwards baseball hats paired with polo shirts and boat shoes are the norm among the best and brightest frat boys of our nation. However, as opposed to the knee-length khaki shorts that have dominated college-aged men’s fashion for the past decade, the ultra short ‘Chubbies’ are the trend of the 2010s. A small company in San Francisco started to produce the short shorts one year ago with the aim of gaining a national following. The Chubbies Company used an unconventional technique for marketing their product. In fact, the owner is quoted as saying, “men have objectified women for ages. We’ve flipped the game. Now women will objectify them.” Basically, the owners (half-ironically) wanted to introduce a short that would appeal to the fraternity demographic of usually wealthy, appearance-conscious men with a lot of extra income to burn.
Chubbie’s marketing scheme was absolutely genius. From their small shop in San Francisco they built a following on regional college campuses. From there, they took on college representatives to schools around the nation. Brand ambassadors will wear Chubbies to class every day and turn their friends onto the trend; Chubbies is literally reinventing the trend for men’s bottoms. One less desirable marketing strategy has been the demonization of longer or cargo shorts by the company. The also stigmatize wearing athletic shorts in public, a longtime staple of the frat bros closet. With over 30 styles of shorts, Chubbies is trying to take over the closets of frat guys nationwide. In fact, in 2012 the company sold out of all styles and saw figures grow by 600%.
Basically, Chubbies is trying to brand these short shorts as sexy and desirable. Most of their ads feature attractive men and beautiful women glorifying the shorts. Their websites include ‘fast facts’ about the shorts, many of which take digs at other styles of shorts. The burgeoning market of college-aged bros is definitely utilized by Chubbies. For those outside of the fraternity bubble, Chubbies are still a solid style choice for the summer and fall semester. The only requirement is that one must have a smaller waist size and toned legs to adequately pull off the Chubbies look. While the premise may be slightly ridiculous, Chubbies are the latest trend in men’s fashion that cannot be ignored. Chubbies sell for around $50-60s from their online store.