CULTURE & ARTS
07/05/2018 15:06 EDT | Updated 07/05/2018 15:18 EDT

Keep An Eye Out For Dudes Wearing Red Shorts And Blue Shirts

They're everywhere.

Look, we get it. There are more important things to worry about right now.

But in this time of upheaval, it is vital we rally around the few uncontested facts we have. Over the past four years or so, we ― venerable investigative reporters Sebastian Murdock and Andy Campbell ― have discovered a universal truth that we want to let you in on: Dudes love to wear red shorts with blue shirts.

At first blush, this phenomenon isn’t easy to grasp. “I have not seen dudes wearing red shorts and blue shirts that often,” you might say, to which we now reply, “You are wrong, and you will.” They are everywhere.

Over these past few years, we have collected hundreds, maybe thousands of red-shorts-blue-shirt photos, across all demographics and in various places worldwide. They differ only slightly: The shorts range from a light salmon to a deep, sunburned red, the shirts from a powder blue to a blue-that-is-darker-than-that. We have seen so many that we have decided to launch the Red Shorts Blue Shirt Instagram page, which we urge you to contribute to by emailing your entries to redshortsblueshirt@gmail.com.

“But why?” you ask. “Why did dudes everywhere, acting independently of one another, arrive at this particular sartorial consensus?” Well, dear reader, we believe we have the expertise to answer that for you.

Some folks have taken notice over the years. The “White Boys In Salmon Shorts” Tumblr page almost gets it, but does not see the forest for the trees. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when two HuffPost staffers wore the same red-shorts-blue-shirt combo to the office one day, that we realized: We’re all doomed to wear blue with red shorts. This is an embarrassing photo, but it must be shared, for science: 

Sebastian Murdock/HuffPost
Andy Campbell (left) and Andres Jauregui wear the red shorts and blue shirts that started it all.

Our theory is based not so much on color theory as it is on schlub psychology. It goes like this: Men looking to add some pizazz to their wardrobe think to themselves, while waiting in line with their mom at Nordstrom Rack, “I could wear pastels! That’d be cool.” So they grab a pair of salmon-to-red shorts, thinking that their horizon has expanded. It has not.

Being men, we cannot for the life of us find anything that goes with our red shorts, except for blue shirts. Sure, white or gray or green (any complementary or analogous color, perhaps) would work. But we can’t, or won’t, figure it out for ourselves.

Thus, we have red shorts and blue shirts. And now that you know, you’ll see them everywhere. Their banality will take on a certain heightened aspect. They’ll stand out among other outfits the way the make and model of your first car stands out from the other traffic on the freeway.

Next time you get a glimpse of the phenomenon in the wild, send us a photo: redshortsblueshirt@gmail.com. Thank you.