KC style: Guys, lose the cargo shorts and sweatpants and up your fashion game

Shorts can be comfortable without a drawstring or baggy cargo pockets.
Shorts can be comfortable without a drawstring or baggy cargo pockets. Special to The Star

This column usually focuses on women’s style, but this Father’s Day weekend we’re turning our eyes toward men’s fashion. And not high-end fashion, just comfy and smart alternatives to the cargo shorts and golf shirts that are all too popular.

Whether you’re a dude looking to up your game, or you’re wanting to get some menswear ideas for the guy in your life, look no further.

In an incredibly unscientific survey, this reporter discovered that men avoid trying new styles because of the perceived expense and the idea that they’ll be uncomfortable out of sweatpants and in a more tailored look.

The men’s summerwear at Old Navy is an answer to those issues: These clothes are soft, comfy and stylish without being flashy (or expensive).

If you want to look like every contestant on this season of “The Bachelorette,” choose a henley like this baseball T-shirt ($14.94). It’s just as comfy as a basic tee, but with a little more style from the button details. Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star

For a neighborhood barbecue, an updated Hawaiian shirt is a fun option. And don’t worry, a thoughtful pattern in flattering colors and a more tailored shape will prevent you from looking like Guy Fieri. This navy button-up with yellow and pink flowers is a great option ($26.94). Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star


And, speaking of barbecues, consider these drawstring denim jogger shorts ($15) over a typical basketball short. The stretchy waistband is just as forgiving to beer and brats, but the silhouette is a little more trim and polished. Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star


Another non-athletic shorts option are these flat-front activewear shorts ($34.94). They look just like a sharp pair of shorts, but they’re made of a sweat-wicking material, meaning they’ll keep you cool while you’re flipping burgers. And, yes, these may be a little shorter than what you’re used to, but showing off your knees looks a hell of a lot more handsome than a shapeless pair of shin-skimmers. Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star

Fourth of July is fast approaching, and the temptation toward an America-inspired outfit can be strong. Stick to a subtler take on the Americana look. These two tees, one with a red, white and blue wave embroidery ($19.94) and the other with a tiny American flag pattern ($14.94), show off your patriotic side in a stylish way.

A subtly patriotic T-shirt Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star

flag tee
How to show your patriotism in an understated way. Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star


Both would look excellent paired with a pair of flat-front khaki shorts ($22.94) or with this seersucker-look pair ($29.94).

khaki shorts
Flat-front shorts


seersucker shorts
The seersucker look Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star


It’s definitely true that men’s fashion has less variety than women’s, but that means that there are also fewer “rules.” Rules are meant to be broken: Men can wear pink, floral patterns and even rompers, if you follow the latest trends.

button up
If you’re the type of dude to get a little sunkissed during the summer months, colors that you’d normally avoid can look flattering. This pale pink button-up with a subtle red and white pattern ($29.94) would look excellent at the end of a lake weekend. The khaki or denim shorts above would both pair well. Caitlin Wallace Special to The Star


But there is one unbreakable rule: no cargo pockets, please.