Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cargo Shorts: A Dad's Best Friend

Look, I'll be the first to admit I am not a fashionable man.  I absolutely hate clothes shopping.  I don't like paying a premium for having embroidered images of a guy riding a horse or a little alligator on my clothes.  That is absolute foolishness.  I also don't like having a big advertisement across my chest for some brand of clothes, although I will be glad to advertise for my favorite sports team or band.  I also think it is absolutely ridiculous to spend more than $20 on a shirt or $30 on a pair of jeans or shorts.  And these values are on the high end of what I like to pay for my clothing.  So you catch my drift about fashion?  I'm a Kohls and JC Penneys kinda guy.

One of the articles of clothing that always seems to be on sale or clearance are cargo shorts or cargo pants.  For those who are not familiar with the term "cargo shorts", they are the shorts that you see some men wearing that have huge pockets on either side of the leg.  They are typically very baggy and from what I hear, are not very fashionable.  But boy, oh boy those bad boys sure are practical, especially for dads.

Ever since I've been old enough to purchase my own clothes, I've always favored the cargo short.  Why?  Mainly because they were the only style of shorts being produced that were very baggy and long in length.  As my Dad used to say to me, "No one likes their shorts like a cheap ball room."  Really, who of you really enjoys wearing tight short shorts?  Well now that I'm a dad, these cargo shorts have a whole new purpose in my life.  They are great for carrying just about anything that I'll need for taking my daughter Avery out in public.  The hell with carrying a diaper bag when you can just shove everything the little girl needs in the pockets of your shorts.

I enjoy taking Avery to the baseball game from time to time, but when traveling solo with a child in tow, there's a lot of things you need to pack.  This typically ends up in a diaper bag.  But do you really want to carry a big old diaper bag into the baseball game?  Not really.  This is where my cargo shorts come into play.

In the pocket on the left leg, I typically pack all sorts of foods and snacks.  This could get interesting if you have food or milk that needs to be chilled.  But if not and your baby is on formula, shove a water bottle, baby bottle (cap on of course), and a packet or two of formula so you can whip up a bottle in a hurry for a hungry baby.  Also throw some snacks like Cheerios or Baby Mum-Mums in there and you are good to go for a few hours with a well fed baby.  Think that sounds like a lot?  You'd be surprised what you could stuff into the pockets on a pair of cargo shorts.  The best part is, because the shorts are designed to be baggy, people probably wouldn't notice you have a full diaper bag's worth of food in your shorts.

In the pocket on the right leg, I typically pack all sorts of cleanliness items and toys.  I'm talking stuff like a couple diapers, a small pouch of disposable wipes, a thin folding changing pad (make sure it's not too thick), a spit up cloth, and even a small toy or two to keep the kiddo occupied while you are changing her diaper in the men's room at ballpark.

The point is, if you are like me, you are already ridiculed for your choice of comfort over fashion in your wardrobe.  Why not take it the extra mile and make it practical by ridding yourself of the dreaded diaper bag.  Trust me, in the long run you will be much a much happier person for doing it this way.  Plus when you see old preppy boy in his Dockers slacks and IZOD shirt with the popped collar, struggling to juggle his kid while fishing things out of the bottomless pit that most diaper bags are, you can just snicker at him like he does at you for your lack of fashion.