As a kiddie you may have donned them along with some shiny cleats, shin guards and a soccer jersey. Or perhaps basketball was your thing and paired with your sweet Jordans were a pair of mesh shorts you preferred on the baggy side to represent. If you were white, upper middle class and from the east coast, you had lacrosse shorts, but you pronounced it "lax" because for some reason that was a thing. For those of us who preferred to spend our time pool side, mesh shorts serve as the perfect cover-up ...super cute when you roll the waist band over a few times too.
It's difficult to find another article of clothing more versatile than the mesh short.
So, for this reason, the practicality and comfort of the mesh short is ingrained in all adults- it's our go-to pant for all things active. We run in them, work out in them, run errands wearing them and even watch sports in them.
It's understandable then, that folks might assume the universality of the mesh short applies to climbing. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Climbing introduces the harness (figure A). As you can see over normal pants, it bunches slightly but the general shape of the pants is preserved.
When a harness is paired with mesh shorts however (figure B) a hell of a lot of awkwardness is introduced to the equation. The fabric on the legs gets caught up and forms honey bunches of mesh while a gentleman's man-parts are suddenly and inexplicably exaggerated in an obscene bulge. Not pictured is the rear view, where one of two things may occur. The first of which includes the fabric being shoved forward or down beneath the buttocks forcing the ass to smear against the mesh similar to a fat kid's face against a candy store window. Scenario two would involve the opposite, where the mesh is forced to assemble and hover directly above one's crack and is mushed together to resemble a saggy elephant ass. Without a firm structure, the mesh simply falls prey to the harness's push and pull as you can see below.
In summary, we offer some points worth considering:
- Harnesses, by nature, emphasize the "bulge." Best practice suggests wearing clothing that makes it easier to avert the eyes, not harder. This is not unique to climbing either.... think plus sizes and horizontal stripes. Best avoided at all costs.
- It's never comfortable having a wedgie. Now imaging having a shorts worth of material all up in there.
- Witnessing the act of someone putting a harness on over their mesh shorts is awkward and nerve-wracking for all involved parties, teetering on the brink of disaster.
- It's like an eclipse, you know you shouldn't look, but you can't help it... and when you do your eyes burn out of your face.
- Climbertoe is the most inconsiderate thing you could ever do to your belayer.
As you can imagine the vast majority of first time offenders usually make it their last, a decision based on sheer discomfort and the hope of salvaging any scraps of dignity. There are a special few however who just can't get enough of the mesh (most likely this guy) and the rest of us just can't figure out why. Are they masochistic? Nostalgic? Maybe they're in denial or simply devout?
Whatever the reason, for the general good, we beg of you to reconsider. Let go of the shorts.