A Crime of Fashion

Vivian McInerny
4 min readNov 13, 2023

The long and short of wearing shorts on planes

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I am not a particularly formal person.

My grammar is lax. My hair probably needs brushing. My housekeeping is casual at best. No kitchen floor is swept before it sounds crunchy.

And if you seat me at a table with more than one fork, I will hesitate before picking up, what may or may not be, the “correct” utensil.

Being lackadaisical on stuffy rules of etiquette is the modern way. And I am totally onboard. I’m part of the culture. Just look at me writing in my sweats and T-shirt!

If it isn’t already obvious, I am trying hard to present myself as a reasonable and rational human being. It is my hope that when I confess my sinfully inconsequential complaint, the reader won’t immediately dismiss me as yet another trifling whiner. Hear me out.

Shorts on planes; they are my petty pet peeve.

And by shorts, I don’t mean those ten-minute darlings of international film festivals.

I’m talking shorts as in the naked lower-leg-calf-baring-half-trouser kind.

Look, I am a reasonable human. Do I expect to see shorts on the beach? Of course. Shorts, for sure!

In a restaurant?



Vivian McInerny

Career journalist, essayist, fiction writer, and life-long spirit-quester.