We sat down with Ben T., Assistant Buyer of Men’s Pants, Shorts, Swim and Fleece Bottoms, to talk about one of the most popular short fits of the season: the Prep Short. Read on to learn more about Ben and his recommendations on how to style the Prep Short.
Assistant Buyer of Men’s Pants, Shorts, Swim & Fleece Bottoms
Can you tell us about the history of the Prep Short?
The Prep Short was first introduced in the 2010/2011 Season. Since then the fit has evolved from a knee length, boxy fit to a trimmer fit through the leg that hits above the knee. This year we have introduced a noticeably different fabric with a small amount of stretch content for maximum comfort and wear-ability. We have also included a belt on the short this year for no extra charge to the customer. It’s been souped up.
What are the new fits for the Prep Short?
Just one new and improved fit. The leg is slimmer and tapers slightly towards the hem. The short is meant to be rolled to an 8″ inseam, although you can style it however you please (rolled once to ‘’9 inch just above the knee, or unrolled at 10″ right on the knee).
The fabrics have changed, can you tell us why and how the new fabric feels?
This is my favorite fabric in our entire line. It is a dense twill with stretch in it. It feels really compact/ light and at the same time has a little give which makes it great to move in. It’s a perfect Summer short.
Any cool colors that you love this season?
Really excited for the Bright Rhubarb. It’s a reddish fuchsia that you will not be able to find anywhere else. Imagine a lobster blushing. We also have a couple of really cool prints coming in, including a grey camo and a brown tropical that emulates a very cool Havana Yacht Club type look.
How do you wear the Prep Short?
The great thing about this short is the versatility. Like I said, you can cuff it or unroll it to suit your style. I love wearing them cuffed with a plain tee and a good pair of sunglasses. Super easy for anyone to get into.
Can you take the Prep Short look from day to night? If so, what do you recommend?
Switch out the T-shirt for a short sleeve woven or layer on a solid long sleeve oxford for versatility. Unbutton a few buttons and remove the sunglasses, unless you’re really trying to make a statement…
Why do you recommend the Prep Short?
Again, it’s versatile. You can wear it many different ways and fit it the way you like it. It is also currently our only short (aside from swim) with stretch. It’s basically the short design of the future.
Now we would love to learn a little about you!
What made you want to pursue a career in Merchandising?
I was always interested in big business but not so interested in working strictly with numbers and finances. With merchandising, you get to be very creative and hands on with your product. Your performance is not only measured by your bottom line, but also on the style and perspective you are infusing in your assortment. Great clothes are ultimately what creates brand loyalty and an excited customer base.
What kind of projects do you find yourself working on from day to day?
Most of what I do revolves around how to drive and evolve the business. If something is working well, I am asking why is this working? What can I do to get more? And, what do I have coming down the line that is like this? If something is not doing so well, I am brainstorming the opposite and making sure I don’t make the same mistake twice when building future seasons.
Five words to describe you…
Team player, risk taker, pizza lover, driven and adventurous.
Portland in the summer. That’s East Coast.
“Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.”
First thing on your bucket list?
Travel for a year with a backpack and no itinerary expect for a list of must try street foods. (Try not to end up on the show Locked Up: Abroad.)
Fun fact about yourself?
In my youth, I rocked both a mullet and a bowl cut for three years… each.
What does your iPhone say about you?
I organize my apps like a nerd. Not very exciting.