The next time you feel desperately alone in your quest to get your boyfriend to please, for the love of your relationship, stop wearing those disgusting cargo shorts, know that you're not the only one fighting this good fight.
According to a brilliant analysis from the Wall Street Journal, the outdated and decidedly uncool fashion item is causing strife in marriages and relationships. The cargo short!
One cargo short devotee profiled in the piece went from having 15 pairs of cargo shorts and now hides his one remaining pair from his wife, who took the others to charity or just to the trash.
To figure out why men are still wearing them, we have to travel back in time to the '90s, when men were from Mars and women were from Venus. That was also the horrible decade of the cargo short—a trend that has lived an inexplicably long life, thanks to the boys who grew older but hung onto their teenage style. Men, it seems, have trouble letting go, especially when it comes to their beloved cargo shorts.
"Those teenagers are now married, and they don't get rid of their clothes. They don't evolve," said a design and merchandising professor at Drexel University, Joseph Hancock (who also wrote his Ph.D. thesis on cargo pants!).
A writer named Jen Anderson convinced her husband to return a pair of shorts he'd bought. "It's a reflection on me, like 'How did she let him out the door like that?'"
And even though for the first time in 10 years, sales of cargo shorts are down, there's still a $700 million market for them in the U.S. alone.
Why? WHY?? They're like "socially acceptable sweatpants," said an actor named Tom Lommel. Though he also admitted that, "Every time I put them on, I am conscious of the fact that I am now being disobedient in my marriage."
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.