Shorts weather is here. And, to help you prepare I found an expert in Milwaukee.
Max Cable, an associate buyer at Bon-Ton Stores, is a shorts fanatic and wanted to sport a better pair of shorts. So, he acquired fabric, bought an embroidery machine (using fantasy football winnings) and made his own.
The design led to an idea to start his own enterprise, an apparel company aptly named Hamhockers.
I caught up with Cable recently to talk shorts, about his new venture and men's fashion in the Midwest.
OnMilwaukee.com: First, tells us about yourself and what makes you a shorts expert?
Max Cable: Well, I wasn’t always a shorts connoisseur – there was a time that I didn’t really have any style, as my college friends will eagerly verify. I think it was my first Milwaukee summer that sparked my interest. We have to fight through such a brutal winter, and for such a brief, albeit glorious, summer. Why waste it looking like a slob?
After snagging a few pairs of chino shorts, a love affair was born. I went through different styles, designs and some pretty darn short inseams. Eventually, I couldn’t find what I was looking for out in the market – so I decided to make my own.
I’m not the guy to tell you what suit to wear, or watch to buy, but if you’re looking for a little advice on something for a fine summer weekend, I’ve got your back.
OMC: What’s the biggest mistake men make with shorts?
MC: Guys just don’t seem to wear them situationally. We all have different pairs of pants – you wouldn’t wear nice slacks while doing yard work, or grass-stained jeans to party, right? Yet, too many fellas out there have a couple pairs of cargo or jean shorts, and that becomes the only option. Shorts aren’t too expensive, so it’s a smart move to own a few different kinds. No reason you can’t look good when you’re out and about … better pick up a pair of Hamhockers!
OMC: Socks or no socks? And, if socks, what kind?
MC: Personally – no socks. The important thing is, though, if you want to wear socks with shorts, wear the right socks. In this case, you’ll want to find a no-show or low-cut pair. Nothing wrong with wearing socks for comfort or to keep the feet fresh, but let’s not advertise it, now.
OMC: Best/favorite type of shoe to wear with shorts?
JS: I’m a TOMS guy myself. You can’t go wrong with a good boat shoe or tan loafer, either. I really want a pair of white sneakers, but my girlfriend won’t let me buy ‘em.
OMC: What’s the hottest trend now in men’s fashion? Pink?
MC: I won’t go anywhere near pink – it’s just not me. What I’m seeing though (is) guys are just having more fun with fashion. Casual wear has gotten more stylish, and formal wear has become a little more goofy and relaxed. One of my favorite work shirts has little pineapples on it, because why not?
OMC: What makes Hamhockers different?
MC: In Hamhockers, you get all of the things I love about shorts, rolled up into one. You get a high-quality piece of apparel, made right here in Milwaukee. They have a great fitted and "above the knee" look. And the design is sure to stand out – Hamhockers feature a field of striking embroidered motifs.
My favorite part: each pair has an "easter-egg" motif that shows up a few times – such as a lighthouse among anchors – which is a sure-fire conversation starter. You won’t find anything else like it. I see these as a perfect complement to the Milwaukee summer – unique, spontaneous and cool.
OMC: What’s your goal for the brand?
MC: I'm taking things one step at a time – the Kickstarter is the first spark. I’ve got a ton of ideas for the future – there are endless motif combos out there, along with custom or licensed possibilities. We might even branch out into other clothing options. We do currently offer a women’s fitted logo tee – my mom’s idea. For the meantime, though, I just want to be a chill shorts dude.
OMC: Finally, we bust out the shorts at the first sign of spring in the Midwest. But, when are they really appropriate?
MC: It’s always a great day to show off a little leg. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.