This summer is set to be our first stretch relatively free from the rigid constraints of the COVID pandemic. And ever since Milo Ventimiglia sent his 2-inch-inseam shorts into the Twittersphere, exposed male thighs were set to be one of the stars of summer 2021. Many of those thighs would be exposed thanks to the judicious use of the five-inch Patagonia Baggie, perhaps the finest pair of shorts known to man. Only one problem: Patagonia’s uber-popular shorts, the Excalibur of thigh-bearers everywhere, are in short supply.
On first glance, this is not novel, Almost every year around this time, just as everyone is prepping for summer, there seems to be a run on Baggies. The most popular colors reliably sell out, and we are reminded of that crucial but so-forgettable lesson: summer wardrobes are made in the winter. However, Baggies are in particularly short supply this year, according to the brand—and for the same reason everything else is sort of off this year, too. “This season, inventory across several styles and categories has been hampered by Covid,” a Patagonia representative tells GQ. “We saw many late deliveries and are short on the typical unit count that we would have for a ‘normal’ season.”
What’s happening with Baggies is representative of the challenges that have swept the fashion industry over the past year. The effects have been felt at every stage of the supply chain. Last year, in light of the cancellation of men’s fashion weeks, Bode designer Emily Bode described the domino effect to GQ: “We can’t begin fall production until our factories reopen…and because we can’t start fall production, development of spring is even further behind,” she said. Rhude’s Rhuigi Villaseñor said he started using materials he already had lying unused around the studio for his collection because of how difficult the pandemic made it to source new textiles. And Patagonia is experiencing trouble with more than just Baggies: some equipment and “technical alpine styles” that are delayed too. However, Patagonia’s hurdle is different than the sourcing challenge designers faced last summer.
In a potentially even more excruciating twist of fate for would-be customers, more Baggies exist—their arrival in stores is just delayed. “These delays were caused by shipping issues at the international ports,” the Patagonia representative says. Because of Covid protocols and social-distancing requirements at ports, products are offloaded much slower than they were in the past. “Product coming from overseas factories and partners may be shipped on time, but getting that product offloaded and onto our shelves is another story,” the rep says.
But if you’re still hoping to take part in this very thigh-centric summer, don’t panic yet. Patagonia hopes Baggies will be clearing from the international ports and in stores by June.