Fashion Column

former Lawrentian editors

Shorts: What’s the deal? They’re everywhere (although currently they are not on our legs because the weather is way too November for such summery things) from Forever 21 to Michael Kors. Ways to wear them? Ways to not? Who should? Who shouldn’t?
KW: I would like to start by lashing out at short-shorts. There is nothing good about them, even if you have really hot legs. They are unflattering, cut you off in all kinds of strange ways, and frankly, they just aren’t classy. If you are going to do shorts, a modest length is always the best. Otherwise it looks like you have on denim underwear or something, which is probably not the look you were going for.
AA: I have been seeing a lot of those walking shorts around — you know, the ones that end above the knee — and I appreciate those a lot. They are great transitional garments, i.e. they allow one to prepare for spring gradually. They can be worn with boots or flats, which makes for versatility, no matter the weather, unless it’s seriously cold. However, they should never, ever be worn with tights. I abhor the shorts-with-tights look. It just wasn’t meant to be, you guys.
KW: Oh yes, I too hate the short-tight combo. And the formal shorts which usually are worn in these situations. Formal shorts are not a thing guys. Look into skirts or pants to suit your formal needs.
AA: Yeah … basically, if they go to mid-thigh, it is not formal. I feel like this should be obvious.
EP: I find that shorts and tights are an interesting, yet difficult, look. Some people can pull it off (albeit usually these people have both the right YSL platform peep-toe heel and mile long supermodel legs), it’s just not a look that is sweeping the nation.
EG: Can we talk about shorts that are too informal? Sometimes people think it is all right to wear exercise shorts with nice tops (especially velour shorts with nice tops). This is not right. Nor is it a good choice to wear exercise shorts all day, everyday. Obviously if you are going to the gym or you’re just feeling a bit lazy, this is understandable. But come on, people, get dressed.
KW: I agree with the velour by the way. Another thing to add to that list? Terrycloth. Shorts made from your hair towel belong on no one at any point. I also really, really hate denim shorts on both sexes, but perhaps more so on guys. I can’t quite put my finger on why I dislike them so vehemently, but they should be avoided like the plague. Does anyone have any defenses for these travesties?
AA: Ahem. Velour is never ok. I mean NEVER. So that clears that up. And denim is getting harder and harder to deal with, it seems. I think denim shorts just always seem really … short. (Hence our problem with them). But if they are of a good wash, I think they could be all right. Still — I agree that guys should stick to cargo shorts/khakis and the like. For some reason, denim seems dated when in a man’s short.
KW: I’ve also been seeing a lot of plaid shorts on ladies lately, and I just don’t feel good about them. I actually really like them on preppy guys with polos and flip-flops or boat shoes, but I can’t really get on board with girls in plaid shorts.
EP: Okay, I hear all of your arguments against most shorts. And, normally, I would agree. However, shorts are having a huge fashion moment right now, and they can be so fab. I’m all down for plaid shorts on women, but the look has to be very Hamptons, very J Crew or Ralph Lauren (note, these looks can be done on the cheap). Also: try cuffed (and even pleated) cotton shorts with a cute heel that is colorful and a looks “natural” (i.e. is not patent).
I am very much done with cargo shorts for men. No more. Please go for leaner lines, well-tailored looks, and simple pockets (because, really, what are you keeping in those bulky side pockets anyway??!?!).
AA: I guess that one of the bottom lines with shorts is, try to keep it simple while making the look your own. Shorts are difficult because they are just now coming to be popular garments in the fashion world. I still am not sure what to think of shorts as formal wear, which is why my take on the tights/shorts look is less than enthusiastic. ?But the other bottom line is, if you feel good in it, you will be able to carry off your look fabulously well.