Shorts have long been the staple of summer wear, but you don’t have to come up short on style just to show off your stems!
Photos by Christopher Doherty
My dear friend Alicia Booker (photographer extraordinaire) made a request last week: “Please write an article on how to wear shorts correctly … There are way too many young girls wearing short shorts thinking that they are sexy! It’s sooo appalling! You need to find some shorts and show them how to wear them the right way … of course, with your vintage twist!!“
And, today, here are the results:
How Much for ” ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’ Day”?
$0 Velour 1940s Hat (Inherited from my Great-Grandmother)
$.25 Faux Alligator Belt (Goodwill Clearance, Lancaster Co., Pa.)
$1.00 Cotton Vintage Scarf (Salvation Army, West Chester, Pa.)
$1.49 Knit Trouser Socks (Harry Goods Store, East Earl, Pa.)
$2.00 Peasant Shirt (Goodwill, East Earl, Pa.)
$15.00 Banana Republic Shorts (Seasonal Clearance)
$30.oo Dexter Penny Loafers (Brandywine Shoe Shop, Honey Brook, Pa.)
(So) What’s the Take-Away?
“We wear short shorts” is just a commercial!
Made ever popular by the Nair ad campaign in the ’80s, the slogan gave women everywhere the notion that short shorts are the standard, bar none. I, however, disagree. Finding a good pair of shorts that are flattering to the hips, thighs and calves is about as hard as finding a great fitting pair of jeans.
As Alicia wrote in her e-mail to me, too many girls are wearing short shorts … and as a consequence, they aren’t doing themselves much justice in flattering their figures. Because shorts and the occasion for wearing them is so personalized, the general advice I can give is to consider how your body looks in the shorts from various stances — most importantly, how much will you be revealing when you sit down or bend over?
Regardless of modesty, fashion is about making your body look good. While visiting another creative and dear friend Destiny Ringgold (published author) this past weekend, she said I am like a Barbie. Truly a flattering comment to be compared to the figure of an anatomical impossibility, but, I think she highlighted a misnomer — that because I am tall and lean, I can wear anything.
There are plenty of looks that I wouldn’t dare attempt because I haven’t the figure for making the look work. Magazines are filled with the latest trends and while they look great on the models, I haven’t a model body — thanks to my years as a track athlete! Thus, buying an outfit off a mannequin is never a good idea for the sake of being “in.” Want proof? New York is crawling with women who are wearing the latest looks, yet who are not looking so hot in them.
Consider carefully a balance of what is “in” and what makes you look good AND feel good! Shorts shouldn’t limit your style — although they are a very practical wardrobe element. You should still accessorize and layer-up details as you would with any other outfit, but know your own limits when it comes to the inseam length.
Bottom line: don’t be a blind consumer of fashion, but be sensible — and naturally: thrifty, vintage, chic!
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