Posts Tagged ‘shorts’

If you recall, last summer I went through a shorts renaissance. That cannot be the word I mean, and yet that is the word I am sticking with. 

Anyway, I found a new pair of shorts this summer – after trying on many, many, MANY pairs. It fits my specific requirements: high rise, roomy leg openings, and free shipping. This year I also added “not too short” to my list of Shorts Musts, and these adhere to that criterion as well.

Madewell Relaxed Mid-Length Denim Shorts (image from nordstrom.com)

They are a leeeeetle too ripped for my taste, but not terribly so. They are very flattening (not to be confused with flattering, which they are not) in the buttular region, which takes a lot of doing when it comes to my particular rear. Fortunately, I have reached the phase of life where a) no one is looking at my rear and b) I don’t really care what anyone thinks about my rear anyway. Also, if, like me, you happen to have a thigh/hip to waist ratio that deviates from what American Fashion considers to be “normal,” they may be a leeeetle bit loose in the waist area. I have been addressing the issue with the other aspect of my Summer Uniform, which is a long, loose tank top.

I have this in white and grey:

Madewell Whisper Shout Cotton V-Neck Tank (image from nordstrom.com)

And this, in black and red:

Caslon Muscle Tank (image from nordstrom.com)

This is what I plan to wear every day this summer, unless it is cool, in which case I will wear the Caslon track-style linen pants I now own in green and grey, or unless something fancy is called for, in which case I will wear my scoop neck tiered flare dress from Ann Taylor. 

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I hate shorts. It’s the item of clothing I loathe the most – well, I guess I might put it head-to-head with “romper” – but rompers are one-piece shorts anyway, right?

Let’s be clear about something. I do not hate shorts on OTHER PEOPLE. (Same goes for rompers and jumpsuits and even palazzo pants.) When I see other people wearing [hated clothing item], I either a) don’t notice and simply register is as “That person is not naked” OR b) I envy how well they are pulling it off.

How I would LOVE to like shorts. They are so practical in the hot summer months. They are so useful for trips to warmer climates (not that anyone’s going on trips to any sort of climate). They are so CUTE on SO MANY PEOPLE.

But not me. I do not like the way I look in shorts. I do not like the way they feel.  I do not like the way they make me feel about the way I look.

I see other people in the world, just going about their business, wearing shorts, and sure, a lot of those people I admire have long, thin, shapely legs. But there are PLENTY of shorts-wearing women who look GREAT in shorts and who have shorter or curvier or sturdier legs. I feel weird saying what I am about to say, because I (we) have been so conditioned to think of “fat” as a pejorative term, but there are plenty of FAT women who look great in shorts because obviously being fat is not a contraindication for being cute or stylish. You can be both.

But for ME, shorts have always been a downer. I’ve tried. A few years ago, I bought several pairs of some longish shorts from J. Crew. Last year, I think, I bought a pair of longish shorts from Talbots. They were okay. I didn’t hate life when I wore them. But I didn’t love them, either. Mainly, in summer, I wear sundresses or I suffer in jeans.

And I pine for a universe in which I could wear shorts.

However… I wear exercise shorts. I wear them almost daily. Sometimes even in public. I like they way they feel. And I don’t mind (too terribly much) the way I look in them.

So I wondered if maybe, somehow, there was some way to replicate the feel of athletic shorts… but in, like, a regular, everyday kind of short.

The word “shorts” is rapidly losing meaning.

To cut a VERY long story short (ha) (also, not short at all, we are already a good 400+ words into this post by now and there is MORE TO COME), I SUCCEEDED.

I have, this very summer, purchased FOUR PAIRS of shorts that I actually like. My thighs are still thick. My legs are still stubby. I still have cellulite. But I wear these shorts in public and still feel cute. I can’t give any higher recommendation than that, so let me show you them.

Pair the First: Madewell High Rise Cuffed Denim Shorts

Shorts Madewell

This image is a lie. These shorts are longer and much roomier in person. Photo from nordstrom.com

These were my gateway shorts, if you will. I am pretty sure I saw them first on Kendi Everyday. Please click through to see Kendi modeling these shorts, instead of using the above thumbnail as a guide – there is a WORLD of difference in the fit. And the way they looked on Kendi was the way I wanted them to look on me. Most shorts look, on me, like they do on the thumbnail model – tight. But, because – unlike the thumbnail model – I have thick thighs (which is a perfectly acceptable type of body part) there is no tapering below the hem of the short. Sometimes there is even… thigh bulge below the hem. Which is neither physically comfortable nor aesthetically pleasing to my ever-self-critical eye.

On Kendi, though, the Madewell shorts appeared to have nice, roomy leg openings. So I bought a pair and lo! they fit as I hoped and I love them very, very much. Did I ever think I would spend nearly seventy (70) US dollars on a pair of denim shorts? No, no I did not. Was it worth it? Yes it was. I have worn them many, many times this summer, sometimes even – purposely – instead of pajamas!

Pair the Second: Topshop Roll Hem Mom Denim Shorts

Shorts Topshop

Do I hate the name of these shorts? Yes, I do. Have I irritated myself with this question-and-answer format? YES I HAVE. Photo from nordstrom.com

Confession time. I went on kind of a denim shorts binge after the success of the Madewell pair. I have not owned a single pair of denim shorts since high school, so I guess I felt the need to make up for lost time. Plus, I had been abstaining from non-essentials shopping for most of March, all of April, and all of May, and I was really itching to spend money. I am deeply grateful for Nordstrom’s free shipping and free returns policy because I really put both to good use in June.

The name of these shorts annoyed me, but the SHAPE of them was very appealing. I don’t want shorts that GRIP my thighs. I want roomy leg openings, folks. And these shorts delivered. (They also have a high rise, which is good for keeping the tum tucked in.)

For those of you who care, my husband likes these shorts less than he does the Madewell shorts. He says they aren’t as flattering. And, sure, they are a little less fitted in the buttular region. But I will repeat: roomy leg openings.

Pair the Third: Universal Thread Women’s High Rise Pull-On Shorts

Shorts Target

The next best thing to wearing jammies. Photo from target.com

At some point – probably after trying and returning my fifth or sixth pair of denim shorts – I realized that a woman doesn’t necessarily need that many pairs of jorts. Two, it turns out, shall suffice. Especially for a shorts-hater like myself, especially during a pandemic when one so rarely needs to change out of pajamas.

Speaking of pajamas: I have several pairs of soft pajama shorts that I really love to wear. My experience finding jean shorts that mimic my beloved exercise shorts having gone so well, I wondered, in a very Carrie Bradshaw way: could I find non-pajama shorts that had everything I found so appealing about my pajamas?

Indeed I could! And these are they. They are loose and comfy but the fabric is sturdy enough that it’s clear you haven’t just rolled out of bed. Or, if you HAVE just rolled out of bed, you at least rolled past your dresser and put on some Real Clothes before leaving the house.

Best of all, these are under $20. (I think I got them on sale for $15.)

Pair the Fourth: CeCe Pleat Front Double Stripe Shorts

Shorts CeCe

For all your Fancy Shorts occasions. Photo from nordstrom.com

Now that we have the Denim and Not-Pajama categories of shorts covered, let’s go straight to the Fancy Shorts option. Because what we all need during a pandemic is something fancy, right?

These shorts have all that I now know I need in a short: A high rise, a roomy leg opening, free shipping.  Plus, they’re cute. I picture myself wearing them to all the adults-only backyard cocktail parties no one is throwing this summer.

Have I worn them out of the house yet? No, I have not. But I could. And that’s good enough for me.


And there you have it. Four pairs of shorts for a (reformed?) shorts-hater.


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