Can a Lesser mortal wear shorts and not look like Miss Trunchbull?
OMG you say! Shorts – you’ve got to be kidding…..! At my age, with my varicose veins, hairy legs, nobbly knees etc??? What are you – nuts? Yes, Lesser Mortals, they are a real possibility for the summer, and I don’t mean, the really knackered pair you wear to do the garden, nor the ridiculously short pair you wear on the beach in Greece. I mean proper stylish, going round town shorts. European ladies of many ages have been sporting this look for a long time (obviously weather driven) but we do seem averse to shorts over here. I’m not sure I see the problem, since most of us wear skirts. Are tailored short shorts any different to mini skirts? Are tailored knee shorts any different to pencil skirts? Are culottes any different to longer length gathered skirts? ( see my Facebook page to see me in culottes). The main focus for me, is leg prep. Obviously – hair removal is a must. I’m afraid I am a Lesser Mortal who doesn’t bronze and who is unbelievably lazy, so doesn’t spend hours fake tanning. What I do do, however, is use a moisturiser with fake tan built in. I like these because…1) it takes me about 3 mins every morning to slap it on 2) if I make a mistake and it’s gone a bit dark around my knees, I can scrub with a flannel and hey presto, back to normal. 3) I don’t have to spend hours buffing and moisturising beforehand 4) it is more subtle on my pilly wally skin 5) I don’t think I smell like a biscuit – at least no-one has offered to dunk me. It goes without saying to blot with a towel after showering, rather than rub, or you rub it all off.
My other essential point to not looking like a boy scout, is your footwear. Worn with crocs…well what can I say? Also Jesus sandals, converses, flip-flops are all fine for a casual look, but not the stylish urban look we should aim for. I think a heel can really up the style stakes. It doesn’t have to be ridiculously high – a kitten heel will make a statement.
Having spent many happy hours researching shorts for you…another subtle point is length of short and how wide the leg is. I bought some knee shorts recently and felt odd in them. Once I turned them up 2 cm, they worked really well. The crucial point is where they stop over your knee – I found just above the knee to be perfect. If you hate your knees, a crop trouser is probably better. Also, if the legs are really wide and baggy, I think they look less chic.
- Tailored cotton bermuda short. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Cotton, elastane, viscose. Dry clean only. These are slightly lower waisted, so perfect for boyish figures, or apples with wider waists.
- Cotton stretch sateen short. Jigsaw. £98. Cotton elastane mix. sizes 8-14. Low on sizes on line. Machine washable. Slightly wider around the leg, so suits pear shapes.
- Painted linen stripe bermuda short. Whistles £125. Tencel linen mix. Dry clean only. sizes 4-16. Again the model will be quite tall here, but this style will suit top heavy ladies with long legs.
- Belted wide leg shorts. Whistles. £195. Triacetate and nylon. Sizes 4-16. Sizes limited on line. Dry clean only. These will carry on into winter, to wear with knee boots, so a great buy. Suits pear shape and hourglass. Will add curves to boyish figures.
- Full pleated shorts. Next. £35. Sizes 6-18. Cotton, nylon, elastane mix. These pleats will open over hips to give an A-line appearance, so suit pear shapes. Avoid if you have a belly, as the pleats will accentuate.
- High waisted printed shorts. Zara. Reduced to £22.99. Sizes xs-l. Cotton elastane, machine washable. Perfect for hourglass and top heavy ladies with long lean legs.
Notice how all the city shorts are styled with heels. If you are not comfortable with heels, go for more of a low wedge, to give the illusion of heels. Don’t be afraid to take your shorts up slightly as most of these photos will be taken on very tall models.
Let me know your views and whether this has changed your opinion of shorts now (via the speech bubble near the top headings). I shall be showing myself in various shorts on my Facebook page, over the next week or two.
city shorts 3 ways: Debenham’s blog
5 best city shorts: All about you.
How to wear shorts with short stumpy legs: the chic fashionista