Dearest Readers: For this week’s FocusOnStyle.com’s 15 year online anniversary online post, let’s take a look back at how you can beat the heat in style with shorts and how you can avoid the pitfalls of going uber casual with a little style motivation.
Either by a reader email or asked in one of my courses or one on one stylist sessions, I’ve always considered servicing FocusOnStyle readers by helping them get the most out of their looks & lives that they can. Enjoy this week’s throwback post! – S.H
Yes, casual summer clothing can be attractive. Fashion do’s, don’ts, tips on how to wear shorts.
Fashion do’s, don’ts, tips on how to wear shorts
Dear Sharon: I was wondering whether shorts are all about the same length, with only the waist being different for people with different size waist circumferences. And since people are different heights, shouldn’t shorts be hemmed so that the shorts appear in proportion to the person’s height? I suspect most people just wear their shorts un-modified, just like they come from the store, which would seem illogical, just like not altering the length of a pair of trousers or slacks would be. In other words, shouldn’t people hem their shorts and skirts to a length that suits their leg length? —Short on Style (Altus, OK)
Dear On Style: What’s illogical is why someone with a way less than descent shape would want to walk around exposing every flaw, flab, and flubberish flesh to the world, when a simple well-fitting skirt or Capri pant would only make them look far better than they could imagine!
Shorts are the lazy Americans excuse for clothing they don’t have to think about. I would love to have nothing more than an ABORT THE SHORT DAY and force feed people to think out of the box for just one day and to try wearing alternate types of summer clothing that are far more attractive and appropriate to their figures.
Yes, there are people who look fantastic in shorts. One, is actress Chloe Sevigney (pictured), however, just a scant few have the rear image, skin tone, and shape that warrants public exposure.
Why not try to leave figure flaws a secret and choose clothing that camouflages faults, and highlights figure strengths? An A-line skirt and tapered tee, worn with a casual pair of comfy espadrilles has far more sophistication and cache than a pair of shorts which yank up on one thigh, grab your tush, bulge around the elastic waistband, and make your legs look even more stunted and wide when worn with bulky sneakers and anklets. Capri pants which hit a flattering part of your calf are another stylish and attractive choice for warm weather.
When wearing shorts, or anything else, the length should be in proportion to your size, shape, and, figure. The length of the short should hit the shapeliest part of your leg and not be too full or too tight. Showing more leg, when there is leg worth showing, will make you appear taller, as will a shoe with a little lift to it. Wearing a blouse untucked in a complementing color that grazes your figure will also create a longer, leaner visual illusion than tucking your top in and breaking the line.
Well-designed clothing is made in proportion to the size it is, so a size 4 will have a proportionately shorter leg than a size 16. Yes, a little bit of tailoring can produce a lot of magic, but, frankly, many fall short on the notion that casual clothing should have any style. Perhaps, a fast glance in a 3-way mirror would provide a more than ample glimpse of what should be fashionably adjusted.
Original publish June 21, 2004