Like it or not, shorts season is upon us. After months in the dark depths of full-length denim (other fabrics are available), the time has come for us to unleash the legs. Don’t get started on how you could never, because you CAN. No legs are too old, too dimpled, too veiny, too large or too hairy. Well, maybe too hairy, but that’s a lifestyle choice and if you want to embrace the inner yeti in you, go right ahead. Personally, I become very good friends with my Gillette Venus Comfortglide post April. For dimples and veins, I believe everything looks better with a (fake) tan. See last week’s post for some of my recommendations when it comes to that.
My top tip for buying and wearing shorts is ‘if in doubt, size UP’. Anything too tight will only serve to make you feel bad about yourself, unless of course you have the svelte figure of a Love Island contestant, in which case, you go for it. Why not wear them with a bikini top and 6‑inch wedges while you’re at it? But for the rest of us, loose-fitting is definitely more flattering. Let’s have a look at some not-so-short shorts and outfit ideas for you to try…
Always my personal favourite when it comes to shorts: the classic denim cut-offs. Or not cut-offs, but you know, real shorts. My top ones are these from Mango. I have them from two years ago and they are still my high street favourites. Yes, even better than those fabled Topshop ones from the summer of 2020. Shout out to my lockdown TS Shorts Crew: you know who you are. I don’t think I could ever get rid of mine now, as they’ll always remind me of that time. I sized up on the Mango ones. They’re quite loose so you don’t really have to, but I always like my shorts on the large size.
- Boden relaxed linen shirt
- Alexis Amor Willa Cobalt blue sunglasses
- & Other Stories fitted tank top
- Mango high rise denim shorts
- ANYDAY drift foldable tote bag
- Nike Blazer low 77 trainers
CLASSIC COTTON SHORTS
A good pair of cotton khaki or beige longer-length shorts are a nice entry point for the reluctant shorts-wearer. Less leg on show could possibly ease you into feeling more confident about wearing them. Pair with a loose linen shirt and your favourite sandals and you are good to go almost anywhere. This look is as perfectly suitable for wearing in your home town as it is for sightseeing somewhere more far-flung.
- Oliver Bonas faux tortoiseshell round sunglasses
- Seasalt Reading Rock denim jacket
- Fat Face Olivia stripe linen blend shirt
- La Redoute raffia and leather basket bag
- Alex Mill cotton twill khaki shorts
- Arizona Love bandana raffia sandals (use code KATE15 for 15% off)
For the more adventurous shorts-wearers out there, why not go all in and get yourself a cool coordinated set? Admittedly, not the easiest look to pull off. You run the risk of your family and friends thinking you’ve forgotten to get dressed and have stepped out in your pyjamas, but I’m kind of into this look. I think it would be great for beach holidays this summer. Plus you can always wear them with other items if you’re not quite brave enough to go for the full match-o-rama. This one from River Island is my favourite. I love the delicate embroidery and broderie details.
- The White Company natural wide brim straw hat
- Sessun cotton dual colour stripe shirt
- River Island white floral embroidered short sleeve shirt
- River Island white floral embroidered shorts
- Sessun cotton dual colour stripe shorts
- Kin off white leather sandals
- Birkenstock Arizona suede sandals
Obviously you don’t HAVE to be doing sports to wear these. Think of this as your super-comfy casual look for the summer. Easy, breezy dog walks, beach strolls, not-too-taxing-hikes (that aren’t really hikes at all, they’re just a nice walk somewhere more picturesque than the field over the canal). I’ve recently discovered this brand Varley that specialises in elevated basics. By all accounts, their shorts are the softest around.
- La Redoute x Frangin Frangine sweatshirt
- H&M black frame sunglasses
- Isabel Marant XL stripe cotton tote bag
- Varley Keely high rise shorts
- Newtone cotton Schiffer t shirt
- Nike Dunk low green and white trainers
- Ivy Ellis vintage style cotton sports socks
Shorts and matching blazer. It invariably reminds me of Pretty Woman when she’s left her whoring ways behind her and become the lady she was always meant to be. Of course you don’t have to be a reformed prostitute to wear this, it’s just a great summer solution for when you might need to be smart but you also live in LA. Or Lambeth. Or Loughton, or even Loughborough. Possibly. If you don’t feel like you can go the whole hog with the blazer, just look for a good pair of linen shorts and wear with an oversized white shirt and sturdy sandals.
- & Other Stories relaxed tailored linen blazer
- Sezane Milo brown leather handbag
- Boden oversized white cotton shirt
- Loewe reversible leather belt
- & Other Stories tailored wide leg linen shorts
- Grenson Queenie thick sole leather sandals
MORE DENIM SHORTS
Because frankly, you can’t have too many. I’ve mentioned that Mango are my favourite high street option, but for my high-end ladies, I can’t praise the AGOLDE Long Parker shorts enough. Their hem is the perfect width and they’re a great length. For these (unlike most of my shorts advice), I would take your regular waist size as they’re already fairly loose-fitting. Also, a note on this FARM Rio T‑shirt that I got recently: it comes up HUGE! I sized down to an XS and it’s still roomy. I’m usually a 12.
- Boden colour-pop acetate sunglasses
- Farm Rio oversized Mar de Bahia T‑shirt
- Farm Rio intarsia knit shirt
- New Look large towelling tote bag
- Agolde Parker denim shorts
- Golden Goose star canvas and leather trainers
I hope this has given you some ‘shortspiration’ for the summer ahead.