Shorts… could they be the most difficult item of clothing to shop for and get right? Possibly. A bit like jeans, very tricky to find the right pair, but a joy to behold once you do. At this point I’m going to have to mention last year’s Topshop Shorts. Congratulations if you managed to bag a pair last summer, and further kudos to you if you can still fit into them after countless lockdowns and all those months of sitting on the sofa eating Wispas and drinking too much red wine. I am happy to report that, despite me doing just that, I can still get into mine. I would like to thank the dog walks for getting me off my fat arse and outside over the interminable winter months we had.
While we are talking about Topshop – and this has nothing to do with shorts – I can’t understand what’s happened to the brand. I mean, I know it went bankrupt, but why would ASOS buy it for £200 million and just do nothing but morph it into their already huge site? Topshop may have lost its way over the past few years, but it was still a brand with a loyal customer base. I know I wasn’t the target market towards the end (too many crop tops for a 48 year old) but it had a heritage. I would always check out the website to see what it was offering, and usually there were a few gems to be found. THE Shorts were a massive case in point, as were the Editor jeans.
I find ASOS to be such a behemoth of a site that sometimes I don’t even know where to start. Plus all the Topshop stuff on there seems like old stock. Nothing new. If anyone has an insight into the business of fashion, I’d love to know what the thinking was/is. But, enough of that, we are talking about shorts this week and, given the impressive weather we’ve been having, a new pair of summer shorts has been top of my shopping list.
CLASSIC DENIM SHORTS
For me, the key to a good pair of denim shorts is the width of the hems. That actually goes for all shorts, I think. I can’t abide anything too tight. My days of wearing a skintight pair of cycling shorts are long gone. ‘When were those days?’ you may well ask. Believe it or not, there was a time in the late 80s when wearing cycling shorts, even when nowhere near a bicycle, was all the rage. I blame Princess Diana and Madonna equally for this trend. I think the Kardashians attempted to bring back this look a few years ago.
That ship has well and truly sailed. I don’t want my legs to look like a pack of cheap insipid-coloured Richmond sausages, thanks very much. Give me a wide hem and a decent amount of fake tan please. These Mango shorts are actually VERY good and the closest I have found to last year’s holy grail Topshop numbers. I sized up to get extra (leg) room and they fit great.
1. Holzweiler Organic Printed T Shirt
2. Warehouse Cotton Bucket Hat
3. Mango Mom Fit Denim Roll Hem Shorts
4. Whistles Maisie Cotton Overshirt
5. Converse 70 Pride Embroidered Hi Tops
6. Mango Organic Cotton Tote Bag
Have you ever worn a shorts suit? Would you? I’m leaning towards the idea. I think it’s all the ‘Pretty-Woman-once-she’s‑got-poshed-up-and-isn’t-a-prostitute-anymore’ vibes that it’s giving me. Not quite sure where I would wear it though. I don’t have an office to go to and, to the best of my knowledge, I’m not due in court anytime soon. Can I wear this to lunch? Just for fun? I might try it. I already have these shorts from & Other Stories (as part of an ad I did with them), and they are very flattering, a great shape and true to size. Now I just need a blazer to go with them and a current prostitute friend that I can meet at the Reg Bev Wil to give some sage advice to…
Now, this is more like it. A pair of shorts that you can wear all day at home, do a spot of gardening in, pop to the Costcutter, spend an evening in front of the TV AND then wear to bed. Don’t tell me you haven’t done that. I have a set from small brand Walker and Walker, really super-comfortable but cool enough to wear out of the house and not look like you forgot to get dressed. If your budget stretches further, then Alex Mill and Ganni also do matching sweatshirts and shorts. Free People is another place to check out for ‘shorts sets’; they have a great range.
SEMI SMART SHORTS
Not quite ‘shorts suit’ vibes, but slightly smarter than the loungewear and the denim cut-offs. This pair from Albaray have come highly recommended by more than one of my readers. I imagine that, if I were taking a city break, this is the kind of outfit I’d wear to explore Paris or Rome or Amsterdam in the summer. Won’t be going to any of those places this year but we do have plans closer to home. There’s still so much of London that I haven’t visited, even though I’ve lived here since 1992.
In fact, I’m planning my own ‘Blue Plaque Tour’ of London for anyone that has the patience to come with me. I’m going to start with South Ken, as there are loads of good ones there and it’s a great place to wander around. Plus, you know, Harvey Nics and The King’s Road help. Fun Fact, there’s a quiet road near Earl’s Court that was once home to Kenny Everett AND Freddie Mercury at the same time. I like to think they would be popping round each other’s houses to borrow a cup of sugar or a silver platter on which to serve cocaine.
CLASSIC LINEN SHORTS
I have a love/hate thing with linen. In the love category it’s the perfect fabric to wear in this hot weather as it’s all airy and light and won’t make you sweat. In the hate category are the bloody creases. With the wrong kind of linen you’ll look like you’ve just taken your outfit out of the wash basket after it’s been there for a month. My main rule of thumb is if the linen looks creased when hanging in the shop, step away. If you’re ordering online and it’s still got major wrinkles after you’ve hung it up for a day or so, then send it back, because after you’ve worn it, it’s going to have more creases than my forehead after two hours of attempting to make an Excel spreadsheet. I STILL can’t do them. Maths was never my strong point.
1. Celine Oversized Tortoiseshell Acetate Sunglasses
2. Arket Heavyweight T Shirt
3. Arket Animal Print Resort Shirt
4. Mango Double Strap Mini Basket Bag
5. & Other Stories Relaxed Linen Shorts
6. Birkenstock Taupe Suede Boston Slippers
BLOW THE BUDGET SHORTS
I just wanted to add this extra section mainly to showcase this Isabel Marant jacket and matching shorts. I mean, how extra is this? Really hoping this jacket goes in the sale soon. I’m seriously coveting it. It kind off reminds me of my rave days. Back then I’d probably have paired it with my lime green mesh Destroy top and Katharine Hamnett hotpants. These days I’d be more likely to wear with a plain white T shirt and jeans. I’ve heard some very good reports of these Agolde distressed denim shorts. They are a favourite for quite a few of you. **Stop press! That jacket has gone in the sale here**
1. Isabel Marant Etoile Printed Cotton Canvas Jacket
2. Isabel Marant Acetate Cats Eye Sunglasses
3. Radarte Print Fleece Jersey Sweatshirt
4. Agolde Distressed Denim Shorts
5. Isabel Marant Printed Cotton Shorts
6. Vans Embroidered Checkerboard Old Skool Trainers
I hope you find a pair of shorts that suits, and I hope you get to wear them for many months to come. Let that sun shine down upon us!