How To: Select Some Shorts

Having spent my formative years in the 80s, I tend to be drawn to anything that boasts an alligator, polo horse or Nantucket Red. Tretorns? Had them. Benetton rugby shirt? Check. Polo shirts with the collars up? Yep. I even wore two at a time. In the summer. The New England summer. The hot, humid New England summer. All of which culminated in one of the proudest moments in my life – when I was voted “Preppiest” in my 8th grade class. Boy, was that awesome!

Well, I still have a healthy dash of preppy in my system, which is why I’m loving shorts this summer. I’ve found so many deliciously preppy shorts – kelly green, baby blue seersucker, soft violet – that I feel like I’ve fallen back in time. But without the Aquanet hairspray, of course.

But picking the right pair of shorts isn’t always easy, especially with so many different lengths from which to choose. So let’s talk shorts shopping!

Flat’s Where It’s At. First, go for flat front shorts. Similar to pants and skirts, pleated shorts added extra bulk to waist area. Flat front shorts are more slimming, and allow you to pair them with shirts tucked in or out. I love these flat-front Old Navy shorts in cobalt blue.

Old Navy shorts

Not Seamless. Shorts come in a variety of inseam lengths, so it’s important to try a variety of different lengths to find the one that looks best on you. Here are a couple rules of thumb:

  • Aim for the hem to end above or below the widest part of your leg to avoid making your thighs look larger than they really are. Since my thigh shape starts wider near my torso and gets narrower by my knee, I go for a 5″ or 7″ inseam.
  • Don’t forget to take a seat while trying on those shorts. Make sure you are comfortable with where the hem lies when you are standing up and sitting down. And that’s why I avoid all 3″ inseams!
  • Very in-tune with my preppy roots, here’s a great pair of Lilly Pulitzer 5″ inseam shorts, in a very fun hot pink.

Lilly Pulitzer shorts

Choice Choice. Shorts come in a myriad of styles, so you have lots of choice when it comes to finding the perfect fit. Bermuda, Board, Cargos, Jean, Culottes, Running, Cut-offs…the list goes on and on.

  • Again, remember the hem when trying different styles. Take into account your entire leg as you try on different styles. Since I have athletic calves (and am proud of them!), I stay away from Bermuda shorts because the hem comes to my knees.
  • My favorite short style – the skort!  You get the flexibility of shorts but with a more refined look, so an easy way to transition from a hike to high tea. I love this LL Bean skort (nothing says preppy like LL Bean) with its little bit of flounce.

LL Bean Skort

What’s your favorite style?


July 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . How To. Leave a comment.

How To: Pick the Right Summer Pants (Or “Put back the capris!”)

I started working on a post about how to pick the right style of shorts for your legs (coming! promise!), but as I was browsing through TJ Maxx looking for inspiration (and some wedges on sale), I found myself in the most horrific aisle of the store – the capri section. As I came to a screeching halt, my eyes transfixed on the way-too-vast selection in front of me , I knew that I had to shelve the shorts story and send a plea to all of you. Put the down capris down and slowly back away!

Capris do not look good – on anyone! Need proof? Just pick up a Victoria’s Secret clothing catalog and check out the capri section. Capris make those gorgeous models’ calves look they have grown two sizes. The problem – the capri ends mid-calf, and since they aren’t fitted, they make your leg look thicker than it really is.

Now, I know what you are going to say. They are just so comfortable! I understand as I do indeed own a few pairs of capris. Each summer, I seem to be drawn in by their refreshing fabrics and fun colors, but I’ve got stronger over the years and am now able to resist their persistent pull. Mostly because I’ve branded an image in my mind, of myself, wearing white linen capris that had branding at cuff. I shudder just to think about those pants.

So comfort you want? Then comfort you shall have. Here are some alternatives to the capri.

Pack it Up. The Cargo Pant is a hot trend for the summer. You no longer have to worry about smacking someone with your side pockets like with cargo pants of old. These days’ cargoes are simple and slim. Check out the J.Crew Linen-Silk Cargo Pants.

J Crew Linen-silk cargo pants

It’s Okay to Slouch. Summertime is the right time for a little slouching. Though relaxed in the fit, slouchy pants still look great on a date, especially with when rolled at the cuff. Pair with stacked high heels and a fun tank. Gap Slouchy Pants

Gap Slouchy Belted pants

Elongate It. Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you have to wear short pants all of the time. A full-length pant in a light fabric can feel and look just a fresh, especially in fun summer colors or a crisp white. Check out the Old Navy Button Front Wide Leg Pants – love the wide bottoms.

Old Navy Button Front Wide Leg Pants

Island Fever. Living the luxe life? Try the Georgie’s St. Bart Pant – gorgeous brown silk for tropical island nights or perusing Parisian shops by day.

Georgie St. Bart's Pant

June 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . How To. Leave a comment.