Are you wearing shorts this summer? I don’t mean when you’re pottering around in your garden, lolling on the deck with a book, or going for your daily walk. I mean in the city, window shopping downtown, or meeting a (fully vaccinated) friend for a patio lunch. You know, when you’re out in public. Where other people might see you. When you step back out into public view this summer, will it be in a pair of shorts?
Lately, I’ve been reading Elizabeth Cline’s book The Conscious Closet. It’s a fabulous book. I’m really enjoying it. Did you know that we wear less than fifty percent of what is hanging in our closets? Way less than fifty percent, actually. But that’s a discussion for another post. I plan to do a vlog and then a couple of follow up posts based on my reading of Cline’s book. But for the moment, I am focusing on shorts. I want to see if my city shorts can become part of the percentage of my closet that I actually wear. Should I wear them for one more season? Or should I consign them to the donate pile? I’m waffling.
This is not a post seeking advice about whether I’m too old to wear shorts. I wrote that post in 2019. I asked myself that question. And decided to wear the shorts. This is not a post about whether my legs are too skinny and my knees too knobby to look good in shorts. Or if these particular shorts would look better with this or that piece which I don’t own. I don’t want to go shopping to be able to wear my shorts. A summery dress would possibly be more appropriate. And cooler. But this is not that post either.
Nope. This post is about me trying to cobble together a couple or three outfits that I can reach for, which include my black Theory shorts. Outfits that I’d actually wear downtown, or out for lunch, or wherever I may be able to go in the next month or two.
So. To that end. Yesterday, I donned my black Theory tailored Bermuda shorts. I’ve been fond of this style of shorts for years and years. I like tailored shorts. But they have to be fairly slim in cut, quite long in the leg, and quite high in the rise. Mine are cut like men’s trousers, with a zipper and belt loops and pockets. They are in great shape despite their age, and they still fit me. But usually when I could be reaching for these shorts, I instead pull on my Rag and Bone black cropped Simone pants, or my black cotton cargo pants.
First, I tried my shorts with a new black tank that I recently ordered from Everlane. Last summer I purchased a red tank top from Everlane and loved it. I like the high-neck, cut-away style. The soft cotton is quite thick, not sheer, and the shirt is fitted but not clingy. And the price is right. Everlane have a special (3 tees for $63 CAD) so I ordered three new tanks, black, white, and navy and white striped. Since my summer jackets are black, tan, white, and navy, these tops will go with everything I own. And provide a nice change from my short-sleeve tees.
I really like the tank top with the shorts. Instead of going black and white for this outfit, I wore my brown belt, brown flat sandals, gold jewellery, and my tan linen Max Mara jacket. This outfit pleased me a lot. The jacket is old, but the long, slightly menswear inspired cut makes the shorts look current. I felt comfortable, and pulled together, especially with the addition of the belt. I tried my small black Mackage cross-body bag with this, but preferred my “peanut” coloured straw Eric Javits tote.
Next I tried the white tank with the shorts, white sneakers, and my white Theory jacket. That looked fine too. Bit too stark, though. Besides, I have lots of other outfits to wear with my white jacket. My white sneakers, white tank, with a black H&M hoodie over the tank looked good. This outfit would be great for car journeys. Like down to New Brunswick in August. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.
The last outfit I tried was really simple, and possibly my favourite. The black shorts with my black Everlane cashmere crew-neck sweater. The sweater is just loose enough and just fitted enough to look casual and at the same time polished. I added silver earrings and necklaces and a black and silver cuff. And I slipped on my Michael Kors cream sandals (similar). These have a small block-heel, and can dress up a really casual outfit just that tiniest bit. Or enough for me, anyway. I’d wear this out to a patio dinner. Perhaps with the black tank underneath so I could take off the sweater if I chose. I’d carry my black and cream Kate Spade bag.
It’s amazing how much nicer this outfit looks with the cream sandals instead of black ones. And the structured bag. How simple it is to up the ante just a little bit, but not so much as to look like one is trying too hard to up the ante. If you follow me.
So I think my shorts try-on session worked well. I wasn’t able to use most of the photos I took yesterday because the camera on my phone is acting up. The cloudy day and the shifting light patterns didn’t help. Still the lens worked well enough to show off the bug bites from our camping week, and the bruised knee from an errant tent pole. Sigh. Hubby and I had a serious conversation about the whole camping thing when we were away. Whether all the work of packing, setting up, taking down, and unpacking when we get home is worth the trouble. Not to mention the rain and the bugs. But I’ll talk about that in another post.
We are home now. A profusion of newly bloomed primroses in our flower beds greeted us with a cheery welcome home when we drove in the laneway a couple of days ago. Everything has been unpacked and put away. And the vegetable garden seen to. The potato plants have all been tied up, with help from the non-gardener. Most of the laundry is done. And Hubby just returned from grocery shopping to restock the larder. My mum had her second shot yesterday and called this morning to say how good she feels. So all is well in our little corner of the world.
Plus I have three new tank tops that didn’t cost the earth and which I really like. And a plan to rehabilitate my old Theory shorts.
You know, I just looked in my “little book of lists.” I bought those Theory shorts in 2007. They don’t owe me anything, that’s for sure. And they are safe from the donation pile for one more season anyway. I am no longer waffling. At least about how to wear my shorts in public. But you can be sure that there’s lots of waffling potential in other parts of my life. Otherwise what would I have to write about, my friends?
Now, if you doubt that classic styles keep on keeping on… Theory still sells tailored Bermuda shorts just like mine. You can see the pinstriped version on the Theory website here. And on sale at Nordstrom in the product widget below. I included a few other examples of longer-style shorts that I like as well. The tan Columbia pair with the drawstring waist would be good for travel, I think.
So tell us… where do you stand on the shorts issue? Not my shorts, necessarily, just shorts in general. Are you a city shorts kind of person. Or as far as you’re concerned are they strictly for exercise and lolling? When you venture into public this summer, will you be wearing shorts?