Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shorts Story

As the clouds rolled in and I bundled up at an outdoor brunch in April, I stated rather plainly that the time of year where I stop wearing pants was approaching. My go-to for most of that month had been any one of the numerous pairs of jeans that I own. Pegged when the temperature rose. Worn full length when there was a chill in the air. But now that May is coming to a close, my reliance on denim will begin to wane in favor of skirts and sundresses. And perhaps one more item.

Getting over my various clothing neuroses has been a long, tortuous process. The breasts. The legs. The colorful. The adult. Dealing with all of those leftover middle and high school insecurities that caused me to spend most of college either using my clothes to hide from the world and myself or to show how well I could fit in. Most of those impulses have faded away at this point. Yet for all of my steps in the right direction, all of the shaking off of the dowdy, insecure girl I once was, there are still remnants of her that appear occasionally.

In the past five years, I’ve bought exactly three pairs of shorts. A pair of denim walking shorts that fall just above the knee in the summer of 2006, a navy chino pair in a similar length in the summer of 2009, and a shorter chambray pair in early 2010. The denim pair has been worn on and off but without any real frequency since I purchased them. I spent most of the summer and early fall of 2009 in the navy pair. The chambray pair made brief appearances during the summer of 2010 and, like the navy pair before them, lived on into the fall complemented by black or gray tights. (My mother bought me a seersucker pair with sailor buttons last summer that has never been worn due to the fact that I have limits on the amount of preppiness that I allow myself to emit at one time.)

Shorts are one of the last items that I approach gingerly in stores. That I’m not compelled to bring into the fitting room with me. And I try on everything. Because I want them but can’t afford to buy them. Because they make for fun “twirling in front of the mirror" material. Because I’m simply curious.  But with my adolescent insecurities roaring through my head and colliding with my latent good girl tendencies, shorts never make it into the room.

I've decided that I should take a second look. That purchasing only three pairs of a summer staple over the past five years was a bit ridiculous considering my shopping habits. That maybe I should have more shorts in my closet than lip products in my purse. (There are six currently hiding in various pockets.) 

So there is the casual, linen pair in a sunfaded yellow from Level 99

That can be paired with a simple tank from Old Navy

A navy and white striped, lightweight cardigan by Rag & Bone

And cross-strap flats in camel from Marais USA

Then there is the more formal pair by Alice & Olivia

That can be topped off with a shimmering tank from 3.1 Phillip Lim

And finished with equally shimmery red flats by Repetto.

Or the denim pair from Joe's Jeans

That can be complimented by a Rag & Bone cable knit sweater with a bit of swing

And colorful sneakers from Urban Outfitters

The plans have been made. Now to actually go through with them.

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