or: The Long and the Short of It
or: Clerks At the Returns Desk Tremble When I Walk In
or: I Hope Y’All Appreciate Everything I Go Through For You!!
I don’t remember whether I’ve said it explicitly, but a basic premise of my quest is that I want to be completely satisfied with the clothes I wear. I’ve gone through most of my life feeling . . . meh, okay . . . at best, about how I look and, more specifically, how I dress.
I’m a tolerably attractive person, with a healthy BMI, and I think I should be able to feel good about the image I present to the world. But I’m pushing 31 here; I’ve got two kids (with plenty of bodily evidence thereof); I drive a minivan. If I don’t get it together now, I don’t know that I ever will.
My husband and I work hard for 100% of the money we earn. The clothes I buy should work 100% for me.
And all this is a long way of saying:
A good pair of shorts (or crops or capris or whatever) is hard to find. Especially when one is almost completely limited to online shopping.
I did find some, actually. I love these shorts from Boden (tho I don’t have any pics of me wearing them yet).
Boden Off-Duty shorts
They’re expensive, but they’re comfortable and, I think, flattering. They sit just right on my hips. They don’t fall too low when I bend down. They do sag a bit in the bum, but I don’t care, especially in a thinner material like chino. They’re long enough without looking awkward . . . like these do:
Not the look I’m going for
I found this pair of Dockers Bermuda shorts at Goodwill, and I was pretty pleased with them at first. Pat says he likes them. But after wearing them several times . . . meh. They aren’t very flattering (the Birks don’t help, but that’s another story). The at-the-knee length just doesn’t work for me, and they won’t stay rolled up.
Same with these from Target:
Merona Bermuda shorts
I had high hopes for these chinos from Shade clothing:
Shade Clothing chinos
But when I tried them on, it was that old, sad story: the pair that fit in the waist were too tight in the hips and thighs, and the pair that fit in the hips and thighs were falling down in the waist. And somehow they just didn’t present enough potential to warrant bringing them to a tailor.
Same with these from JC Penney:
These were too tight and failed to motivate me to swallow my pride and order a size or two up:
Slim chino from Shade clothing
On Mary’s suggestion, I tried these linen pants from Old Navy:
I dig the cool, flowy look:
But the blue isn’t the right shade, and the khaki doesn’t fit right, and I don’t like the other colors. (Typical Old Navy: different colors fit differently.)
I found these and really liked them (despite their being from that place).
Merona 5″ chino shorts
I tried them on and they looked great but I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach that led to a conversation that went something like this:
Me: Are these shorts too short?
Pat: . . . Mmm . . . I dunno . . . maybe not . . . . How do they look when you’re sitting down? . . . Eh, well . . . they’re kind of . . . on the line.
Me: They’re the exact same length as my white shorts.
Pat: . . . Yeah, the white shorts are on the line, but I wasn’t going to say anything.
Whether or not they objectively are too short (the inseam is 5 inches) really doesn’t matter. If my husband thinks they’re “on the line,” they’re not 100% perfect, satisfactory, great, and I’m not going to buy them. I want to look and feel chic & classy and appropriate for any occasion at all times (is that really so much to ask??? come on!). If my shorts are “on the line,” then on a good day I’ll be self-conscious about garnering the wrong kind of attention . . . and on a bad day I’ll feel self-conscious about exposing great expanses of white, blubbery leg flesh.
Self-conscious = no good.
There are a lot of cute cropped jeans out there, but I’ve steered clear of them. It gets hot here in the Mid-Atlantic, yo? I can maybe do linen pants or cropped chinos, but denim past my knees is just too much for summer days.
I have this crazy idea that I should try a skort. Rachel Meeks talks about how great it is to wear dresses in the summer. I see her point, but I can’t get over my fear of overexposure (as Hallie would understand). So enter these:
Athleta Whatever Skort
Athleta Wherever skort
I’m about to order them. We’ll see how that goes. If they don’t work, maybe I’ll just order a few more pairs of the Boden shorts and be done with it. I am looking for a uniform, after all.
In the meantime, I wear my Boden shorts as often as I can. And when those are in the laundry I wear the dreaded Dockers, or the on-the-line white shorts (for 30 seconds or so until they get filthy). When the laundry situation gets really dire, well, if you knock on my door just don’t be surprised if it takes me awhile to come answer.
“Hang on a sec! I have to put on my barrel!” image via the U. of Ky