Ask Avery: Who wears short shorts?
blog by Avery Hartmans • July 27, 2012 @ 8:00am
I purchased a pair of high-waisted destroyed cut-off shorts about five years ago. They used to be a staple in my wardrobe, but lately I can’t figure out if they are acceptable and fashion forward anymore. I can’t figure out what to pair them with, or if I should pair them at all. I’m so turned off by the copious amounts of tweens wearing similar shorts paired with crop tops. I need help!
I take my hat off to you for being way ahead of the curve. High-waisted cut-offs are having their 15 minutes of fame right now, but you were rocking yours years before anyone else.
This article of clothing is something I struggle with. I hate high-waisted jorts for blowing up my Pinterest page and inspiring an entire generation of teeny-boppers to post selfies of their “indie” outfits all over their Tumblrs. If I see the midriff of one more long-haired pre-pubescent in cut-off shorts and a half shirt throwing her deuces up, I might burn down Urban Outfitters.
And yet I can’t quite rule out high-waisted cut-offs, for they do fill an important niche, especially when it comes to summer and fall fashion. Despite my complaints, this article of clothing does have its merits, you just have to get creative. Sure, any baby tramp can wear some shorts and a minuscule shirt and call it an outfit. But creating a unique look with high-waisted cut-offs is a little trickier.
Since the loose cropped top and high-waisted shorts silhouette is a little played-out at this point, try experimenting with different shapes. One of my favorite looks right now is a long, loose tee or tunic with short shorts just peeking out the bottom. It creates a rather shapeless silhouette, but really accentuates your legs. Try pairing your destroyed cut-offs with a loose silk tee, maybe even something off-the-shoulder. With lace-up sandals or wedges or boots, plus an armful of bracelets, you’ll look comfortable and bohemian.
While you’re experimenting with dimensions and silhouettes, try something a little more streamlined. Since your bottom half is so ripped and destroyed, keep it super chic and pulled-together on top. Opt for a patterned button-up tucked in and belted with layers of sparkly necklaces. Polish it off with a pair of loafers and an envelope clutch. You don’t have to look like a Kennedy on top, but experimenting with contrasting styles is an unexpected way to mix things up.
In keeping with that sophisticated, pulled-together feeling, try your shorts on with a jacket. A long, boyfriend blazer or a short, structured, boxy jacket could look cool paired with the shorts and a fitted — perhaps corseted — top. I’m picturing this with a topknot, oversized earrings and ankle booties. Please, someone make that outfit happen because it’s way too cool to go un-worn.
Basically, in situations like this, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. Start the next trend, just like you did with the shorts. Sure, you may not win the approval of the “indie” girls now, but in another five years they’ll all be copy-catting again. And if you feel the need to retire your shorts for the time being, that’s OK too. Just hang on to them, because you know they’ll come back in style.
Hi Avery! I was wondering what would be some cute (and preferably low effort) ways of covering up a bikini. I usually wear an athletic pinnie or a large t-shirt, because I’m a bit of a tomboy, but I’m looking to step up my fashion game this summer!
While there’s nothing exactly wrong with a pinnie, at some point you should think about dressing more like the hottie you are and less like a lax bro. Pinnies are loose and comfortable (and so breathable! Who doesn’t love mesh?), but at a certain point, it’s time for a stylish coverup.
That doesn’t mean you have to become a girly-girl overnight, however. If you like the loose, low-cut style of a pinnie, find a more feminine tank in a similar shape. Anything that’s cut low on the sides will be comfortable without looking like you stole it from gym class. Plus, it can double as a real life shirt if you’re heading from the beach to dinner or drinks.
If you’re looking for something that’s closer to a dress than a shirt, an oversized button-up will do the trick. Find something in an ultra-light, ultra-thin material that you can button or unbutton as needed. I’m picturing you standing at the helm of a yacht as your sheer button-down flaps, half-buttoned, in the breeze, your oversized shades on and a silk scarf in your hair. Okay, fine. That’s me I’m picturing. And just for your information, I look damn good.
Anyway, there are plenty of options for tomboys and girly-girls alike. And don’t knock the oversized tee: a thin men’s v-neck looks adorable tied up and knotted at the waist. Or, cut the sleeves, neck and bottom hem off your softest t-shirt and make it a loose, cropped coverup. And be sure to peek inside your closet before you run out to buy something. You may have a top you never considered before that will do the job perfectly.
Photo courtesy of Flickr / Mike Monaghan.