Everyone seems to be into fashion these days, and I am, at best, fashion confused. Are shorts supposed to be thigh-length, knee-length or calf-length?
Look what happened to basketball pants — they are now approaching capri-length. My question is what is so horrible about men’s legs? Men’s shorts get longer and longer, while women’s shorts seem to get shorter and shorter.
My closet contains only out-of-fashion shorts, and my style sense has been described by fashionistas as “tragic.”
Originally, I shunned the out-of-fashion styles lest someone, somewhere, behind my back or around the corner might be secretly pointing at me with a look of disdain and moving me from their “invite” or “include” list to their “do not…” list.
Fashion paranoia set in. I would not go out unless I checked the latest ads to see if my wardrobe was current, until one day I had had enough.
I decided to do a little research into shorts. Wikipedia was very helpful.
The definition: In general, pants, trousers and shorts are clothing items worn by both genders on the lower part of the body, circling the waist and covering both legs separately. Pants extend down to the ankles, shorts are shortened pants covering only the upper part of the leg.
In the United Kingdom, there is a term “short trousers” that is the American equivalent of “dress shorts,” used in tropical climates (Bermuda shorts) and school uniforms. Even so, in most countries, they are considered casual wear, so don’t wear them to work (except in Bermuda with long socks, blazer and tie).
Up to the early 20th century, shorts were worn only by young boys until they reached puberty. As a result, men shunned shorts to avoid looking immature. Modesty standards and society mores at the time prevented most women from wearing shorts.
In the 21st century, male shorts leg length crept down to below the knee and sometimes down to the calf, as exampled by basketball players in the last three decades. It is arguable whether they should be called “long shorts” or “short pants.”
Many males still wear longer shorts but male leg length has started to reverse up and now sits just above the knee.
Thank goodness. I thought I was behind the styles. Now I find myself in the lead.
I looked through my closet and found I had an adequate supply of jean shorts, all just above the knee, with waists that sit above (not on) my hips. I have no jean shorts bought with holes in the leg or raggy bottoms. The few ones I have earned their look and will soon hit the trash.
I have two pair of cargo shorts, bought for me to look “stylish.” I have no baggies or vintage short shorts or plaid shorts (I was never a “preppy”). I ride my bike but do not have any spandex cycling shorts. I do have some nylon running shorts that are thigh-length, but I bought them years ago, and they are staying.
My swim suits are about the same length as my running shorts, mid-thigh. When I go to the beach, the young studs are all wearing board shorts popularized by surfboard riders. To point out how far back they go, in the 1980s, board shorts were called “jams.”
So what did I learn after all that research? I learned that I am indeed out of fashion, and unless I replace my entire wardrobe, I will remain “fashion-challenged.”
The big question is, do I care enough to replace my entire wardrobe with the current fashion of the season? Probably not. And do I care that much about those “secret finger pointers somewhere” who will not invite me because of my fashion confusion?
Who are these people anyway? I don’t know them. Will I live my life for people who have outlooks different than me? My answer is no.
I’ll stay happily out of fashion, but in the lead.
And I have learned that if we wait long enough, every style comes back into fashion.
Command a vital life. Live free.