All shorts you own
Your REHOME, REPAIR and REFUSE bags
Your shopping list
Belts and scarves
Lay all your shorts on the bed.
Immediately remove any you don’t love, that are faded, discoloured, pilled, stained, that you feel are too short or no longer fit and place these in the REHOME or REFUSE bag.
For items that you’re not wild about, especially those you’ve not worn in the last 12 months, try them on to see if they’re working for your body shape. Refer to my stylist’s tips below for advice.
Pin hems to sample different hem lengths.
Make your call and place them in the REHOME, REFUSE or REPAIR bag.
Mostly shorts are considered a casual garment, but as you’re trying your shorts on, get your creative juices flowing and consider how they would look teamed with a tailored jacket and casual sneakers (like canvas sneakers of a pair of Converse) for a chic weekend look. Can you wear your shorts with opaque tights, longer jacket/trench coat and boots or even heels in winter to make them work all year round? Can you wear them with a heel in summer, with some statement jewellery and a clutch for dressy drinks? I want you to do a Mike Ross from Season 2 of Suits and think ‘outside the box'.
Have a play with belts while you’re trying on – if a belt came with the shorts, change it up, maybe even try threading a colourful long scarf through the belt loops instead.
Return those you’re keeping to your wardrobe. If you’re hanging them in your closet, colour block them, again using the rainbow solution with white and black as your ‘book ends’. Patterns are determined by their dominant colour.
Add to your shopping list any colours that will make your wardrobe work fluidly.
Length – the same thoughts as with your skirts. If youth is on your side and you’re happy with your legs, go nuts with any length! If feeling like mutton dressed up as lamb is a concern – avoid anything shorter than a couple of inches above the knee. A classic Bermuda short (straight cut to the knee, just on/above/below, with flat front, no pleats or gathers, at the waist) is never going to date.
If the length is too long try cuffing the short to see if works better for your leg shape and length – if this works, place a pin to mark the desired length and commit to securing the cuff with a needle and thread and press or take to your alterations specialist.
Rise (or height of the waist band) – opt for something that sits on the waist if you want to signpost a waistline (ideal for rectangular shapes). If you have a long torso, a high waist band will nicely re-balance leg length to torso length. Mid rise to high rise in a soft, fluid fabric will work best for ladies conscious of their hips. For women with shoulders broader than hips, a short with pleats or gathers or a slouch short will work hard for you to create the balance. Shorts that sit on the hip will give the illusion of a longer torso but be careful this doesn’t come at the cost of cropping leg length. Finding that balance is important.
Cut – straight shorts work nicely for those with curves, pear shapes will benefit from a short that skims across the hip and falls straight from there. Paper bag style waistbands and tapered shorts magically give rectangle shapes curve. Flat fronted options work best to minimise tummies, so again avoid chunky zips and ties if this is the desired effect. Pockets can also add ‘bulk’ to our bodies if they gape, rather than sit flat. Be mindful of what pockets are doing for your body shape, both on the front/sides and on your rear end!
Fabrics & Colours – Denim shorts are pretty much a uniform here in Oz and again, stick with the length and cut that you know works for you and your shape. Darker colours have a minimising effect so if you’re wishing to play down hips, go with darker colours, including dark based/background patterns. If you wish to draw attention away from the top half of your body use your lighter or bolder colours and patterns in your shorts/pants/skirts.
FOLLOW UP ACTION REQUIRED:
Toss the discards.
Hand stitch cuffs in place for any shorts you wish to cuff or put aside for a professional to do.
If your collection of REHOME items is starting to build start thinking about where you plan to take these – do you have pieces you might like to offer to friends/family before gifting to charity? Which charity are you taking them to? Where is that located? I will gingerly put my hand up and admit I'm driving around with a bag of items in my car boot, that I 've planned to give to charity for MONTHS! So, know where and when you’re going to take them and put it in your diary to actively do it in July or sooner if there is a significant amount.
It’s not easy to find shorts in store this time of year but keep your eyes open or make the trip to your outlet centre, otherwise wait until Spring to add to your collection.
Gold Coast, Brisbane & Northern New South Wales Stylist, Louise Chambers is available for personal styling, photo shoot & media styling, style workshops, fashion event MC bookings and media bookings.