Spring is here. Herald its arrival in shorts

On what must be only the second warm, sunny day of the year students and the wider population alike have taken the audacious move to wear shorts of all varieties and styles. Not like those treacherous winter days, during which one may look upon a startlingly bright day and opt for shorts only to find that outside the temperature still hovers near the negative, this month holds the first true ‘shorts weather’ of the year.

Their choices, however, have been the general panoply of bawdy white three-quarter length skater shorts (these still exist?) and nylon running shorts. The lack of student density over Spring Break may be partly to blame for the dearth of diversity. Without the usual rainbow of chino shorts worn by our English and American friends, all that remain are locals and scientists. Sad times.

The length of shorts this year is certainly not three-quarters. Acne has some super-short tailored turn-ups that are not for the faint hearted, or those with chunky legs. More generally shorts end either on or just above the knee. What’s more, they don’t just come in primary colours and heavy cotton. Band of Outsiders blue striped seersucker shorts have a lightweight look, whilst retaining the tailoring required of a good garden party. We all go to those. Ralph Lauren, harbour of the middle classes in a fashion storm, continue producing light pink and khaki officer shorts that will navigate easily from the garden to the yacht. If all this is too staid Mr. Porter can deliver a pair of DRKSHDW by Rick Owens drop-crotch shorts. Something of a cross between a kilt and basketball shorts, they are a rebellious alternative to classic brands and are certainly ‘individual’.

Shorts need not be uninteresting. Nor need they go past the knee; not this summer anyway.


Alastair Irvine

Image: Library of Congress http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/ggbain.11169/