A few fashiony questions

by | Aug 4, 2009 | Julie | 12 comments

Were shorts always so unflattering? I seem to have worn shorts in the past and not been completely horrified by my reflection, but now every time I put them on I take them right back off and put on a skirt. I would think it’s just me, but suddenly no one is really looking great in shorts. What is it about shorts that look so terrible? Pants look fine. But if you cut off a flattering pair of pants, I think they would suddenly be unflattering. Why?

Ok, and along the same lines, I keep seeing women wearing jeans that are cuffed to be capri pants, and it looks really cute. Do you need special jeans to do this, or can you do it with your regular jeans? Will it work with my flare legs? (Ok, I realize I could just put on my jeans and try this myself, but I figured you all would have some words of wisdom.) How big should the cuff be?

Thank you.


  1. Anne

    You can buy the cuffed capris, which I think is less awkward and more comfortable than DIY cuffed capris. You don’t want to spend all day recuffing your capris; you want to be breezy. Right?

    This is the spring/summer that I officially swore off shorts, now and forever. I thought I was the only one who looked bad in them (I sort of look bad in everything right now), and I had started to also think that I was perhaps too old for shorts (?), but maybe it’s a larger shift in the sartorial universe.

  2. Julie

    I was visiting Sarah yesterday, and she had on a pair of really fairly short shorts, and they looked great. Now, granted, Sarah is skinny, but I think there is something to wearing shorter shorts rather than shorts that hit at an awkward midway thigh point. I might try some shorter shorts if I’m somewhere where I have a moment to step into a dressing room.

  3. Julie

    And I don’t think I’ve ever seen the cuffed capri jeans in any store. Where are they? Though I think I wouldn’t buy them, just to cut down on dresser clutter.

  4. Sarah

    Thanks Julie 😉 It’s all about the shorter! I tried on some other shorts when I bought the ones I had on yesterday that were about1-2″ longer and I looked just like my high school lacrosse teacher. Try on ones that look shorter than you think you would wear, and you won’t be disappointed. Still even with short shorts, you get the icky fabric bunch-up/upper thigh skin roll when you sit down, no way around it. Hence my love affair with sundresses.
    Also I have the cuffed capris and the cuff s is sewed up. I am mailing them to you, I think they will fit you perfectly. I got them at TJ’s 2 years ago. I’m telling you, check out the jeans at TJ’s next time you need some!

  5. Patrick

    I don’t know about everyone else…But I am simply dazzling in shorts. They show off my walking sticks. there is no end to compliments and catcalls I get when I flash them gams in a nice pair of cargo shorts!! 🙂

  6. Julie

    Well, right, of course. I should have said “no one is looking great in shorts, ‘cept Patrick, as always.” I assumed that was a given.

  7. Mo

    I have seen women rock the walking short but it requires a really good cut and some sort of heel – which makes it impracticable for most of us. I love the look of capris but I cannot pull them off to save my life. I guess that is not universal.

  8. emily

    I myself do the to-the-knee short, and am happy with that – jcrew this year. I did the shorter short until that, really, was clearly not the way to go – no longer “athletic” thighs but rather dimply. anyway, I once saw hellen mirren on barbara walters interview, being questioned “dew yew weallly only weah skiwts?” asked babs walter…”why?” “because I have a big fat bottom” replied hellen mirren. “and sometimes I see american women in those AWFUL shorts, and I think, why?”

    well, hellen mirren is a pretty sexy dame, at 65 or so, and she wears skirts all the time. my problem is, though, and perhaps this is not for public posting but here goes, is that in skirts, in hot weather, i sweat and then….chafe. i have to wear “those awful shorts”. I try to take mirren’s advice for work, choosing dresses and skirts when tights are ok for weather…but hoo boy, in hot weather I need shorts or linen pants. alas, target no longer makes th 12$ drawstring ones that I LOVED so. and those Flax loose linen pants that mom lives in are too loose, and make me look, well, like someone else’s mom (my mom is so birdlike she looks super cute and arty in them..I just look tentish..) so. jcrew long shots, size 10 this year. sigh.

  9. emily

    oh: and for the jeans: I roll them, just go ahead and roll up with like big ole’ 4 inch cuffs pretty much any pant or jean. it’s tricky where they should then fall, and bootlegs that are too booty can make you look piratey, but just try it. here in the cit-ay most everyone wears a big 4 inch cuff

  10. Christina

    I think it helps to iron the jean cuffs in place to keep them stiff and folded how you want them– and it helps to have straight legged, not too loose, not too tight jeans. I think this looks really good with espadrilles or heeled sandals and flats are cute too. It doesn’t look good with non heeled danskos though IMO (which is why I dont do it as I wear my dansko sandals all the time) because they have such a chunky sole and heel.

  11. Julie

    Christina, I know you’re right about the ironing, but that may be a difference between life in L.A. and life in Maine. There’s no way I’m dragging out the ironing board to iron my jeans, even if it does make the cuff work better. And luckily no one in Maine will scoff at my unironed jeans.

    I did see a woman in Portland yesterday wearing capri jeans and silver gladiator sandals, which are really a ridiculous shoe, but they looked so great I immediately wanted a pair.

    Em, the biggest issue I have with skirts is that sometimes I’m not much of a Lady and I squat and show the world my undies. I do like those long J.Crew shorts you have. I have one pair of longer ones though and they looked good two years ago, I swear it, and right now they look AWFUL.

  12. Beth

    I think I saw those cuffed capris at Old Navy the other day. They intrigued me, but I was with my wee escort, and I hate taking him into dressing rooms (mainly because he usually makes some comment about my bulges or dimply thighs, but also because he’s getting too old to accompany me.) I’m talking about Joe, of course.


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