I was born and raised in Honolulu, so I grew up wearing shorts. In fact, I would go for year long stretches without owning even a single pair of full length pants. You would think this kind of shorts-friendly upbringing would mean that at 23 I am an avid shorts enthusiast, but I haven’t worn shorts in about nine years, and to be honest, they terrify me.
Despite my tropical origin, I have the sort of pale, sensitive skin that looks best when covered entirely by opaque fabrics. This coupled with my distain for physical exercise means that I am not exactly eager to share the entirety of my bare legs with the general public. I do wear skirts and dresses fairly often, but I almost always wear tights or some kind of additional garment to help me not feel overly exposed.
With the heat in NYC being out of control these past few days, I decided to follow my boyfriend’s urging and ease into the shorts idea by buying some cheap, simple “weekend” shorts. I was hoping to get through the summer with only my existing wardrobe (apparently I am only capable of purchasing Fall/Spring appropriate clothing), but my dark jeans and skirt/tights options were just too hot to bear. Since I was DREADING having to try on (then actually WEAR) a pair of shorts, I put it off as long as possible. When I couldn’t take the heat anymore, I finally gritted my teeth and headed to Old Navy, my go-to store for cheap basics on my way home from work on Friday.
I had already decided on black, since I wanted my shorts to be as slimming as possible. I was unsure about length though, and what would look best on my short 5’4″ frame without showing so much that I would frighten animals and small children. I was intrigued by the idea of burmudas, which apparently are back in fashion. I was thinking that they might be a good halfway point from which to start my new “adult shorts” adventure, but once I saw them in person I knew even on the hanger that they would make me look short and frumpy. Not the desired look. I was hesitant to try the shorter shorts because my mission was to hide, not reveal, right? I decided to try on some black 3 1/2 inch inseam classic looking shorts anyway, and to my surprise, they didn’t look half bad!
The actual shorts I bought aren’t on the Old Navy website anymore, but these are very simlar, just a little bit longer. I was expecting to really hate my shorts and shamefully lurk around my neighborhood in them on hot weekends, but I actually feel pretty good with them on! I don’t think I’ll be sporting them to work or any major events any time soon, but it feels great to not be bogged down by the fear of a simple clothing item. My shorts are short enough to make me look taller and like I am one of those carefree youths I hear so much about, but loose and long enough that I look thinner and am fully covered when climbing up subway staircases with countless perverts climbing up behind me. (This is another situation where tights enhance the skirt/dress wearing experience!)
If you have resigned yourself to just not being a “shorts person” like I did, I strongly urge you to get out there and try some on anyway. Every pair might not look great, but I guarantee that you will find at least one style that makes you look and feel comfortable and awesome. Don’t let little imperfections get in the way of being comfortable or doing what you want. I frequently get bogged down with waiting for the day that I will be “perfect” enough to wear or do something, but don’t let yourself miss out when you really can do and wear whatever you want! With the right fit, you can look good in anything right now!