I’m not totally sure how or when it happened, but I know this fact to be true: the number one off-duty look for this summer, whether home or abroad, is a pair of denim shorts, a loose linen shirt and a hat.
I know! How prosaic! How homespun. How… completely ordinary.
It’s as if the zeitgeist is totally exhausted by all the choices out there. It is sick of the ruffles and the patterns, the high-waisted whatnot and floral armageddon. The zeitgeist sat down at its computer around May and, overwrought and fed up, typed “DENIM SHORTS,
SHIRT” and then added “HAT” as an afterthought – then went to lie down in a dark room with cucumber slices over its eyes.
And yet the zeitgeist is never wrong! It can do what it likes – we are lucky it’s sick of complicated looks or anything that requires a toned midriff. The runes have been read and the die has been cast. Just look around wherever you may be this summer and wonder at the multitude of ladies wearing this combination.
Personally, I am utterly delighted. I do not want to wear a flamenco dress or a top with sleeves so huge
that an entire family of badgers could move in and I wouldn’t notice.
You may be stabbing at these pages with a forefinger, shouting, “But I can’t wear shorts!” Ah, but can’t you?
The typical response from fashion commentators to the question of mini skirts or shorts has been that you can wear them “if you’ve got the legs for them”. This answer has always made me angry; has always struck me as such a snivelling, narrow-eyed thing to say. The implication being that unless you have got ‘great’ legs, you really ought to hide them away out of
sight, you monster!
And who will be the judge of whether or not someone has got the legs for shorts? We are not the best judge of these things. So, whom should we ask? Our friends? Strangers on the street?
I tell you what, maybe Anna Wintour could set up some sort of service where you email a picture of yourself in shorts and she can decide whether or not you’ve got what it takes.
Styling: Chloe Forde / Make-up: Karina Constantine / Hair: Ben Cook / Nails: Charly Avenell