Every year, around this time, I pull my collection of shorts out from their winter quarters in a plastic box under my bed and assess the situation. I accumulate another pair or two annually, because every new spring I am forced to admit that none of these shorts is quite right. And this year in particular, I am perplexed: What exactly are we doing with our shorts hemlines this year? Can somebody please help me? I am absolutely begging you, because I am getting very mixed signals.
I am not somebody who particularly follows fashion; as I have said on this website before, they just keep having trends and I just keep buying flannel. And yet I always seem to find myself attempting to stay current on shorts, because shorts are hard enough to pull off without missing the current style by 5 years. (This is, of course, the exact wrong number of years by which to miss a style—anything longer and it’s a throwback, anything shorter and you’re just responsible with your money.)
Last summer, I bought two pairs of bermuda-length shorts. Not khaki material, because that makes me think of sixth grade and then I want to cry, but rather denim—a very thoroughly stonewashed denim, no less. I was shocked at myself! But the hemlines are long enough that they actually stay down instead of being absorbed into my undercarriage. This is part of the reason that shorts are the bane of my existence—they are quite simply not designed for my body, so they ride up, but I also don’t like being hot, so here I am.
But I never could quite figure out what to wear with these shorts. The tye-die shirts I made while trying to entertain my three-year-old home from school are too snug and give me a bit of a sausage-y feel? Which makes me itchy. And I never could quite find a more triangle-shaped top that worked. So now I’m back on my bullshit, shopping for my traditional one to two pairs of shorts per annum. Only to discover that I have essentially two options from America’s retailers: bermudas or short-shorts. What? What are we doing here??
Admittedly, this sort of solves the riding-up issue, because bermudas are too long, and short-shorts are so short that there’s nothing to swallow. But it simply seems incorrect that my two options are real short, or real long. My point is: Should I keep these Torrid cutoffs with the five-inch inseams (denim, cutoff, one of them in black and one of them tie-dyed) or send them back and get something longer? But what length? Should I return to the embrace of my bermuda shorts, but with a different top? Are there sports shorts available to plus-size women with big thighs that won’t disappear into my, ahem, business? Really, I’d like to go in a different direction entire and find Laura Dern’s look from Jurassic Park but I simply cannot bring myself to hope I could make that work for me. Please, somebody help me out here.