Wednesday 18 July 2018

How to wear...

This season's surprise trend offers a generous silhouette to flatter your figure, writes Meadhbh McGrath

Chloe Sevigny. Photo: Getty Images
Chloe Sevigny. Photo: Getty Images
Leather shorts, €130 from Topshop

Meadhbh McGrath

For a few years there, shorts seemed to be off the fashion agenda. Unless you were on holiday - or a lissom Insta model - you likely avoided them altogether.

So it came as quite a surprise when the Paris runways were flooded with shorts of all kinds. There were the chic yet virtually unwearable cycling shorts and hot pants at Saint Laurent, which Kate Moss was recently spotted in. But if you don't have the supermodel pins to match, fear not, as there is another option - the smart shorts.

Earrings, €39 from & Other Stories
Earrings, €39 from & Other Stories

With a high waist, a looser silhouette and a longer leg, they are the most flattering choice, particularly for petite or pear shapes. At Isabel Marant, they were dressed up for evening with glitzy tops, while Valentino offered a yellow athleisure pair with futuristic detailing. Cult streetwear brand Off-White presented sleek tailored shorts and Saint Laurent made space for leather pairs with wider legs, styled with billowing-sleeved blouses.

This season's shorts were refreshingly grown-up, a relief for those of us who hate showing our thighs or risking a glimpse of bum cheek. Until now, we'd opt for cropped trousers or Audrey Hepburn-esque 'capris' instead, but we no longer need to rule out shorts.

Linen jacket, €69.95, Mango
Linen jacket, €69.95, Mango

When you're shopping, go for a loose fit around the legs and a cinched or belted pair, which will define the waist (or create one) and help to elongate the legs, as seen on Chloe Sevigny (right).

Look for a hem that passes the widest part of your thigh - if it hits you right in the middle, the shorts will just emphasise that which you'd rather conceal. Plus, for those of us without a 'thigh gap', a slightly longer length will combat any dreaded chafing.

Shorts, €35.95, Mango
Shorts, €35.95, Mango

Regarding fabrics, avoid denim. It may be a summer staple, but keep it for the trip away or lounging beside the pool. Go for a non-stretch fabric, ideally cotton or linen, so it won't bunch or cling around the crotch and backside in the heat.

As the temperatures rise, slacks are rendered impractical for workwear, but tailored shorts provide a cool alternative. Charlize Theron (left) looks elegant in a crisp black pair with courts and a demure blouse, which could pass for the office in the hotter months. So too the shorts suit, which was once a favourite of Meghan Markle in her acting days.

Knit top, €59.95 from Massimo Dutti.
Knit top, €59.95 from Massimo Dutti.

There are several such suits on the high street, from colour pop styles at Oasis to laid-back linen at Mango. Zara's fresh (and on-trend) pastels will look great with tonal sandals, blouses and accessories, or give it an edge with a pair of cowboy boots.

Unless you're very slender, stay well away from busy patterns, but you can play with block colours and texture, like Sevigny in gold jacquard Prada. If that's a touch too eccentric for evening, take a leaf from Saint Laurent's book and go for polished leather with a plain black top and heels.

Pocket shirt, €95 from M&S.
Pocket shirt, €95 from M&S.
Grosgrain shorts, €145 from The Kooples at Brown Thomas.
Grosgrain shorts, €145 from The Kooples at Brown Thomas.
Courts, €79 from Office
Courts, €79 from Office
T-shirt, €65 from Whistles at Brown Thomas
T-shirt, €65 from Whistles at Brown Thomas
Tote bag, €49.95 from Mango
Tote bag, €49.95 from Mango
Striped shorts, €42 from Oasis
Striped shorts, €42 from Oasis
Slouchy jacket, €76
Slouchy jacket, €76
Shorts, €45 from Oasis
Shorts, €45 from Oasis
Stud earrings, €7 from Topshop
Stud earrings, €7 from Topshop
Pink jacket, €69.95, Zara
Pink jacket, €69.95, Zara
Shorts, €29.95 from Zara;
Shorts, €29.95 from Zara;
Metallic shorts, €39.95 from Zara
Metallic shorts, €39.95 from Zara
Navy shorts, €35 from Warehouse
Navy shorts, €35 from Warehouse
Mules, €74 from River Island
Mules, €74 from River Island

Irish Independent

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