Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thoughts on Shorts

My mental age must be catching up with my chronological age.  I still feel like I'm still 35 even though I'm considerably older.  But, that's changing, as evidenced by my feelings about wearing shorts.

I wanted to sew some shorts and there weren't a lot of options.  Add the fact that I'm plus sized and the choices dwindled even more.  I began to doubt myself.  Should someone my age and size even be wearing shorts?  I think I remember someone on Oprah saying capris are more fashionable than shorts anyway and if you hear it on Oprah, it must be true.  All of my shorts hover around my knees, a length I consider flattering for me.  But should a woman in her 50's really be wearing shorts?  Does Oprah wear shorts?  I didn't have these concerns when I was thirty-five.  As I unpacked my spring/summer clothes, I noticed I do have several pairs of shorts.  I obviously didn't have these doubts last summer because I found a pair with the tags still on them and I remember buying them on clearance last August.   But I'm a year older now and I'm not so sure anymore.  Now, when I see a woman wearing shorts,  she immediately goes under my mental microscope.  How old is she?  How do her legs look?  How short are the shorts?  Would I wear shorts like that?  I could get feminist about the issue and think about the older men I see wearing shorts, but that's a story for another day.

In southeastern PA, we're working on our second or third round of temperatures over 90ยบ.  So, I'm going to wear the shorts I have and I'm going to sew some more shorts.   I'm old enough to trust myself and know what looks good on me.  But if I look ridiculous in a pair of shorts, I hope a friend or loved one will tactfully let me know I should go home and change my clothes.

14 comments:

  1. This is a timely post for me. I have been thinking about the same thing. I think I saw the episode of Oprah you are talking about. Oprah said she does not wear shorts. I'm 35 now and I'm wondering if I should be wearing shorts. I have shorts in my sewing plan for this summer mostly because I've never made them before. I think I will keep my shorts wearing to days when it is super hot and I have to be outside. I'll stick to skirts and capris for the not so hot days.

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  2. I think it depends on - the weather, the dress style in the area where you live, what you are doing wearing the shorts etc. If your legs looked OK in shorts last year then they'll still be OK this year. Longer shorts worn with nicer tops and shoes will always look smarter.

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  3. I'm really bad on 'after xxx age, you shouldn't wear yyy' sort of advice. I'm 5'2", wear a petite 14 and I'm sitting here and I'm wearing...shorts. The inseam on the shorts is probably about 6", but I have Bermudas as well. I'm not a big 'crops' or Capris person- I feel they make my legs look like stumps. But I like my shorts. I'm old enough to remember (vividly!) the first run through on hot pants, so I'm not a huge fan of short shorts, but damn, girl - if you want shorts, wear shorts. If you like culottes, wear short culottes. I have an old pair of culottes that has definitely been through the mill and I'm going to take them apart and make a pattern out of them and sew them up in about 4 different colors. And I'm going to wear them to work, too. So what is Oprah doesn't wear shorts. big deal.

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  4. I don't wear shorts. That doesn't mean you shouldn't wear shorts. Actually, I think that with your body shape they will look fine on you. I however have hips and cottage cheese thighs that I always think look horrible in shorts. Do I think that you should wear them to NYC, hell no. But out and about why not if you are comfortable in them. Just because you are in your 50's doesn't mean you have to suffer the heat!

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  5. I rarely wear shorts... but I just brought my bike down to the city, got a rack & basket for it, and discovered that it's (a) hot to bicycle in jeans and (b) pants legs get caught in the chain. So I'm wearing just-above-the-knee shorts for biking, and they work OK. Knipmode had a nice pattern for some last year, which I made up- and I've heard good things about some Simplicity shorts patterns. They're almost easier to fit than pants bc you don't get the pooling of fabric behind the knee if the seat is off.

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  6. Eleray

    Keep in mind that the basic purpose of clothing is to moderate the effects of local weather upon our bodies. There are, therefore, times when even the uggliest legs should be exposed to cooling breezes. Most of us do find certain lengths more flattering than others. I'd say pick your length and "work it girl".

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  7. If you want to wear shorts, wear them. I agree that Daisy Dukes would be stretching the point, but what you're planning is entirely appropriate. Why is it that no one plans TV shows around what fifty year old men should or shouldn't wear!!! Go for it!

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  8. I used to have one thought on shorts. Don't wear them. Then before a beach holiday I relented and bought (yes, I know!) two pairs of dark coloured canvas shorts cut just above the knee. To my surprise, no only were they comfortable to wear, but they looked flattering. So go for them, but short shorts on older women are a no no. I have one friend aged 54 with the legs of 24 year old, but I hate it when she wears short shorts. They are kind of undignified.

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  9. well, I turn 51 today and I still plan to wear shorts. of course my legs are the one part of my body that hasn't grown excessivily in the last 5 years, so I say "show them". Actually, what I really like are skorts, because you look feminine, but can still be a clutz and not worry about flashing anyone:)

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  10. Well I'm older than you and by no means do I think I'm too old for shorts, especially in this heat. In fact my mother is 90 and she still wears them. I say go for it!
    Annette

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  11. 35, 50, 51? Ladies, I'm 70. I wear shorts! I wear everything from 3" to mid knee depending on the temperature and where I am going.

    LindaNan

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  12. I like the shorts you have chosen.

    This is the thing - legs are just legs. Somehow every part of women's bodies has come under such scrutiny with all of these do's and don'ts. You are not talking about wearing hoochie-mama's. You are wanting to wear a flattering modest pair of shorts when the weather is hot and sticky.

    Even if you have a few imperfections in your lower leg, it is just a lower leg. We all know what one looks like. August in trousers is miserable. You have a right to be comfortable. I say sew and wear the shorts. The ones you've chosen look great. I keep seeing that style out and about and I am thinking of sewing up a pair.

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  13. i wear shorts and I have terrible legs. I just make sure they are near the knee and that covers up my thighs. Even to work I can wear "dress" shorts and they look good if my shoes and the rest of what I'm wearing is professional enough. It's VERY hot here in the summer every day, so everyone wears shorts! I think "city length" is the best and most appropriate for my age - 50 something.

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  14. Actually I'm not fifty yet and I never wear shorts. Why would I? I am not against them on principle or anything and it's not the age factor either. I wear pants in the fall, winter and spring. But in summer, the best thing is a loose flowy dress, with no restriction round the waist or anywhere else. Dresses in nice bright prints are so much cooler (and prettier, no matter your age) in every way! And so quick to make. DH really smiles much more when my summer dresses come out, and even DS pays me lots of compliments, too! Strange thing that! Actually I feel really sorry for men in all thosw waistbands and things in the summer....

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