At This Moment: Shorts to March In

Image by Saimah Ashraf via Polyvore.

Image by Saimah Ashraf via Polyvore.

Tired of skinny jeans, shift dresses, and shalwars? Well, there’s a new guy in town. Winter legs, meet shorts. Formerly relegated to days on the beach, shorts are now an all-year wardrobe staple for those young and confident enough to try the trend and, ultimately, revel in all its leggy glory.

If you’re one of the fearless few, read on for tips on how to look more chic than schleppy as you navigate this schizophrenic winter-spring transition known as March.

Crop Trou
For daytime, try trouser-style shorts—pleats and cuffed hem optional and adorable. This style is versatile, flatters most body types and, if you call yourself a “creative,” may even be office-appropriate (use your own discretion). Pair your trouser shorts with a cropped long sleeve top that shows off a sliver of your midsection à la sari blouse for the most current look or one that hits right at the waistband for more coverage. And because it’s not quite spring yet, add woolen tights and sturdy ankle booties to keep toasty.

No Disco Diva
Shorts are perfectly acceptable eveningwear and a fun alternative to the ubiquitous mini dress. If you do pick up a pair of sequined or metallic shorts for afterhours, though, play down the disco queen/cocktail waitress effect. Low-cut, clingy tops and 5-inch peep-toe pumps generally look too cliché to be fashionable. Opt instead for a menswear-inspired vest with a simple tank or turtleneck layered underneath. Balance the top with a chunkier heel, but keep the rest of your accessories minimal; let your standout shorts (and legs!) do the talking.

The Morning After
This may sound like a major fashion don’t, but I’m going to go ahead and say it: For the weekend, feel free to wear your comfiest, rattiest, denim cutoff short-shorts. Pair them with a wifebeater and Havaianas, however, and we are no longer on talking terms. Not to mention, you’ll freeze. Keep it warm, keep it edgy, with a slouchy cashmere sweater, chunky snood and your favorite worn-in motorcycle boots. Wearing last night’s black nylons and eyeliner is just fine by me too.

And one last bit of advice before I wrap up this shorts story: Prior to leaving the house in your new shorts, please stand in front of a mirror, turn around, peek over your shoulder, bend over, sit down, and make sure it all looks as it should. Then smile and take your very young, your very confident self off to where it needs to be.

Saimah Ashraf is a contributing writer at She blogs about fashion and style at Street Number Eight.