I bring all of this up mostly because from the prompts you’re suggesting and convos we’re having, it seems many of us are trying to balance these parts of ourselves that expand and contract and mutate and splinter in this tactile language — fashion, which for whatever reason, we are drawn to and today, it lands us at shorts.
So, how do you wear them without looking like a teenager, but also just kind of like you’re not exactly who you were last year at this time?
To not look like a teenager I maintain:
Your best bet’s to subvert the concept. Go in with a garment that reminds you of someone in your life who embodies maturity, wisdom, elegance — however you define not being a teenager. For me, the person isn’t real, but she wears a lot of tweed. It’s a jacket, often, and collarless. It swings, maybe she does too! Emotionally stable and curious, the wearer doesn’t take shit out in misguided places — knows where to direct her feelings for landing when they’re still flying but also doesn’t suppress (i.e. shoot them down) because she has way too much self-respect for that.
Life is too short, she says. Buy the damn vintage jacket.
This jacket is Chanel, I bought it from The Real Real about two years ago for $425; it’s a size 42, which translates to like, a US 8 — this is what makes it look a bit less literal. Here are some options from Etsy — a pink tweed for $60, this woven striped vintage number with rounded edges for $65, this awesome navy silk and gold guy for $44, it’s definitely my favorite of the loot, and this one’s more fall, but I’ll throw it in anyway, ivory with gold buttons for $65 too. Here are the searches I employ on Vestiare Collective and Poshmark as well (Chanel jackets, prices from $0 to $750 — then I SIFT). Meanwhile, in new stuff, Anne Klein’s coming in hot with this number for $113. Probably most similar to the one I’m wearing. This guy from Kate Spade is $238 and Ann Taylor is rocking my world for $89 too. Alternatively, there’s this RE_L one, which I love. $264
A few things to consider here: denim cut-offs are great when you’re trying to make your “fancy” clothes look less fancy. Like you wear a refined shoe and it creates a solid balance against the frayed hem. The jacket does the same thing. I like adding a t-shirt or button-down so the shorts have a companion in shit-not-together-ness. What’s cool is that in some ways, this is actually a three-for-one outfit:
The next caption has all the outfit details, but here is one for the shoes — they’re from Doen. I got them last summer. They make the same style (it’s called the Corsica) in black and cognac suede, which you can find here; but if you’re looking for gold sandals, here are some comps I’d suggest these from Aeyde for $295 [these flip flops are damn chic too?], these, for $168 from Porte & Paire have a heel but damn they are good, these are flat — good too, but I’m really thinking slingback here; these from Jimmy Choo are on sale for $248 + 15% off, and these, from Fable Street, which I’m unfamiliar with, are not gold but they’re a great shape and slingback — $43.
You can wear the shirt or the jacket solo and it works just as well. The shorts are a dark enough blue in their shade of midwash that the white button-down gets to have an identity of its own — they contrast starkly, can manage different conversations at a bar but still respect each other in this interdependent way. They know they like to be with each other but don’t feel like they need each other. Omg, I wonder if this is why I don’t like wearing sets? It hits too close to home! Codependence on sparkling display.
Anyway, if I take the shirt off and just wear the jacket, that works too; it’s moodier, less casual, slightly risky, but who among us does not yearn to have our naked bodies rub up against decades old silk in the blazing heat now and then?