In spring 2012 tailored shorts aren’t defined as the kind you wear as part of a business suit. Instead they’re flirtatious, luxurious, and inclined to present themselves in a range of fabrics from silk to mesh to leather. The key is in the construction and cut. Work them for morning or night, everyday or holiday. Find out how after the break.
Best friends with summer festivals, a teenage wardrobe’s first cousin, and shockingly, red carpet’s secret lover – tailored shorts are everywhere. It’s acceptable to put these in the same drawer as your lingerie because this is one item of clothing that continues to be a wardrobe staple. It epitomises summer, yet manages to peep into fall collections every now and then.
For spring / summer 2012, tailored shorts have attuned to the norms of a conventional trend report and evolved in terms of length, fitting, fabric and colour.
Continue reading after the break to understand how tailored shorts adapt to different occasions. And don’t forget that if you’d like to keep up to date with all of the latest fashion trends and inspiration on how to wear them, to subscribe to Fashionising.com’s RSS feed or give us the thumbs up onFacebook.
Tailored shorts have been a successful last-minute wardrobe saviour for fashion’s ‘it’ girls and style bloggers. Alexa Chung has been spotted wearing the denim variety with her Peter Pan-collared blouse and blazer, while Olivia Palermo has been known to put New York-chic on the table by flaunting sequinned and floral shorts.
These chameleon-faced tailored shorts boost an advantage alternating between an androgynous, feminine and masculine look. It all depends on the style you pick and what you pair the tailored shorts with. Unlike last spring, the reappearance of tailored shorts in 2012 is more luxurious and robust.
In the past, the popularity of its seductive sibling – the hot pants – jumped through the ceiling, especially amongst summer festival attendees and Europe’s street style dictators. But this new season, tailored shorts have become more chic and deluxe than ever; they’ve grown up and graduated from high-school.
An important distinction to make is that, in 2012, when we refer to tailored shorts we don’t necessarily mean suit shorts. While tailored suit shorts are an option, spring 2012′s notion of tailoring is more to do with smart cuts and luxe fabrics. Which means they’re certainly not just an alternative to the office skirt-suit.
Tailored shorts: the fabrics
In December 2011, Vogue US published an article with the heading, “Steal of the Month: Denim under $500”. Ambitious it sure is, but the luxurious update of what used to be a working class fabric is noteworthy in the instability of the industry’s current financial status. To our amazement, not a single pair of denim shorts was featured in the list. This only goes to further prove Wall Street Journal’s argument of wonderment, published mid-2011, of how a piece of denim can cost over $300.
Their case states designers using denim to create pieces with unique construction, rather than merely using denim for their collection. There’s very little creative experimentation in denim shorts, per se, which is why designers are now churning out alternative luxurious fabrics to keep the trend alive, sans its novel fabric.
Silk, organza, cotton, terracotta and even leather are being used to boast the ultimate experience of shorts for spring 2012. Denim shorts were almost non-existent on the spring 2012 runways, but if your wardrobe retains its frayed, faded or ripped kind, put them away with your winter clothing in preference of something smarter.
Tailored shorts: the styles
Sharp tailored shorts
Pouring a thick layer of polish and refinement to this hot trend, Givenchy’s interpretation in the form of a crisp short-suit has made the tailored shorts a fitting look for work in the coming months. The cuts of the blazer and its patent leather lapels are essentially androgynous, but the rising hemlines of the silk shortspaint a very contrary picture.
Prabal Gurung had his money in the pool of sensual femininity, whilst his silhouette took a trip to the man’s land. The shiny fabrics at both Carven and Gurung have lit up the options for this season. Don’t be afraid to match the shorts and blazer, colour-wise, but be mindful of what you’re putting on underneath the jacket.
The length for these sharp tailored shorts almost touch the hot-pants radar, but their pairing with suede blazers, satin blouses and chiffon tops makes them classier and dominating, in a way.
Note also that a slightly flared cut is one of spring 2012′s biggest winners. Look for pairs with a mid to high waist and gentle volume as this will elongate the leg – and provide an alternative to the season’s high waisted skirt.
Pick this style if you’re looking at altering your fashion stance at work or for a hot summer date – a bit of leg show never hurt anybody.
Holiday tailored shorts
Your wardrobe for a summer romance on a yacht in an isolated Mediterranean island demands a good range of holiday tailored shorts. And to celebrate that, Versace’s spring / summer 2012 range sings out with insanely sexy pieces that could almost be passed for something out of a swimwear collection. These immaculately fitted and embellished shorts scream nothing but a sexy summer beach holiday.
With this type, you’re likely to find pieces with either floral prints or laidback fabrics, such as breezy cotton. And again the cut is less of a straight cut and more akin to the shape of a skirt or culottes. Pair these with other spring 2012 trends like the crop top or summer layering, and you’ll be ready for a country side road trip.
Playing in a field of vibrant colours and bold prints, Diane von Furstenberg’s modern take on the utilitarian cuts and classic shape of the Bermuda create another edge for the holiday tailored shorts. These are loud and very strong pieces, with very subtle hints from femininity. Choose to style the Bermudas straight from the runway, or contrast with an ultra feminine top.
Sporty Tailored shorts
Shorts have been part of the sports industry for years, for their comfort and convenience, but when translated in the fashion world, shorts seem to have an identity crisis every so often. However Barbara Bui’s spring / summer collection sternly prompts the birthplace of shorts, that being the sports room. Paired with a zipped jacket and accessoried with a metallic gym bag, these lycra shorts tick all the boxes for qualifying in the sporty fashion trend for the season. Stella McCartney’s mesh pairs are another sporty option that combines breathable fabric with design flourish.
The length and fabric are key here; pick according to comfort and event.