Again, back to demographics. The magazines are directing their styles and marketing to women in their 30’s and 40’s. I had kids later in life, but I know that in my 40’s I was busy with kids. I think most women who decide to have kids are also busy with them in their 30’s and 40’s, whether they work or not. Any “spare” money (none), went to my boys’ hobbies. They were into making models, and playing Japanese card games (I spent at least one Gucci bag on those alone.), and music and art lessons. Activities like Paint-Balling, Go-Carting, taking all the friends to movies and lunch, etc. added up to sufficient amounts of money. If I had girls I can only imagine how much more I would have been spending on clothes. More importantly, I not only didn’t have the money, but I didn’t have the time to go “Shopping” for the latest and greatest outfits. I would usually go in to Macy’s which was right next door to my son’s art lessons; I raced for an hour and a half to find something just to find something. Going through my closet I think I have given most of those things away: a) because they are now out of style; or b) because I was buying just to buy, and to keep myself from feeling deprived. So, during the peak years when according to the magazines, I should have been buying Dolce and Gabana dresses or Gucci handbags, I wasn’t able to. Somehow, I think I speak for the 98% of American’s. If you are in the 2%, or you are Rachel Zoe and can take your baby to work with you while you design clothes, then this Blog is not for you. By the time the kids are grown and off to college you are at least in your late 40’s or early 50’s and maybe in your late 50’s and early 60’s. By this time, your knees have begun to sag; it’s impossible to wear the mid-rise jeans without a tummy tuck; and your legs are now showing lots of little spider veins that to you look like varicose veins. I actually have a couple of those. Hence my obsession this summer and the past few summers with SHORTS!!! How to wear shorts? Even Michelle Obama could not have found shorts at J. Crew this season. Most of them would have looked ridiculous, and the shorts they called “Bermuda’s” had only a 10 inch inseam. That would make the shorts hit about 2-3 inches above the knee, depending on your height. As you can see in my photo, my knees have begun to sag despite the fact that I think I exercised more than the average American woman throughout my life. Yes, I did aerobics in the 80’s. I did kick-boxing in the 90’s. Jeanette, Queen Latifa’s ex-girlfriend, was my trainer and she kicked my butt.(She fired me because I couldn’t keep up!) In the 00’s I did everything. Spinning, kick-boxing, weight training, you name it. And still, my knees are sagging. Yes, some of this may be genetic but from what I can tell from the rest of my body, nothing is moving North. So, my mission was to find the perfect style of SHORTS. These are the rules:
The Rules for Shorts Over Fifty
- The inseam should be no shorter than 12-13 inches depending on your height
- The bottom of the shorts should hit about mid-knee cap
- You can roll them up, or shorten them, but it sometimes depends on the width of the leg
- Try to find a waistband that is no lower than 2 inches below the belly button (almost impossible to find) and hopefully, even at the waist (can you imagine, a waistline at the waist?) and
- Be creative because there isn’t a lot out there.
Summer of 2013’s Best Shorts
- KUT from Nordstrom’s
- INC. from Macy’s
- A. Goldschmeid Ex-Boyfriend
- JAG from Marhsall’s
- Cut-off an old pair of Jeans
- Boys/Men’s Dept.
- Diva from Old Navy
First, a picture of my beautiful saggy knees, and why I would like not to highlight them!! The easiest trick of all is to go to the men’s department. Why is it they make long shorts for men but they don’t make them for women? This makes no sense and honestly makes me so mad. Anyway, I weigh between 115 and 120 depending on the week, month, year.. This generally translates in to a size 4. Lucky for me, I found my boys’ shorts that they were going to give away and I thought: “what about me?” Their old size 18-20 shorts fit and the waist actually came up to my waist. Consider that, they don’t make men suffer like they do us women. Here is a pair that I found but because they were so baggy, I thought it looked better to make them a bit shorter. One leg is hemmed an inch shorter.
Another good trick is to find an old pair of jeans that are literally on their last legs. Although today I think the jeans that sell for 200.00 and more, look like they are on their last legs, but what do I know? Anyway, try them on and cut them longer than you want. Then, roll them up until you think they look right. Keep cutting a little longer than you want until you are satisfied, because it is easy to cut them too short and then you are stuck. Here is a photo of my favorite jeans that they don’t even make anymore. I cut them in to shorts and had patches sewn on and I think patches are even back in style!!
The best brand I found this summer is a new one to me. It is called KUT. It is reasonably priced around 65.00 and the waist is almost at waist level!! I found them at Nordstrom’s. They are narrow in the legs but comfortable. For me, these are the most stylish and comfortable.
Believe it or not, I found a longer pair at Old Navy. They are called the DIVA. The waist is a little too low and the legs a little too long. But, you can roll the legs up to the desired length or have them shortened. For women with longer legs, these would be a good design. You can even wear them longer too if you like the look. They were about 40.00.
At Marshall’s I found the brand JAG. There used to be a brand JAG in the 80’s but I am not sure if these are the same. They run a bit baggy, but the waist feels comfortable and they were no more than 20.00. They are not THE most stylish, but they look cute and they sure are comfortable.
I took a risk on a pair of Adriano Goldschmied Ex-Boyfriend shorts I found at the Outlet Mall. They really look more like culottes than shorts but because of the bagginess I think they can be worn a little shorter. The bagginess of the short is distracting from the bagginess of the knees!! Who thought bagginess could come in handy? I still think too many wrinkles are showing on my knees. What do you think? Your opinions would be appreciated.
Lastly, at Macy’s I tried on the brand INC. Sometimes I have good luck with this brand and others I don’t; it’s just too young. But, I found these great shorts for about 67.00. They are really meant to be shorter, but if you roll them down, they will serve the purpose.
I did try Chico’s but I didn’t like what I tried on. I am sorry, but I cannot wear NYDJ (Not your Daughter’s Jeans). I feel like I am a sausage in a casing and they are so uncomfortable. They don’t breath and the fabrics just are not soft to the touch. STYLE ADVICE TO DESIGNERS: A lovely pair of culottes that fits at the waist and falls mid-knee in a lovely silk fabric with a nice silk shirt to match would be great. Wouldn’t that make a lovely outfit? Comfortable but stylish. In a monochromatic washable silk, it is slimming, you can look stylish, youthful(that word rubs me the wrong way), and feel like a lady, not an old person trying to look young. Or, even better, a pair of shorts that has a 13 inch inseam made out of a nice quality cotton that hits at the waist. These would be a home run and I guarantee that the Baby Boomer’s would be gobbling them up. Good luck with your search. Please let me know if you have found the perfect SHORT and I will post it here. Also, your comments on any of my fashion choices is appreciated. Until next time, Wendy