This week, the Wall Street Journal is singing the praises of the shorts suit. “Traditionally, the word ’suit’ is a sad one for ladies, especially when uttered during the summer months,” writes Alexa Brazilian. “Conversely, shorts have always evoked ideas of vacation, heat and leisure. When brought together, they create an unexpected combination of crisp polish and playful sportiness that can be worn anywhere from the office to weekends in the country and formal evenings out.”
In other words, it’s time to get a shorts suit!
I’m not convinced that the shorts suit is a good investment, though, and it’s not just because the WSJ’s picks are all insanely expensive. ($1,040 for the “weekend getaway” shorts suit? Seriously??? How do you have any money left to spend on the getaway?) I like the idea of a jacket with shorts, but it’s not practical for summer, at least not where I live. It’s already hotter than the sun here, and it’s only mid-June.
When it’s this hot, finding work clothes that are both comfortable and appropriate can be tricky. But shorts aren’t the answer. Opt for a skirt or dress, or — if your office is air conditioned to the point where it feels like a meat locker — stick with pants and a summery top. Feel free to add a cardi or jacket for that super cold building. But leave the shorts for after work.
What about this idea that you can dress your shorts up for evening? “When paired with drop earrings, exotic feathered heels and a smart clutch,” the WSJ declares, “a posh patterned suit is ideal for an evening on the town.” But shorts and heels can be tough for the average middle American woman to pull off, particularly if she doesn’t have Blake Lively’s legs (and that would be most of us, honestly).
And it’s not like that “posh patterned suit” can do double duty as weekend wear — not unless the pattern is going to hide the dirt and sweat that a typical weekend with the kids entails. Shorts are perfect for the park and the pool and all the other places we go on our days off, but they need to be durable and affordable and machine washable. At least my shorts do.
A good pair of shorts is worth having, and once you’ve found them, it’s worth taking the time to figure out how to style them so you’ll look chic and pretty when you wear them. But think twice before you head to the office in your shorts, or pair them with sky-high heels, or spend more on them than you would on a dress for your sister’s wedding.
What say you — would you invest in a shorts suit? If so, where would you wear it? To the office, or for more casual outings?