End Your Summer in Style
Labor Day is here, and while it may be the official end to summer, (and of wearing white pants anywhere but Miami Beach), it doesn’t signal the official end to wearing shorts.
And while most of you have your shorts wardrobe together, some of you need a little guidance. (You, in the light blue, thigh-high 80’s short shorts. I’m talking to you.) If you’re hitting a Labor Day end-of-summer bash this weekend, and want to impress, here are some key points to remember:
What’s Hot Right Now?
I turned to MTV’s Official Style Guru and host of “Coltrane’s Fashion Attack”, Coltrane Curtis for some answers. He says board shorts are still the short of choice for both regular guys and celebs. “You can go with the new boxer-brief style swim trunks only if your body is on point,” he says, “but that’s about as daring as you should go. Never a banana hammock. Those are a beach buzzkill.” Amen, brother.
Steve Fontes, Design Director for legendary surf company Quiksilver , told me one of their hottest sellers right now is an old-school-look short with a 16″ side seam (as opposed to the 21″ on their typical board short), that hits a couple of inches or so above the knee and has a scalloped side seam on the leg. “The retro styles are going hot,” he says, “the scallop leg is coming back, which was in style when we first started. The west coast kids are gravitating to it, and it’s creeping to the east coast.” Thankfully though, there are no plans to go any shorter.
Know Your Body Style
This is key according to Coltrane. “If you look like Matthew McConaughey you can wear whatever you want,” he says. “But if you’re more a beach bum guy… a little bit of a belly, maybe… go classic surfer style, casual fit, about mid-knee length.” And ease back on the bold prints that are popular now, he told me, adding, “You don’t want to be a spectacle.” Opt for a suble print or a tone on tone pattern.
Quiksilver’s Fontes agrees. “The 16″ outseam board short is definitely for the younger crowd.” I’m going to read “younger” as “in-shape”.
If You Go Bold
Coltrane says colors and prints have definitely become more daring, and along with the florals and stripes, paisley in bold colors and polka dots are hitting big. Don’t know which patters to go with? Coltrane recommends looking at designs from Paul Smith for inspiration, adding, “you can’t go wrong with anything from Ralph Lauren. And you can go with a Burberry print if you really want to shut them down.”
He also predicts we’ll see even more daring stuff next summer, including “pastels and hot neons.” But not the garish 80’s style neons. “Look for bright green and fluorescents,” Quiksliver’s Fontes says, “but in a better way. Mostly for accents and trims. Not as the focus color.” Thank God.
Over at Quiksliver polka dots are hot with younger guys, with bolder stripes and geometric patters being key looks in general. Their “Organica” pattern is a new take on animal prints and another hot seller is their punk-look Tartan plaid. (See the pics accompanying this article.)
It’s not always about the water. Poolside parties, day or night, call for more than board shorts when you are looking to make a style statement. For a classic look Coltrane recommends a seersucker, or a linen crepe drawstring pant. “Wear with a white wife-beater for a poolside cocktail look,” he says, “just make sure they aren’t pajama bottoms. Get a nice pair. Invest in them.” And if you want to wear casual but chic shorts, “Denim is dead,” Coltrane says, adding, “but the patchwork Madras short is definitely gonna stick around.”
And should you decide to go bolder than linen at the party, Coltrane advises to “make the statement with either the shirt or the shorts, but never both.” A little bold goes a long way.