Since moving to Florida, I've had to overcome a pretty serious fear of a particular item of clothing: shorts. Shorts are the basis of most Floridians' wardrobes, but I honestly hadn't worn a pair since college. My pale, athletic legs just seemed more suited for jeans and trousers. I sweated through June and most of July last year until I gave in and realized I just needed to find a way to make shorts work for me.
There are two rules that I follow when I'm shopping for shorts: find the right length (for me, a 4-5" inseam is usually best; shorter just hits me in the wrong place, longer makes my legs look stumpy), and go for fun patterns. I initially tried to play it safe with solid, neutral colored shorts, but I actually found that a bold (and sometimes crazy) print was more flattering and a lot more fun -- and the opportunities for bright and happy pattern mixing are endless!
Here are some of the prints that are charming the, well, pants off of me right now:
Old Navy Seahorse Poplin Shorts ($23) -- I love the fresh minty green color, and how cute are these little seahorses?
J. Crew Factory Ikat Print Shorts ($35) -- this is a bold print, but the black and white palette makes it work like a neutral. You can pair this with a million solid colors, but it would also look great with your favorite striped tee, a polka dot cashmere sweater...or maybe a crazy Lilly Pulitzer-esque paisley print!
J. Crew Factory Printed Boardwalk Shorts ($40) -- this happy floral print seems perfect for summer days at the beach or summer nights at a great outdoor bar. I love the idea of keeping the top dark and neutral (a nice navy blouse or a slim black sweater) and then picking up one of the pretty pink shades in your lip color (I just bought Nars Roman Holiday after seeing it on the fabulous Franzisca, which would be perfect).
J. Crew Striped Board Shorts ($84) -- so yes, J. Crew does some pretty great print shorts. These are too short for me, but the sporty striped pattern is great -- you should buy them so I can admire your great ass.
ModCloth Aweigh With Words Shorts ($60) -- in Florida you can get away with a nautical print year-round, so I love these cute anchors. Stripes would pair nicely here -- I'm also thinking about this adorable sweatshirt that I saw at Anthropologie over the weekend (it is SO soft). Now I just need a boat!
Loft Cabana Stripe Riviera Shorts ($55) -- these are very chic, and 'cabana' and 'Riviera' are two of my favorite words -- if you believe in The Secret and the laws of attraction, buying these shorts might just be the first step to some very fabulous summer plans.
Zara Jacquard Mini Shorts ($60) -- I love the subtle print of these shorts -- they give an airy basketweave-y feeling that feels so right for summer.
Dorothy Perkins Khaki Left Shorts ($29) -- this print could be called Florida camouflage, and it kind of reminds me of the wallpaper in Blanche Deveraux's bedroom, which is basically the highest compliment I could give a crazy leaf pattern.