Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dear Daddy Likey: Short on Shorts, Over Short Shorts

Dear Daddy Likey,

I went shopping to find shorts to wear for this summer, and I was greatly disappointed by what I found. I am 5'11, and I am mostly leg. The shorts that everyone seems to be selling hardly cover my butt cheeks. I am at a loss as to where I can find shorts that cover more than my lady parts. Something mid-thigh would be nice. Got any suggestions?

Short Tempered

Dear Short, I mean, Tall, whatever,

Boy can I relate. Well, actually, I can't, because I'm 5'3" and mostly torso, but I hate shopping for shorts too, so I think we can still be friends. I agree with you that this shorts season has been particularly brutal. Just the other day I blushingly picked up a particularly immodest pair of underwear only to realize that they were SHORTS, meant to be worn on the OUTSIDE. "Oh my!" I crowed like a Victorian missionary, and decided to focus on the following two shorts shopping strategies.

Suggestion #1: Find the Bermuda (Shorts) Triangle

God, I hate the name Bermuda shorts--it evokes an awkward and confusing mix of imagery of Old Navy ad campaigns and South Florida retirees that makes me feel dizzy and enraged. Therefore, for the remainder of this post I will call them Nebraska shorts. Anyway, Nebraska shorts (aahh, that's better) hit just above the knee, are super flattering and just as comfortable in hot weather as those crazy chocha shorts.

If you love your legs, try a crazy pattern or a bright color. If you don't, a pair of black, khaki, or vertical pinstripe Nebraska shorts will look effortlessly chic while concealing thighs and preventing the dreaded chafe (in related news, my friend Lindsay and I decided to start pronouncing it chafé in an effort to make sweaty thighs sound elite and Parisian). Add a simple tanktop, a couple necklaces, and ballet flats and you'll be the talk of the town (for looking good, not for accidentally flashing your lady bits to the local minister).

Now, the tough part--where to find these elusive little buggers. I hate to enable those awful Old Navy ad campaigns, but the store does deliver. They have a huge selection of Nebraska shorts online and varying lengths in store.

These come in like fifty different colors (OK, four), can be worn cuffed or uncuffed, dressed up or dressed down, and they're on sale for less than twenty bucks. Not bad.

Love the details on the pocket--these would be so cute with a black tank and sandals.

Also check out J. Crew's sale section in-store and online (I'm pretending their regular priced section doesn't exist...It's just too painful...) for semi-good deals on cute, mid-thigh length shorts. And keep in mind that if you don't love the length of your Nebraska shorts straight out of the store, most styles look good (or even better) cuffed or rolled up to your desired length.

Suggestion #2: Make your own.

Yep, that's right--get out your patterns and sewing machine! Tooootttaaallllyyy kidding--the last attempt I made at sewing was an embroidery of my name that got me so flustered I spelled it with three N's. Of course, if you are the type who didn't think I was joking about the whole sewing machine thing, I salute you, and also if you want to make me some shorts, that would be great.

But when I say "Make your own," I mean, get out a pair of scissors and an old pair of jeans, and cut off the bottoms. Extraordinarily difficult and complicated, I know, but if I can do it, you can do it.

The cutoff is my all-time favorite shorts style and an integral part of my daily summer uniform. They're free (a hard price to beat!), you choose the length to flatter your body, and if you cuff them and wear a plaid button-down you, too, can achieve my life goal of looking like one of the characters from Now and Then.

I'm gonna go watch that movie right now, actually. For real. Gotta go.


WendyB said...

I've got that Nair jingle in my head now.

Ivy Frozen said...

Ahh! I love that movie! <3 & I also hated the name of the shorts formally known as Bermudas. I find it hard to find actual shorts among all the underwear masquerading as such, but don't like Nebraska shorts. As such, I opened the cuff on my current favorite pair so they are now the perfect length. And I plan on actually making my own pair of highwaisted denim shorts when I get the time.

VERONICA said...

Great poncho on Gaby Hoffman at the end when she sees Dear Johnny's father.

If you lived in Boston, I'd be at your place with popcorn in a millisecond. LOVE that movie!

Anonymous said...

I just found some decent shorts that weren't butt length at Target this past weekend.

Smaggle said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie! Oh I totally want to watch it right now.

Anonymous said...


You are so fabulous! Thank you for including a pair of "Nebraska Shorts" from Torrid, for us plus-size girls! For the record, I know that Lane Bryant also has a large selection of "Nebraska's" in their stores right now. I bought the cutest pair there recently. Dark denim with white stitching and sort of antiqued white snaps. Love them!

By the way, is that Lindsay that helped you come up with the French version of the word "chafe" the sweet little Lindsay that we discovered we BOTH know?

You girls are so fierce!

JessieB said...

It's a bit more on the spendy side, but Ann Taylor Loft also has Nebraska shorts, and in pleasing summer colors.

Anonymous said...

haha i love that movie! oh, and some good nebraskas can be found in pretty much any department store for really cheap- check the juniors section, though, because old lady nebraskas are not all that flattering.

Unknown said...

Nebraskas + ballet flats = wonderfulness.

Also, I thought it was just me who chafed (heh) at the sound of "Bermuda" shorts. They make me think of tacky plastic yard flamingos.

Anonymous said...

best movie ever.

Lisa said...

Nebraskas rock. They make such a casual cool alternative to skirts where I work.

Bekah said...

AAAnnnyway. I can DEFINITELY relate to this...I am also about 5'11 and all leg...and I do agree, Old Navy delivers for sure..they have so many lengths and options. they also have killer safari-ish shorts this year
also, I don't know if there's jacob annexe/jacob connexxion/jacobs in the states, but I got some shorts that are mid-thigh then can be cuffed/buttoned for short (but still a nice not too short length) shorts and they came in about eight colours and they were only 25 bucks...I bought two pairs (dark purple and a darkish gray) and I'm living in them this summer

Anonymous said...

I'm 5'2" and i'm mostly torso as well. very hard to find a pair of short shorts or pants for that matter. if you live in melbourne australia, forever new has really nice shorts and 3/4 pants. they are around 30-40$AUS, but you can wait for sales if you're lucky.

Kasmira said...

The pictured shorts from look like they come with something distinctly un-ladylike inside.

Anonymous said...

Another option other than making your own is having pants altered. I just bought a pair of linen capris because they fit my butt well. Because I think capri pants are the work of the devil and should be avoided by everyone, I then shortened them to just above knee length. Not a difficult job but to the less inclined, a tailor can do this quickly and pretty cheaply.

Me said...

Good tips! I was lucky enough to find one pair of stretchy black shorts from Forever 21 that fit me, because I'm all hip. Other than that, I pull a Roberta and make my own shorts.

meowi said...

the third short is very cute i would wear them

Unknown said...

haha .. I love that movie!!! It's definitely in my top 5 faves.

JessieB said...

Urgent update! All shorts (Nebraska and otherwise) are 50% off at my local Old Navy and therefore none are more than $13! I bought the ones in the first picture.

the assistant said...

your tips worked great for me too I dred wearing shorts because I can never find one that fit me properly they always too big or too long or too short and too tight LOL

MizzJ said...

Omg I LOVE that movie!!! There needs to be some sort of reunion special so we could do a "where are they now" on the actors (the young ones not the oldies).

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear you mention the dreaded "chafé" and I love the accent to make it classy.
Any other tips for beating it? I have been wearing shorts under my beloved skirts for too long!!!

Elizabeth said...

Daddy Likey takes on the Herculean task of saving the world from exposed butt-cheeks.

The world thanks you, Daddy Likey!

I kiss your feet!

Mummerina said...

i totally just watched that movie this w/e!

Anonymous said...

A little late to this thread, but in case anyone finds Nebraskas to be a little on the long side, here's an alternative: Our beloved purveyor of overpriced prep wear, J Crew, offers shorts in at least 3 inseam lengths. Might be worth it, might not. YOU DECIDE.

bestie said...

awesome tips. i think the cut-offs are my favorite (even though i don't currently own one), especially with the button-down plaid shirt.. oh what bliss.

Anonymous said...

Ladies, I hear ya re. the dreaded chafe... I've been using a nifty and cheap little product for 2 yrs now - Bodyglide Anti-Blister and Chafing Stick. Just rub some on your inner thighs and voila, problem solved. Lasts all day and not sticky or greasy. Also good to prevent blisters on feet! banda-Aid also makes their version, but it is more expensive and not as effective, in my opinion. You can buy Bodyglide online or in sports equipment stores. So break out those skirts, girls! :-)

Anonymous said...

Also, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor have sales going on and offer great options of "Nebraska" shorts! I am 5'2" as well and happen to have hips, and several of their shorts fit nicely and were the right length(s). Good material and flattering cuts, too.

a little sewing said...

Oh you crack me up, and you validate me. What could be better? I come from the land of sewing blogs and I made pair of knee-length shorts a couple weeks ago. If Daddy Likey, I likeeeee.

Anonymous said...

yeahhhhhh Nebraska shorts. Personally, I think they should be permanently renamed that after the great state they are named for.

can you tell I'm from Nebraska?

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