How To Wear Denim Shorts With Heels (and not look skanky)
One of my favourite Fashion houses by far, would be Balmain. Year after year the collections tear down the runway with stunning models completely blowing me away with utterly cool rock and roll style. I can never get enough, the images torn out of magazines featuring the looks have stayed with me long after the trend has been copied (usually poorly), are always influencing my style. French, glamorous and edgy, but usually adaptable off runway, with military references, embellishments and texture, there is a lot to covet. In the Spring Summer collections of 2010, Balmain sent tiny denim shorts down the runway, and we have seen them ever since. I am definitely guilty of having ridiculed denim shorts- and even vowed not to wear them. I big time 'knocked it before I tried it'. Then I started working long hours installing design work over the 30-40+ degree heat in summer, painting, lifting and carrying things, bending down etc. Skirts didn't get the job done, pants were too hot and cotton shorts were generally not sturdy enough to hold the vast number of items I would shove into my pockets. Realizing how useful and in fact comfortable they could be, my attitude toward the denim short shifted. Each time I pull them on I admit I still think of the 'never nude' shower scenes from tv show Arrested Development, and can not help but think of the gazillion teenagers out there wearing them (body shape flattering or not- cause they gotta be in with the crowd). It still feels a little too casual at certain times, and I have certainly ordered a pair online only to find the rear coverage is a fraction less than I would like (WARNING: examine them carefully before adding to cart!), but I honestly do like wearing them. I am going to spell that out one more time, I honestly DO like wearing them.
Of course, there are some rules which I stick to and can recommend as guidelines if you should choose to try out this tricky wardrobe staple ( if it is regularly over 38+ degrees, they are a staple).
- Make sure that they suit your shape, and buy a size or two up from your 'normal' fit. They look better with some room in the thigh area, and you can wear a nice leather belt to bring them in should you need to at the waist. If they don't suit your shape- something else does, find out what that is and stick to it!
- Cover up your behind and keep your modesty, no matter your age, keep it out of sight. It only takes a few added centimeters to the hemline to avoid this faux pas
- Stick to a light or dark blue vintage wash, or a simple black, grey or white denim short.
- On the Balmain runway, the short denim shorts were not seen without a tee and leather motorbike jacket. The thing to take away from this is, if you show off all of that leg, do not show off all of your arms/ chest/ midriff as well. You pick one, and stick to it.
- Still too hot to wear a long sleeved jacket, knit or cardigan? Opt for a loose long sleeved tee or shirt.
- Pair with a plain white, grey, black, khaki or beige top, t-shirt, cardigan, knit, jacket or blazer
- I don't see much point in buying into something overly embellished as for me, I grow sick of that really fast.
- I am not so keen on the pocket linings sticking out past the hem line, it asks for ridicule (and seems like a classic case of design wank to me).
- As this look can be easily cheapened, go with quality, simple accessories. Add a light scarf or wide brimmed hat for a point of difference. Avoid cheap costume jewelry.
- Keep makeup simple, clean, natural and minimal (in these photos I'd forgotten mascara, and look extra sleepy, oops!)
- Keep your legs neat, moisturized and natural- no orange streaky fake tans (or, don't fake tan at all, it works for me)
- You can wear them with a heel (I chose to emphasize this by even styling them for this shoot with a LEOPARD heel. Surely short shorts and leopard are equal to skank, right? Sometimes, yes. It is a very fine line. These leopard faux pony pumps are the right hue, have the right sized print and aren't platform, so it works. Right now there are a lot of this faux pony leopard on offer, in various shoe forms. Below I will add some suggestions that I have been eyeing off).
- Stick to a simple heel shape, aka a pointed pump or strappy heel in a neutral colour (or a bright red or cobalt for some splash of colour) or a boot.
- Stay away from anything too busy, platformed or 'cheap' looking. Leave the gimmicks alone.
Get the look
Under $100: (Vintage Wash) One Teaspoon, (White) One Teaspoon
Under $50: (Vintage Wash) Asos, Just Jeans, Wrangler (Black) Billabong, (White) Rip Curl
Faux Pony Hair Leopard Shoes:
Heels: Seed Heritage, Tony Bianco
Flats: (Skate shoes) Seed Heritage, Windsor Smith, (Flats) Steve Madden, Tony Bianco
Shots by Mario Recchia