Saturday, April 29, 2006

Call the shorts

Radhika Ravi on the chic way to beat the heat

Shorts are the flavour of the season
Shorts are the flavour of the season

It is time to spring clean your wardrobe and make way for the whacko-coloured skirts and cool shorts this season. So you thought shorts were beach-only gear?

Take fashion advice from designer gurus like Suneet Varma and retailers such as Pantaloons and go for shorts this summer. Tailored long shorts which stop at mid-knee and fitted at the hip and a straight elegant cut is the new dress code at high-profile corporate offices while denim, corduroy and cotton shorts are the rage at beach parties and chill-time sessions.

The formerly casual-only garment has metamorphosed into one of the choicest work wear. Bought ready-made or tailored, linen long shorts can be worn in sober colours for the workplace.

A formal button down which can be tucked into the shorts works well as a top. Alternatively, a short-sleeved cotton top can also be worn for a lighter tone.

Belts are all-important for this outfit — a thin leather belt or even better, a scarf pulled through the belt loops and knotted on the side. And make sure your shoes go well with the outfit because the unconventionality of the outfit will draw attention to the shins and ankles.

Regular pumps, preferably round-toed, will give it a feminine touch. If your long shorts are black, the look is classic mid-calf boots.`A0 But for this, make sure your shorts are at least mid-knee or below. Dark spike-heeled boots is very smart corporate wear.

And remember to accessorise well. Plain silver jewellery is best suited, but what adds extra panache is pearls — a single strand or the layered loops of pearls around the neck and the optional pearls at the ears. A chiffon scarf at the throat knotted on the side will give the outfit a look of elegance.

And when you’re out for fun, shorts are ideal. Visiting a restaurant or theatre calls for long shorts in pastel shades in a crisper fabric. A loose kaftan, short-sleeved top or a tank top on top gives it an airy and relaxed feel.

Pull a scarf loosely around the neck if you feel a bit bare. For your feet, choose shoes with kitten heels or heeled open-toed sandals. For the boho-look, buy a pair of mojras and team them up with your casual wear. And you’re done, just grab your bag and keys and you’re off.

But if you’re going somewhere upmarket and you want smart-casual, a few touches should make a difference. Wear a light-coloured jacket that you can shed once you’re at the premises. Together with some kitten heels or round-toed pumps and light jewellery, you should be at your refreshing best.

For beach time, bring out the short shorts. If you’re heading for some suntan and sea polo, wear a pair of shorts over your swimsuit with a scarf round your waist. With flip-flops on your feet, funky anklets, a colourful bandana or floppy wide-brimmed hat, you will forget the sarong was ever a fashion statement.

If you’re simply enjoying the fresh air for a walk or going shopping, finish off the outfit with tons of crazy coloured bangles on one of your wrists and chunky beads around your neck. So flash those legs you have worked for so hard over the year and look like you’ve just walked off the ramp in this season’s shorts. — MF