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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fashion trends are not laws: case in point - business shorts

As the weather warms up, the business shorts and their cousins - the business capri pants (also known as city shorts or culottes) start popping up everywhere again. Every third woman seems to be wearing a pair. Who came up with these things? And, more importantly, ladies, why do you wear them?

A good pair of pants is essential to a woman's wardrobe. Several good pairs of pants are really nice to have, including some for warm and cold weather, some light and some dark, some for business and some for knocking around. A couple of pairs of shorts to wear to the beach or when you cut your grass is great. But why own business shorts - a strange pencil skirt/shorts hybrid that looks as if you were out of business pants of your own, so you raided your ten-year old daughter's closet and pulled on a pair of hers?

Reason # 1. I have great legs and want to show them off.

Umm, have you ever heard of a skirt? They come in all lengths and an even greater number of colors and prints. They also come in great many cuts that might - just might - flatter the rest of you figure and not just your legs. Imagine that!

Reason # 2. They are comfortable.

Well, so are regular pants. It is not as if you are going to climb trees in your business shorts during your lunch break (if you are - you can bring your regular shorts for that, remember?). If you are one of ten people in the United States who still ride a bicycle or walk to work (you are all my heroes by the way, and I salute you!), you probably don't want to do that in your nice crisp business clothes anyway - so wear jeans and a t-shirt and bring your business attire in a roll-up garment bag.

If you don't own nice crisp business attire, go away and don't talk to me until you do. Remember, every successful person will tell you this: dress not like what you are but like what you want to be. If you dress like a mediocre stuck-in-a-rut dweeb, chances are you'll remain a mediocre stuck-in-a-rut dweeb for the rest of your career no matter how brilliant you are, because no one will ever look at you and see you as something more than that. (If you think a woman cannot be a dweeb, think again! I used to be one - believe me, it is possible.)

Back to the subject of comfort, regular pants are comfortable and come in lots of lightweight fabrics that are cool and breathable in the summer months. This is the 21st century, people - we have the technology!

Incidentally, skirts are comfortable too - you should really try them sometime. What did the ancient Romans wear into battle? Tunics. What did the Scots and the Irish wear into everything? Kilts. If rugged male warriors were able to find skirts comfortable enough to wear to war centuries ago, surely you - a modern business woman - can find a skirt comfortable enough to wear at work, instead of resorting to a piece of clothing with an identity crisis.

Reason #3. I think they look good.

On whom? They look sort of ok on models - sort of. Business shorts, leggings and capri pants are three things that don't look 100% unquestionably good even on models. These three garments are closely followed by pleated front pants that can only be worn by people with impeccably flat stomachs. So, what about you? Are you a model? Because even if you are, you don't look stunning in those things.

And if you aren't, have you looked at yourself in a 3-way mirror lately? Do you know all the good and bad features of your anatomy? Are you aware that the business shorts, with their straight-leg or tapered leg silhouette turn your cute little butt into a ballooning mass? How about your cute not-so-little butt?

And what about my vertically-challenged sisters, whose legs suddenly appear to be even shorter because the eye looks at the pinstriped fabric and expects to see a slick pair of pants and then suddenly has to stop at the halfway point? What about my way-past-the age of 20 sisters who are intelligent and sophisticated, but do like to do rough-and-tumble things (like martial arts, hiking and gardening) in their spare time, so their knees are somewhat less than perfect - and here they are on full display and magnified by the folded hem of the culottes? Do you still think they look good?

Reason #4. They are trendy.

Uh-huh... Drinking poisoned Kool Aid was really trendy in Jonestown at one time - we all know how well that went over. Wearing business shorts may not kill you, but it can and will kill your figure. I don't care how trendy it is and that everyone has one. If a trend doesn't make you look stunning and feel fabulous, just ignore it. Pants hanging around your hips and Doc Martin's are considered trendy too, but will you just jump in and wear them? Do you think they flatter you? Do you think you can get away wearing them after the age of late teens? Hmmm...

Reason #5. Shorts with heels look sexy.

Yes. On Daisy Duke. 25 years ago. A pair of undergrown business pants is not sexy at any time anywhere. One piece of clothing - especially one as poorly designed as the business shorts - does not make sexy.

Sexy is an entire image, including your attitude. Go find an amazing pair of tailored pants and a couple of incredible skirts - they are worth splurging on and can become the foundation of your wardrobe for years to come. Wear them with the right tops that flatter your figure and with the right accessories that pull the look together, and you'll be amazed at the number of men who'll do a double-take when you sashay past them. You will own the look - instead of the other way around - and you will enjoy it immeasurably more than trying to squeeze yourself into a trend that does you no favors.

1 comment:

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