Friday, July 9, 2010

The Summer Must-Have Item: Cut-Off Shorts

By Charles D. Springfield
It’s just a few weeks into the summer season and the weather is HOT, HOT, HOT. The hotter it gets, the less clothing people want and tend to wear. That’s why it’s time to pull out the long pants…and cut them.

Walking around New York – from DUMBO, Brooklyn to the East Village – the latest trend for warmer weather is cut-off shorts. Whether the look is in denim, chinos, cords or even a tuxedo pant, it seems to be all the rage. And why shouldn’t they be? With disposable income not as disposable as it once was, pulling an old pair of pants out of the closet and chopping them into a comfortable summer length is not only sensible, it’s very fashionable.

But what happens when you don’t have a pant that’s ready to be sacrificed? For those who want to save a few coins and want to be environmentally responsible, I say head on to your local vintage or second-hand store. Going the vintage route can help provide shopper’s greater versatility in shades, hues, fits and detailing. Since consumers will be looking for pants, his or her options increase because the length is irrelevant since the garment will be cut. Therefore, it’s all about finding the right fit and style.

However, if vintage shopping is not your stylo, there are several retail options for cut-off-shorts. Try Urban Outfitters, the Levi’s Store or the Gap for a slew of options. So do yourself a favor, give those legs some air and some sun and opt for cut-off shorts this summer – as often as you can.

Here are a few suggestions for really “getting in” when it comes to the cut-off trend:
- Vary the length: There are three distinctive lengths to choose from: Long, Medium and Short depending on how bold or daring you are and how good your legs look. I would just recommend staying away from the micro cut offs, like that of the Daisy Duke variety. There’s a thin line between sexy and cheeky.

- Switch up the style: Cut-off shorts are usually a light- to medium-colored blue jean. But with all the great design styles, textures and detailing available today, you’re only limited by your imagination. Try a khaki, army pant or cord to extend your casual looks. Go for dark blue or black denim for a more dressed up look. Or go all out with a dress slack, white denim or even a tuxedo pant.

- Have fun with it: Just because the shorts are cut offs, doesn’t mean you have to live with the frayed edges. Many people choose to roll up the bottom of the cut offs for a more clean look. And some people do the opposite and infuse a little personality by adding extra frayed edges or other detailing at the bottom (think the “Incredible Hulk” television series circa 1977).

- Alternate the corresponding top: Switch it up. A clean, white T-shirt or V-neck always looks good. But add a range of looks this summer by wearing a colorful or patterned tank top, add a vest or try wearing a light-weight blazer with your cut offs.

- Accessorize. Accessorize. Accessorize: Have fun with hats (straw fedora hats and newsboy caps), bracelets, sunglasses (the bigger the better or Aviators), chains/necklaces that speak to your personality and fun shoes (canvas high tops – or any type of high-top shoe for that matter -- and sandals sans socks please!!!). Flats are also popular this summer for women. So ladies, you can give your feet a break and leave the stilettos for your summer night clubbing .

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