Though I remain on the eternal quest for the perfect pair, denim shorts will never be part of my “easy” summer outfit repertoire. Denim shorts, for me, require all sorts of preparation: I like to have a bit of a tan; I prefer for each of my legs to be as smooth as a mushroom; I currently only have one pair that I do love and they’re lighter wash, so they wind up in a constant laundry day rotation. And I have to emotionally prepare for — how do I say this politely? I have to emotionally prepare for the inevitable discomfort that comes with thighs and denim and high waists and crotches and summer heat and also, don’t get me started on friction. I love denim shorts, but “easy”? For me, not really.
I have, instead, spent a lot of time looking for my version of the “easy” hot-weather outfit — something more than just your average “jean shorts and a T-shirt,” a full look that is both exciting to put on and very low-lift in terms of my sleepy summer thought process. What can I throw on without thinking that makes me feel great? I sought to answer that very question down below.
The lovely and very funny Ayet Betty helped me demonstrate.
Try a Blouse Unbuttoned the “Other Way,” Plus a Pair of Baggy Slacks
When you consider the math, the bulk of this all-Mango look is just two pieces: a top with ventilation (built-in by your buttoning technique) and slouchy slacks. I’m a year-round wearer of white and cream, but it feels especially super-chill summer. Black and orange accessories snap everything up.
The nicest thing about puff sleeves, meanwhile, is that they’re like party hats for your armpits. The nicest thing about buttoning your shirt at the collar and then stopping is that your belly button gets to say hey. And the nicest thing about a pair of baggy pants with pockets is that even if you can’t get to the pool, your feet get to by way of fabric pooling. Reasonable compromise.
Try Trouser Shorts, Layered Tanks (the 2018 Way) and a Blazer
If you’re of a certain age (mine) then I know you just read “layered tanks” and had a high school flashback. This kind of layering is more for color play: a yellow top under a sheer, mint-colored overlay eliminated the whole mustard-and-ketchup color combination that could have happened with this red blazer.
I’m anticipating you again here: “It’s already too hot for a blazer.” Not if you plan to be anywhere near a venue with the AC on full blast!
And again: “Those are shorts! You just said –”
I know what I said! But summer is about doing whatever the heck you want. Besides, these shorts are shaped like high-waist trousers (if your thighs can read, read this: roomier), they’re not denim and not everyone has the same mushroom-leg complex as I do. Put fruits in a woven bag whether you do or not, though.
Try a Loosey-Goosey Peplum Top and a Long Khaki Skirt
This, for me, is the ultimate big easy: a baby pink gingham top that lets your waist catch a breeze and a breath, plus an almost-maxi skirt that, thanks to its starched nature, keeps the whole outfit looking polished. Pointed straw slides keep the whole thing tied together, and by nature of their shuffle-backs, you’ve got an instant excuse to take things a little more slowly, a little more softly, a little more easily…
Now important question: Which way to the nearest fan?
Photos by Edith Young. Modeled by Ayet Betty of Nova Management.