In a word, shorts. Shorts are not exactly news but they have really gone mainstream, with every high-street shop in town doing silky summer shorts, Chloe-esque scalloped shorts and Rihanna-style sporty shorts, and these were simply the norm. Denim skirts suddenly seemed as passé as boho chic and instead, they had been wholly superseded by shorts, which are absolutely ubiquitous this summer.
Why should this be for heavens sake?
Two factors have come into play with the slow burn then sudden ubiquity of shorts, and they are Glastonbury and Alexa Chung. As baffling as it may be to those of us whose approach to music festivals is to wear the same clothes for the whole weekend, and to think anyone who bothers brushing their teeth is just trying to be fancy, somehow festivals have become – and I cringe so hard as I write this phrase – “trendsetters in summer fashions”.
We all know this already, right? Photos of the suspiciously well-styled celebrities slouching about in the VIP section of Glastonbury immediately translate into sales at New Look and Topshop – so far, so what. But the truth is, most things worn at and made trendy by festivals (Hunter wellies, heart-shaped sunglasses, floral wreaths in the hair) don’t really work on an everyday basis back in the real world – with one exception: shorts.
Shorts have been neglected for far too long, in my opinion, and if it took photos of Kate Moss at a festival wearing them to bring them their dues, well, fair enough.
Then there’s the Chung factor. If there is a patron saint of shorts in this country, then it is undoubtedly the Chungmeister, with her beloved denim hotpants and collection of lacy and smart city shorts. She has shown a whole generation of British women that shorts don’t have to make you look like you’re running around Summer Bay with Lance and Martin. They can look downright ladylike, even sexy, and this has caused the high street to go shorts-crazy.
And speaking of crazy, can we have a word about hotpants, please? Because if there was one thing more ubiquitous on the backsides of British women in the summer than shorts, it was unbelievably short denim hotpants. As Yoda once famously said, hotpants high on derriere of woman mean brave be the woman. For those of you who are less keen to show the world exactly how much you have behind you, this trend has been, shall we say, a little confusing for some people, and many conversations up and down beaches this summer may go like this;
Voice one: Oh my God, why do young women feel the need to have their arses hanging out of their shorts?
Voice two: Maybe they don’t feel the need – maybe they just have super body confidence, and isn’t that totally awesome?
Voice one: Um, I guess, and of course women should wear what they want (except animal hats). But it does feel like a step back to see so many women walking around in Farrah Fawcett-style hotpants. Seriously, is this 1976?
Voice two: You’re looking at it wrong – it’s a step forward! A step forward into women feeling totally comfortable with their womanly bodies.
Voice one: Ugh, I hate it when you do this. You insist that everything I see as anti-feminist is actually massively feminist and totally twist my words.
Voice two: I know. This is why every feminist wave collapses with women fighting among themselves about what is properly feminist and what isn’t. Remember when pole dancing was deemed to be feminist a few years ago?
Voice one: For my life, that was the worst. Please don’t tell me that pole dancing represented women reclaiming their sexuality or whatever?
Voice two: Girlfriend, please. That pole-dancing trend was insane.
Voice one: Phew. So, what are we going to conclude about the denim hotpants trend? Is it a good or bad thing? Or are we going to end feminism by arguing about it?
Voice two: Maybe we could just say that we don’t like hotpants because they look insanely uncomfortable and have probably caused a mass outbreak of thrush in this country.
Voice one: Phew! Summer punch?