The most startling realisation to strike me this summer is what a completely and utterly inadequate supply of shorts lies in my wardrobe.
My last-season’s favourites by bassike are now splattered with paint after an ill-thought-out morning assisting an arty friend gussy up some boutique window displays. “It’s water-based,” I was assured. Clearly that made it no more appropriate to indiscriminately splatter on fabric. Still, I’ve accepted that it gives them character and they remain on semi-high rotation.
My denim shorts have been in my family almost as long as I have. Before that, who knows where they came from—my sister picked up a pair of second hand Levis 501s in the day when mothers wouldn’t dare indulge a teenager in fashion whims (well, ours certainly wouldn’t). When their time passed, I took ownership and chopped them off below the knee—enough to show off the Doc Martens I’d finally acquired in time for university.
When my three-quarter shorts days were behind me (where they will forever stay), the were trimmed further. They have continually shrunk and faded from mid blue to almost white ever since. They are now my old faithfuls, short and cuffed and wouldn’t look out of place on a gay German backpacker circa 1983—and they are about one wash away from complete disintegration.
Neither is appropriate when one wants to look remotely smart—in fact, apart from a trusty vintage number (in polyester, sadly), there’s not a lot here that I’d want to be seen in polite company with. So I’ve resuscitated a long-neglected pair of grey Rip Curl shorts, de-commissioned since my ’surf label’ period. The daggy knee length was unconscionable, but I remained fond of the quality grey fabric and simple cut.
They were shipped off to the tailor (Jacks in Paddington, Sydney), et voila! A very chic pair of mid-thigh, cuffed shorts that are neither stained nor torn nor sullied in any way. Thirty bucks for something that will serve me at work lunches, cycling to meetings or down the pub on a late summer evening.
Of course, I didn’t have the foresight to take a before picture but believe me when I say they’ve gone from my “everything else is in the wash” shorts to my “I know I wore these yesterday but I don’t care” shorts.
And they’ve inspired me to focus on really building (and documenting) a sustainable wardrobe in 2011…