The Short Suit Look Book

In 1964, Hardy Aimes would have reluctantly redirected you from ‘Shorts’ to ‘Beachwear’.
He would have stated:

The natural desire to relax is often the cause of abandonment of all standards of taste. It is the Italians who arouse our admiration, but examination of their technique shows us that they are prepared to spend as much as much money and time on their beachwear as their town outfits. He will never wear shorts except at the water’s edge.

In 2010, Luke Todd would share his insight with a cheeky wink.
He would state:

The natural desire to relax is often the cause of frustration at the sight of your Boss and his repellent mustard tie, this in all his abandonment of all standards of taste; (and decency for that matter). It is the Italians who arouse our…moving on. It is no longer a faux-pas to spend as much money and time on your beachwear as your town outfit. Nor is it deemed undesirable to take note and merge the two….

Coming up shortly I will be giving you a short introduction into this short article I wrote… whilst wearing shorts.

Nothing short (okay I’ll stop now) of an innovation for SS10, the short suit has shown more leg than any other tailored trend at this year’s New York & London fashion weeks. Many will lack the want or cojones to fashion a man-skirt. I will firmly say my (albeit open minded) cojones were non-existent whilst reading that article by JK. The short suit is the next best legs-at-large option and never before has tailoring tied in with the season's casual trends so well.

The short suit oozes 30’s school attire with the sartorial twist of the Savile ‘Golden Mile of Sartorialism’.
Inhabitants of Savile Row will foretell that a suit is not considered a suit unless the jacket and trousers are made from the same cloth. So consider the short suit a contradiction of this rule. A rebel if you will. The little sh*t who always went home with a detention slip forced to the bottom of his school bag.

The Clashing Suit

Clash, clash well, clash obviously; otherwise you will look like you have just clashed.

By this I mean, play with fashion as the toy is was intended. Don’t always match your socks with your jumper. You will simply look like your jumper has melted and run down into your shoes. To clash is to show a daring personality. Be daring. Be that rebel. Be that little sh*t with the detention slip hidden in your school bag.

When clashing your colours, don’t make the foolish attempt to put together a shoddy outfit comprising of a blue shirt, purple tie, green shorts and yellow shoes. This, in the hope that overall it will a display a sufficiently trended clash is extremely foolish… because it won't.

It would be equally irrational to lose the bravado half way through. This mistake will leave you straddling the awkward fence (and men are well aware straddling anything is out of the anatomical question) wearing a suitably coordinated suit & short ensemble; with luminous yellow shoes. This, instead of looking like a daring, well-clashed outfit it will rather look like the clash-wreck sort.

My advice for clashing: chose only a few colours, of equal palette tone (i.e. do not mix one pale colour with a bold contrast) in any one outfit and stick to them.

Skin Tones

To model a daring-clash is not the only option for this wear. Skin-tones or ‘nude’ tones have played a key part in many collections at NY & LFW. Strictly a summer palette; getting your skin tone look in early will appear difficult on the high street. However as soon as they begin to arrive in, snap them up! And as the collections roll out in-store you can certainly take the tips and advice from this article and apply it forward thinking.

Skin tones work well with a healthy complexion, so to avoid being washed out mix in some white breakers such as a plain tee or crack on with working on your tan (real or fake). The great thing about nude tones is they work well for work and play. Dress them up with a shirt for the day and kick on your desert boots for the night so don’t be afraid to implement them into your office wardrobe!

A quick note: you will not get away with screaming “I’m wearing skin tones!” as you are carted away naked, into the back of a police car.

Casual Trends

If you plan on utilising the richer nautical or global traveller trends in SS10 then you are still in good stead with the short suit. Blazers have been huge in the past months and there has been no shortage of the nautical inspired sorts. It goes without saying that boat shoes are a must but don’t overlook the tassel loafers for that hint of aristocracy about your footwear.

Ye old sailor-wear limits you to the three main colours and it is important to know, when mixing those colours, how that will affect your look. It is well known that white is universal in formality so concentrate on the blues & reds of nauticality. For the foremost casual of events, bold colours work well on top. Work from the top down (Red>Blue). However, for the more reserved of events favour the blue upstairs for a less threatening look.

Further Revision Class…

Right, we live in England (well, most of us do). But that’s not the obvious bit. The weather is somewhat unpredictable and non-reminiscent of the Costa-del-sol. That is the obvious bit. So a coat can be [life & suit-sparingly] helpful. The best kind for pairing with the short suit is in fact a mac. Equally something you would fashion with you finest of tailored suits, the mac & short suit combination shows effort and class in your choice.

There is only one rule when matching a coat with shorts. Imagine you are in the post office. In the line in front of you a man. Structured and clean cut in his silhouette. Notable in his fine choice of outwear. Educated in his footwear. However between the bottom trimmings of the mac. And the ankle line of his shoe. All you can see is leg. Yep… he’s a flasher!

Of course you would be lead to believe this. The more-maturely put point I am trying to get across is that your coat should not finish below the hem of your shorts. In fact, it should finish as far from it as allowed.

Have fun, be foolish, experiment, and love every minute of SS10. That’s not to be cheesy… I can see the rain cloud coming round the corner already!