This season, amid talks of renewed interest in crafts and workmanship, beneath all the ’90s nostalgia trips, designers have also all agreed that now is the time to get women into shorts. It makes sense, looking at the trajectory of bottoms post-pandemic, when everyone uniformly rebelled against the concept of pants. In the years since, leggings, sweatpants, and even underwear have all taken turns playing the starring role on the lower half of any number of outfits. And so it seems designers are now ushering us into the era of women’s shorts
We should not be caught off guard by the rise of women’s shorts. On TikTok, men’s cotton boxers became the It-item of the summer, and at the menswear shows in June, it was the short suit that took center stage. The Hermès menswear designer Véronique Nichanian was quoted as saying, “Very short shorts, yes! The garçons have beautiful legs!” And in Milan especially, it seems that many designers took this to heart. At Prada, Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada sent their uomini out in very high-waisted shorts with tucked-in loose jackets. This past week they repeated their winning formula for the donne, embellished with more glamorous items like silk scarves or silver tasseled belts, though it’s worth pointing out the inseam was shortened a number of inches (“She’s got legs! And she knows how to use them!” is something we’re sure Mrs. Prada has uttered before). For Emporio Armani, Mr. Armani showed his classic little “evening” jackets with matching silk shorts—some more structured than others—and non-boot boots. One has to wonder if those are likely to become more elongated by the time they hit stores next season. (Meanwhile at Giorgio Armani nary a bare leg was found).
At Gucci, new designer Sabato De Sarno introduced new vision, showing a long charcoal grey coat (he’s obsessed with coats) over a white tank top, and a pair of matching very short-shorts as his opening look. “I want people to fall in love with Gucci again,” he said in an interview a few weeks before his show. The quickest way to a man’s heart may be his stomach, but are short-shorts the shortest way to a woman’s?
Over in London, even Emilia Wickstead, a favorite designer of the Princess of Wales, and a beacon of ladylike propriety showed several looks with barely-there shorts peeking through underneath tunics. Perhaps this is just a case of editorializing a look for maximum runway impact, and come next season, all hems will be elongated to bermuda-length. A very chic style that simply never goes out of fashion. Either way, we’re not skipping leg day, just in case.