Summer Style Essentials 01: The Pull-On Shorts

07.24.2017 / PLAY

Real quick, a disclaimer:

I’m using the term “essential” loosely here.

Essentials are food, water, shelter. We know this to be true, and yet, we are continually convincing ourselves otherwise – that the cast-iron skillet, the lavender oil, the boar bristle brush are essential to a life well-lived.

And while thoughtful style is a worthy effort, sure, these “essentials” are merely the tools that I carry along the path. These are neither expectations, nor must-haves, nor universal truths. But I rely heavily on each, and I suppose that’s worth somethin’.

And so, this month, I’ll be sharing my favorite summer style essentials for a slower, simpler wardrobe.

Enjoy, with a grain of salt.

(From an olivewood mortar, preferably. #wink)

First up: the pull-on shorts.

Believe it or not, there was a time in which I politely declined the entire realm of shorts. Why short when you could skirt? I’d think, until of course, function outweighed form and two kids later, here we are.

There are days in which my go-to linen trousers or rompers feel too restrictive, and yet, even as an age-old denim lover, I’ve found myself with a general discontent toward cut-offs. Perhaps they’ve grown shorter over the years, or perhaps I’m aging out of the market. Still, I’ve found the ultimate compromise for bare legs and infinite comfort:

The pull-on shorts.

Yes, I’m talking of the elastic waist variety. Give it a drawstring or a double side slit, it matters not. If the idea of buttoning shorts is just too much for you in the summer (hand raised), welcome. This one’s for you.

There’s very little that’s more bare-bones, back-to-the-basics than shorts, so I tend to fancy mine up a bit, just for fun. Around the house, I’m prone to choosing a wash-and-wear linen tank and sometimes an easy handmade necklace (mine’s here). But – paired with delicate jewelry or a simple sun hat, everyday shorts feel a bit less every day. Headed to the baseball diamond? Throw on some sneakers, add a handkerchief. Off to somewhere special? Try a casual mule and something flowy on the top. Endless possibilities, per usual.

I like my pull-on shorts to have a bit of a personality (and ample length), so this railroad pair with side-ties ($30) is my current favorite. Here are a few other great alternatives:

For a casual, multi-tasking staple, try these pull-on shorts ($20), or the simple side-tie version ($30) at Madewell.
For a ethically-made high-waisted version, I love the Clyde Work Short ($135) in cotton canvas from Elizabeth Suzann.
For a not-quite-but-almost cutoff, try this budget-friendly chambray style ($20), also at Madewell.

More summer style essentials up next week, and in the mean time, tell me: what are your go-to summer threads? I’d love to hear!

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  • Char


  • Char

    P.S. Can you change settings so that when you open the links it opens a new tab instead of leaving this page and replacing it? Not sure if that can be done, but I always lose you before I’m finished! xox

    • Oh, thank you for the rec! I can do it manually, but I always forget. :) Fixed this post!

  • Lisa

    2 little boys and a move from north to south later, I also find myself reluctantly embracing shorts. I love everything about this post, from the thoughtful caveat of “essentials” to the railroad stripe shorts. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jamie

    I’m in a constant love/dislike relationship with my thighs but I’m always on the lookout for a new pair of shorts to try – thank you!

    • Oh, I get it! I like these particular ones b/c the length isn’t too-too-too short. Here’s to function, and strong+capable thighs! :)

  • I love the disclaimer of “essential” in the beginning. So thoughtful, as always. This summer I’ve been a sucker for lightweight basic solid and striped dresses. I can wear them plain at home or dress them up easily when heading out. Looking forward to the rest of the style essentials!

    • I couldn’t agree more!!! I’ve been living in a linen dress that feels like a nightgown. ;)

  • Christine

    Ditto! Function totally overrides the cuteness of skirts now days with a five and two year old! Lots of squatting and sitting : )
    I’m so happy elastic shorts are back in! J Crew Factory has a lot of great affordable options as well!

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