Monday, April 18, 2011

The Short Straw

To the envy of North America, Europe is experiencing wonderfully warm weather. The sun is shining the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. While we are still bundled up in paired down versions of our winter wardrobes and the southern hemisphere are salivating over their winter wardrobes, the thought does come to, what are we going to wear in spring and summer?

Shorts are one of those spring/summer wardrobe staples that are so versatile and stylish; however the wrong pair of shorts can break you! Seriously gentleman, forget what you see coming down the runways or what is described as the latest trend where shorts are concerned. Trends are basically just that, trends, they might last a little while but they will go out of fashion.

There are some rules that apply when purchasing and wearing shorts. All the below might have seemed like a good idea at the time however you do run the risk of appearing in the future on blogs like this one in the “What Not to Wear Category”

So without the risk of being boring I am going to offer the following pieces of advice if you love wearing shorts as much as I do.

Over the years short lengths have plummeted up and down quicker than the stock market. Short shorts are really cool only if you are 20 something and have a killer body. For us mere mortals, I say stay away from them.

I remember my father and countless other men wearing long socks with shorts eons ago. So you say, it looks great on the runway, however unless done correctly you will end up looking like someone’s grandfather.

This also goes for socks, sandals and shorts! It is not a good look!

I know that sometimes we all bemoan the fact that menswear can lack innovation and we applaud those designers that bring new shapes and fabrics, however stay with a classic shape and length. The below for example, what are they, skirts or shorts?

To plaid or not to plaid? The same can be said of pattern. Again while sometimes applauding the designers who use colour, texture and pattern in striking new ways for menswear; just be aware that you are not going to look like Bozo the clown. The shorts below from Thom Browne are a wonderful classic style however the oversized plaid, is just a little bit too much.

Pattern also can be tricky. I really believe that you could only wear these once or on different occasions where you are sure that nobody has seen them before.

I do like clothes that define a waist, however hoisting your shorts (which are too short to start off with) up to your waist teemed with the polka dots, makes your shorts look lie a 1940’s bathing suit for women.

Also keep them tailored. Gym shorts are made that way for a reason, for the gym!

There is also a reason why cycling shorts are made out of lycra. I really don't think no matter how much you try and disguise them with layering, they will always look like cycling shorts gone wrong.

Length wise keep it on the knee, if you have to roll it up or let it down, they are not for you.

Also please try and get them to fit. A tailored look is best, not something that makes you look like you are wearing a nappy.

However all this said do try and cut a dash this summer, like the below which believe it or not come from Old Navy for $24.95!

More Spring Mythology

Have you noticed a bit of a horticultural spring theme happening over here at Savoir Faire? With spring upon us, soon our gardens and balconies will be masses of colour, with the first flowers of spring. Invariably these first flowers are the huge varieties of spring bulbs appearing from the crocus to the tulip. I cannot help but be inspired by spring bulbs as they are amongst my favourites. Not only do I love hyacinths for their appearance, so many bell like little flowers on their stems, but also the wonderful scent, which is a favourite of mine. (Think Dior’s Diorissimo here) I have known for a long time that a lot of the meanings and names associated with these bulbs have originated from Greek mythology. Invariably all these legends stem around the involvement of us mere mortals with the ancient gods of Greece. I also find it interesting that of all the mortals that have metamorphosed into flowers most have been men. Ancient Greece was a very male dominated society with a huge amount of emphasis placed on male beauty, so it is obvious that gods and mortal men had a fascination for each other, albeit a very homoerotic one. The legend of Hyacinth and Apollo is another myth that attempts to explain the origins of this wonderful flower we know as the hyacinth. Hyacinth was a divine hero from Greek Mythology whose major claim to fame was being a beautiful boy and lover of the god Apollo, though he was also admired by the wind god Zephyrus. Apollo and Hyacinth took turns throwing the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died. A twist in the tale makes the wind god Zephyrus responsible for the death of Hyacinth. His beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. When he died, Apollo didn't allow Hades to claim the boy; rather, he made a flower, the hyacinth, from his spilled blood. Ovid's account, in Metamorphoses is hauntingly beautiful, describing Apollo’s grief. O thou art gone, my boy, Apollo cry'd, Defrauded of thy youth in all its pride! Thou, once my joy, art all my sorrow now; And to my guilty hand my grief I owe. Yet from my self I might the fault remove, Unless to sport, and play, a fault should prove, Unless it too were call'd a fault to love. Oh cou'd I for thee, or but with thee, dye! But cruel Fates to me that pow'r deny. Yet on my tongue thou shalt for ever dwell; Thy name my lyre shall sound, my verse shall tell; And to a flow'r transform'd, unheard-of yet, Stamp'd on thy leaves my cries thou shalt repeat. The time shall come, prophetick I foreknow, When, joyn'd to thee, a mighty chief shall grow, And with my plaints his name thy leaf shall show. As illustrated the legend has inspired the likes of many an artist, including lending itself to an Opera by Mozart called Apollo and Hyacinth. The time that all these spring bulbs are with us seems so short, much like the young men who inspired their creation, so let us enjoy them while we can!
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