Staying Cool, If Shorts Are Not Your Thing


I know I am jumping ahead for those of you still getting snowstorms. But soon enough we will all have to switch closets/drawers  for the dog days of summer. And if you live in the U.S. South, like I do (only physically – I have New York City in my blood, and don’t call me a “Southerner”, pls.), you’ll soon be looking for ways to stay cool.

I don’t feel confident and comfortable wearing shorts, except for workouts and maybe mountain climbing. It’s been a long time (20 years or more) since I happily pranced around in cute shorts. I have a darling picture of Sandy and me on an early date – he with a Hawaiian shirt and not a single silver hair, and me in white denim shorts. Ahhh, youth. Or whenever – I hope those of you who like wearing shorts wear them till you’re one hundred, and rock on.



A very cool linen midi dress, swapped in Vancouver; a cheerful Karina dress; white linen skirt and fabulous Judith of Style Crone.



Long pure linen skirt, black tank and leopard under-tank; I actually do have one pair of “long” shorts; staying cool on top with a lightweight tank.


There are two vital factors in choosing pieces for warmer days: 1) the fabric (loosely woven linen is fab, as are light woven cottons and silks) and 2) the cut/fit. Once the temperatures reach into the 80’s, you can’t be comfortable in jersey leggings and/or snug turtleneck tops. The air must circulate! That why I lean toward loosely-cut but not-shapeless skirts and trousers, along with body-skimming dresses.



One should never say never in style, so I’ll just say I am unlikely to come to embrace shorts as part of my outside-the-house wardrobe. How about you?


Stay fabulous,


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  1. I love all the linen you’re wearing. I managed to find a pair of linen/cotton blend trousers and a linen kimono jacket for this spring. And Uniqlo is selling linen shirts this spring — occasionally they put them on sale for around $10. I’m not so good at thrifting and vintage, like you are!

    I adore an elegantly cut pair of Bermuda shorts, but they’re really hard to find. I’ve got the legs for short shorts, but don’t feel comfortable in them beyond my balcony. Not since I was about 20, unless I’m at the beach. I do wear mid-thigh length shorts in summer for comfort on really casual days, but otherwise it’s culottes and skorts for me, whenever I can find them — skirts cut about four inches above the knee look best on me, but I hate having to think about what happens when I bend over in them — you can’t see my undies, but you might think you’re about to! The lengths of skirts or pants that look good on me are either definitely above the knee, at the exact bottom of my knee, or all the way to the ankle. Just to the knee, as well as various midi and capri lengths, chop me up. To each her (or his!) own, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Love the white sandals/shoes paired with the the brown midi dress in the first picture. What brand is this shoe?

  3. You are so going to love my blogpost next week hahaha. I will be in shorts (and dismissing them). You demonstrate very well how to keep cool without overdoing it. Very nice outfits. And I like the top right shorts of the examples you have given.
    Furthermore I am so sorry Patty that I have been away from your blog so much. I need 48 hours in a day. I will try and make up.

  4. Not only do I not wear shorts, but unfortunately not sleeveless or even short sleeves, so summers are long and tortuous for me here in central NC. I’m always combing the racks for light and airy 3/4 length sleeve tops and light weight capri pants (I know, many of the style bloggers are saying no to capris but they don’t have my legs – HA!). What I wouldn’t give for the freedom to wear shorts and sleeveless tops in summer…

  5. I love this. Actually, I also wear a lot of mid-calf length slacks. And I live in hot and humid north Florida. The weave is important and so is the air conditioning. โ˜บ๏ธ

  6. “Long shorts” — now that’s an oxymoron! I’d happily wear skirts instead or shorts if I could. But I can’t. ๐Ÿ™

  7. What is it about shorts? I swear they make me feel 10x dowdier the moment I put them on — they just don’t make me feel confident.

    I love this post and all your warm-weather alternatives to shorts. I basically live in sun dresses every summer!


    Ashley || Sed Bona

  8. I know we’ve talked about this before – I love shorts. Not too short. Skirts are nice, and I wear them too in summer without leggings. But shorts don’t fly up in wind or on my bicycle, and shorts stop sweaty thighs from sticking together (there, I said it).

  9. I will freely admit around the house in summer you can often catch me in cut off jeans. They are easy to toss in the wash to remove the pug hair.

    I own maybe 3 pairs of shorts, so compared to skirts or dresses I am less likely to wear them outside of the house.


  10. That’s why I think maxis are so great for us older generations—cool yet covered!! I still wear shorts occasionally (but only since i’ve retired)—part of me wants to buck the system and say “who cares that my legs aren’t as great as before”, but part of me wants to be becoming—–ah the daily struggles!! ha ha! jodie

  11. Cut-off , knackered old Levis can look incredible but I’m with you, skirts and dresses all the way. Send us some of that weather, will you? xxx

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