Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Style Retrospective - Part 1 - Wearing Shorts

So one of the perks of teaching school here in NYC, aside from the opportunity to educate our young minds, is that for the majority of July and August, there is no work to be done. Room preparations this year don't start until the 8th of September, although many teachers, including myself, will head back a bit early to get a head start. So what is one to wear through these hot and oft humid months while not being gainfully employed? Its easy to fall into a lazy habit of doing what most of America does, throwing on a pair of baggy cargo shorts, or worse jeans shorts, and an ill fitted tee shirt. Maybe a polo shirt will eek its way out of your wardrobe's slumber for a night out. Maybe.

Well, I hope to illustrate how I have attempted to remain stylish, and more importantly cool and comfortable, while the rest of my mind was on hiatus. The key to a summer wardrobe is fit. Just because your in a relaxed mood, doesn't mean your clothing needs to follow. Its a common misconception that baggy = comfortable in the summertime swelter. This is simply not true. Shorts that creep their way down past your knees are no longer shorts, but longs, and highly uncomfortable as humidity and sun play their games with the atmosphere. Take note of a few examples below that show how shorts and a nice top, be it a polo or a tee shirt, can be worn while remaining cool and well dressed.

Shorts are French linen and the tee is very soft cotton.

Cotton khaki shorts and a very light and soft cotton polo.

Same shorts paired with a cotton shirt, sleeves rolled, and a straw hat.

Cotton shorts and a cotton pique polo. The shirt here is not baggy, but conforms to the shape of my body, and I wasn't a bit out of my comfort range.

Another soft and light polo with a cotton driver's cap...I guess I wore those shorts a lot this summer!

Cotton shorts that were long pants. I had these pants trimmed down in the leg and cut to fall just above my knee.

Cotton madras shorts with a long sleeve cotton shirt, sleeves rolled. These shorts are a bit baggy for my tastes, but the madras material (an Indian cotton that wear very well in summer climates) is breathable enough to keep me cool, even if there's a lot of air between my skin and cloth.

A madras long sleeve shirt and my sole pair of "longs", a pair of madras pants. The pants were rolled up for an evening stroll on the South Carolina shoreline.

Using these images as guides, one can mix and match well fitted tee shirts, polo shirts and long sleeved shirts with shorts to keep cool on the warmest of summer days.

Next up tomorrow in Part 2 of my summer retrospective, keeping cool while keeping on your pants! Stay tuned...

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