Why leather shorts are not the best idea for summer

*Or anytime, really.

Clothing these days is all about hybrids. The jegging (jeans + leggings). The sandal-boot. The dressy shorts that apparently work both for a backyard barbecue and a day at the office. And now, leather shorts.

Now, when I hear the phrase leather shorts, the first thing I think of is lederhosen. Knee-length leather shorts worn with suspenders covered in folky embroidery – definitely a statement, though not necessarily a fashionable one. Unless you are celebrating German history, of course. But I don’t think it’s quite what today’s designers are going for.

The leather shorts being shown today range from extremely short and crotch-chafing to pleated, baggier and emanating a certain swishy sound that makes it impossible to sneak up on anyone. (Spies, take note.) The pleats also serve to add extra width to the hips, which no woman wants. (This is also noticeable in the new carrot pants, which are pleated and looser around the hips and then taper down to the ankles. It’s a cross between mom jeans, trousers and adult diapers. Thankfully, no one has made them in leather yet.)

These shorts are meant to be something completely different, to give women another wardrobe option that they’ve never had before. In this sense, the designers have succeeded. Leather shorts are definitely different. But not exactly practical. Or comfortable.

Of course, Fashion-with-a-capital-F is not about comfort and practicality. It’s about the look, darling. It takes pain to be beautiful. But I doubt that even the most die-hard fashionistas want to be sweaty and chafing all summer long. (Hopefully.) Shorts are a summer thing; leather is definitely a winter fabric. The combination has to be uncomfortable. Though producers of anti-chafing powder would flip over the spike in sales.

Also, once it gets cold enough to make leather an acceptable choice, it’s too cold for shorts. Of course, lest we forget, the more practical option of leather pants (well, as practical as leather pants can be for everyday wear) has been deemed ‘out’ by Vogue. So what is a leather-loving fashionista to do? Perhaps pair the shorts with tights (as many have done with those ‘dressy’ shorts) and deal with the added bulk and stiffness (and more chafing)? Or, perhaps, just suffer in silence in the summer heat, bolstered by the knowledge that though you can’t sit down or walk normally, at least you look good while hobbling bow-legged down the sidewalk.

Though every sidewalk and hallway could be considered a runway, I doubt the uncomfortable, my-shorts-are-pinching-my-inner-thighs-and-I’m-trying-not-to-scream walk will replace the scowly high fashion stomp any time soon. Unless, of course, the trying-not-to-scream face ends up replacing the scowl. Fashion is always looking for the next big thing, you know.

Let’s try something a bit radical. Rather than wear leather shorts, how about wearing seasonally-appropriate clothes? Shorts come in cotton, denim and linen, surprisingly enough. And wearing pants in the winter, rather than tights with shorts, could be nothing short of revolutionary (forgive me this awful play on words). Or how about tights with a skirt? Always a classic look. It could even be a leather skirt. I’m not picky. You can still be fashionable, and your inner thighs will thank you.

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