Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trends: New Shorts

Living smack dab on the equator means Kenya has no definite climatic seasonal changes and therefore not fashion seasons. I live in the southern hemisphere so its winter here meaning that you’re more likely to trip up on a pair of UGGs than Havianas (the converse is true up North).

There has been a movement all over the place to formalise the lowly shorts and since it is rarely cold in Nairobi, they are a very legitimate form of dress even in the deepest gloom of July. These New Shorts are fairly well short, I call them New Shorts but they are more conventionally known as smart shorts for those in the know. They end mid-thigh on the runway but for purposes of practicality and self-preservation I recommend they be worn just above the knee. Never below after all we’re not brutes.

These New Shorts are not baggy; in fact they fit well (some say tailored) much like a formal pair of trousers so getting the correct size (and length) is important. In the spirit of summer they come in outlandish colours but also more conservative hues – a perfect replacement to the weekend khakis. Pair the shorts with a good polo (the croc or the man on the horse are obvious staples). Bonk does an excellent job to and it's Kenyan (can I hear an amen?). Top it off with a contrasting blazer or sports jacket if you’re brave enough. For footwear jam your foot into a good boat shoe, deck shoes (in suede) or loafers in some crazed summer shade. Low profile canvas shoes could also do. Loose the socks.

Finding good quality clothing is tricky in Nairobi so poke around your local mitumba stalls are better still send off someone for them. Some good affordable brands (and personal favourites) are Topman, Uniqlo and H&M. if not then raid your wardrobe, grab your old golf/weekend khakis, wear them and with a pencil mark a spot directly below your knee. Take them off and furiously scissor the trousers. Now wear them and finally cuff the bottom of the shorts unassumingly, and your done. You now look instantly clean, crisp, slimmed down. The quintessential debonair. Now go buy some steaks.

It almost goes without saying – take care of those legs. I’m not saying shave your legs but rather trim them loosely much like a last gardener or a mod-artist - a natural look. Maybe this way we can (further) un-blur the line between the Neanderthal and The Modern Kenyan Man.


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