This August, Give Board Shorts a Chance
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In a world where you can wear a backless top to the office and sport a facekini at the beach, few fashion ideas remain strictly verboten. And yet board shorts and Bermuda shorts continue to be two of the more controversial items for women. Unboxing a pair of long floral shorts made at my desk last year I horrified some colleagues. “You’re not planning on wearing those to work, are you?” one intoned with disapproval in her voice. And that wasn’t the first time I’ve been shorts-shamed. At a sample sale for a very avant-garde Japanese brand, I stepped in front of a shared mirror wearing a pair of bandana print shorts with a slouchy turtleneck. “You look…confident,” intoned the salesperson. Back when I was in high school, I rolled in late on a Friday in plaid board shorts andConverse. “You can do better,” hissed a boy in my grade.

But I won’t be deterred by the naysayers any longer—and neither should you. Board shorts experienced a big-time revival on the Fall 2019 and Resort 2020 runways. Coach 1941, Chloé, Miu Miu, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton have all endorsed longer-than-average shorts as a new must-have. At Coach 1941 and Chloé, the shorts have a back-to-school spirit in heritage plaids. At Chanel, Virginie Viard threw it back to the ’80s, with a graphic knit in a Jazzercise color palette. Tod’s has reimagined the long short as a polished—posh, even—transitional seasonal staple, worn with cream knitwear and knee boots. And even Haider Ackermann has fallen under the spell of the abbreviated trousers, layering them with a black turtleneck and a draped ivory coat.

Then there’s Louis Vuitton. Never one to accept the status quo of proportion or taste, Nicolas Ghesquière took a big style swing, pairing satin board shorts with tightly cinched embellished corsets on his Resort runway. The combination of tomboyish bottoms and such feminine tops hints at one of the main reasons board shorts have been banned from IRL wear: They can be tricky to style. Lucky for us, the trend has already caught on in the always fashion-forward streets of Copenhagen, where guests at Fashion Week are wearing theirs with lacy tops and heels. Get some late-summer inspiration below.