If You Dare Wear Short Shorts


by James Tuttle

Gentle Reader,

Are you sitting down?  If not, maybe you should be.  I have something to tell you.  You may have come to know me as an icon of taste and style over these past weeks but I have a terrible admission.  I’m not actually perfect.  For one thing, my left thumb bends a little crooked, the result of a nasty childhood break.  And that’s not the worst of it.  I am also recovering from an acute addiction problem.

The last thing I wanted to do was disappoint you, especially now that we’ve become so close.  If you think back over our history, we’ve been betrayed by Balmain together, dealt with trampy Housewives, and confronted drag as an art form.  You and I have even learned some tricks for the over-40 guy and gone on the lam from the damn mafia, so I feel I should be honest with you.  I’m just going to say it.  I was addicted to HGTV.

I don’t know how it started.  I can’t even remember which show I first watched on this seductive network but it was quickly followed by another and then another until HGTV was on whenever I was home.  You have to admit that Candice Olsen does very glamorous work with her gas fireplaces and crystal chandeliers.  David Bromstad designed great rooms in the Bay Area, especially when he wasn’t wearing his shirt, before he tanked on the Miami season.  Maybe he started wearing his shirt too much.

David Bromstad could really warm up a room without his shirt on. Then he put one on and went to Miami and... ho hum.

And don’t get me started on Sarah’s House!  Unbeknownst to them, I was involved a love triangle with Sarah and her witty sidekick Tommy, as they overhauled a sixties suburban split-level one season and then a Victorian farmhouse the next.  Every room started with a fabric swatch and the results were stunning.  The fact that seasons of Sarah’s House are not available on DVD is another testament to the fact that the DVD-making people are retarded.  I was very confused by Sarah’s Jewish Orthodox housewife wig look that is so prominent in the La Brea/Beverly Boulevard neighborhood because that bitch is up in Canada!  Whatever.  I didn’t have time to ponder because Design Star was on.  I was watching HGTV whenever I wasn’t working out, dressing fabulous women or playing polo…or driving from one of those things to another.  We Angelenos spend a lot of time in the car.

Sarah Richardson from "Sarah's House" looking like she's wearing one of those Hassidic wigs, but she's probably just Canadian.

It’s all over now, though.  Something finally broke the hold that HGTV had on my life.  I’m sorry, HGTV, but I’m not putting up with your shit anymore.  House Hunters was the final fucking straw.  I could tolerate low-budget crap like Design on a Dime on mornings when I really had nothing to do, but House Hunters fills the prime-time slot nearly every night of the week.  What the hell kind of stupid show is that?  People look at three houses and then, drum roll please…they pick one.  That’s it!  That’s the whole damned show!  They’re not even interesting houses.  Or people.

Boring... boring... sold! To the couple with zero imagination!

To top it off, there is even a spin-off called House Hunters International created to torture people in other countries.  It’s even worse.  It’s about foreign people wearing ugly shorts choosing one of three houses usually in some exotic locale.  It might sound interesting because of the “exotic locale” part but it isn’t.  The places they have to choose from are sad, rundown hovels that need tons of work or a wrecking ball.  Maybe I should be grateful to House Hunters for making me see that I’d hit rock bottom.  Goodbye, HGTV.  Don’t let Antonio’s ugly welded metal door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Speaking of shorts, they are everywhere this season!  And, no, I don’t mean those $12 terry cloth things at Old Navy.  I mean the shorts that created a statement in so many collections for this Spring/Summer:  Anna Sui, Balmain, Isabel Marant, Emporio Armani, Chanel and even Badgley Mischka, where you’d expect them to be beaded to death.  They were actually quite nice.  The leather shorts at Hermes, on the other hand, will make you look very silly.  Please avoid.

According to the trend reports(http://widbox.com/trendiest-ways-to-wear-shorts-in-2011), the diversity of the shorts available can take you from the most casual poolside gathering to quite formal affairs, but allow me to offer a few tips to wearing them well no matter what the occasion:

Unless you're desperate for ways to pay rent, Zoe, rethink the coochie cutters.

Choose a style of shorts that flatters you.  Duh.  Not every woman is going to look great in the short shorts we saw at Chanel and no woman should be running around town in “coochie cutters” or Daisy Dukes.  Those are intended for strip clubs and Jessica Simpson only.  By all means, step outside your comfort zone, but don’t look like a whore doing it.

Experiment with proportion.  Some shorts can be worn with flats, some will probably only work with heels, but you’ll only know when you make a date with a full length mirror.  This also goes for what you’ll be wearing on top.  If the shorts are fitted, you can wear a blousy blouse; if they have volume, you might want to stick to a narrow tee.  As a steadfast rule, the contrasting volume thing has been thrown out the window the last couple of seasons but it still serves as a solid guideline if you’re on the fence.

Giddy up, Hermes! Then again, maybe not.

Tan.  You’ve seen those girls that look beautiful with their ethereally white, Pre-Raphaelite skin?  You’re not her.  If you don’t want to face the sun before you don those leg-bearing shorts, and I understand your resistance given the ozone layer’s wonderfully successful disappearing act, there is an amazing product called Jergen’s Natural Glow.  Just use in place of your regular moisturizer for a week or so and you’ll look great.

Those are my main suggestions for the ladies.  Pretty straightforward, right?  I might address the men’s shorts challenges at a later date but I didn’t want to end without echoing GQ’s advice to guys who ask, “How do I wear a blazer with shorts?”


Much love,


Comments: 15

  • Stacie April 28, 20117:14 am

    Gentle Writer,
    You’ve outdone yourself with this post. I’m still laughing….”coochie cutters”?…..hilarious! Your observations are quite insightful. Can’t wait for the men’s shorts version although you got off to a good start with the last bit of advice to them. Caio, S

    • James Tuttle April 28, 20119:09 am

      Thanks, Stacie! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think the men’s shorts article is inevitable but we’ll see. Big kiss!

  • oldancestor April 28, 201110:02 am

    Well done, Mr. Tuttle.

    I’m proud of you for breaking your HGTV addiction. I don’t like to watch boring people complain about what’s wrong with the ugly shacks they are looking at. A Chevy Aveo is not a Jaguar, no matter how much one criticizes it.

    Not a fan of Design on a Dime or like-minded shows either. I only want to see remodel jobs I couldn’t hope to afford.

    In general, I don’t like reality TV for the reason you mentioned: Most people are boring. “Look, we’re little people eating dinner” or “We’re fat people doing laundry.” If it’s not interesting when I do it, it’s not interesting when they do it either.

    I see a new addiction arising here that threatens to be worse than the others, and that is the ongoing references to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, which I am guilty of having done. The Pre-Raphaelites are the coochie shorts of the art world: Just wrong.

    • James Tuttle April 28, 20117:57 pm

      Thanks for the support, Old! But tell me about this “little people eating dinner” and “fat people doing laundry” thing. Is it on the same show? That might be something I can get into.
      Maybe we should try to use a Pre-Raphaelite reference in each of our articles. It might attract more high school girls who are in drama club and have Burne-Jones prints on their bedroom walls to read our blog. Just an idea.
      Down with boring people!

  • Joan K. April 28, 201111:45 am

    James, I’m glad to hear you’ve overcome your HGTV addiction ( I dropped mine last Autumn after a few HHI’s). Thanks again for the great advice (I’ll pass on the leather coochie cutters and pick up some Jergen’s). And thanks for the laughs!
    xx Joan

    • James Tuttle April 28, 20117:59 pm

      Thanks for laughing, Joan! Isn’t HHI the worst of the worst? Here’s another tip: There’s a special on Jergen’s at CVS!

  • Jordy April 30, 20118:49 am

    I am impressed. Very well written and interesting blog! And yes, you drew me here with the David Bromstad photo I saw on Facebook when Ethan commented.

    • James Tuttle April 30, 201110:52 pm

      Thank you, Jordy! I’m going to try putting up gratuitously hot guys in articles from now on but I’m so glad you liked the content, too! Come see us again or, better yet, subscribe!

  • Pat May 1, 20118:12 pm

    Dear James:
    Yes you are perfect being a stylist of women..
    You are perfect on what you have to say about House Hunters, shorts ect.. humor ful and full of knowledge and about life.
    I will take heed and yes stop watching house hunters… yes it can be done in better taste.
    Keep being perfect, give us your opinion, and keep showing us your style

    • James Tuttle May 1, 201110:36 pm

      Thank you, Pat! You’re the best. You don’t have to stop watching House Hunters on account of me, though. Lots of people love that show, which I simply cannot understand, but they do.
      And don’t forget, I’m not perfect. My left thumb bends crooked.
      Much love,

  • Pat May 1, 20118:17 pm

    Moderation yes will / got it…

  • Angela May 1, 201111:41 pm

    Another classic. So brave of you to share your addiction with the group :) Wise words on the coochie cutters problem too. A very funny article once agan Mr Tuttle, thank you…..

  • James Tuttle May 2, 20118:15 pm

    Angela, I thought I might be able to help others by sharing. Now you might consider seeking help for that little problem known as Jimmy Choo? Just an idea.
    Thanks for reading in the midst of wedding madness!

  • robert john taylor May 10, 20117:17 am

    hey james,people wear shorts because feel comfortable during the summer and go figure would u want to wear pant during summer not me one way to stay and relax.But it is a beautiful article that u wrote.very proud u. shorts are definitely for summer to stay cool,refresh. takecare,godbless u. Ur friend,supporter,

    • James Tuttle May 19, 20119:45 pm

      Thanks, RJT! Hope you have great shorts for a great Summer!

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