Art Director, Influencer and Social Media Strategist Mija Knežević’s go-to style can be summarized in one word: shorts. From dependable denim to beach-ready Bermudas, micro-hems to knee-grazers, the versatile staple, suiting work or play, is never far from her fashion radar. Here she explains why it is the piece you never knew you wanted - until now.
I have never been a girly-girl. I grew up in Montenegro, where living outdoors and hiking was second nature. As a result, shorts became a go-to piece in my wardrobe from an early age - simply for their sheer versatility. You could say they are a habit I have yet to quit.
Underrated, under-loved, but undeniably essential – they are by far the most hard-working item in a woman’s wardrobe, coming in so many guises, and worn in so many ways. And yet they are so often forgotten, it is about time we gave them the respect they deserve.
After all, shorts can take you anywhere - the interchangable style can be paired with almost everything, be it hoodie or blazer.
In the beginning, shorts were for schoolboys (they were made popular by Boy Scouts). But it was during the 60s, when bare legs became fashionable, that shorts were embraced by women. Since then, they have never strayed far from the fashion radar, mainly because they are a waist-defining miracle, giving you both structure and unrestricted movement – especially on hot summer days.
And yet it is so frequently overlooked how modern women wear shorts all of the time. On vacation no suitcase goes through passport control without trusty denim cut-offs to throw on with, well, just about anything as you scoop yourself up off your sunbed and over to the bar for a cocktail. And they are probably the same denim shorts you wore to a festival or two, imitating Kate Moss at Glastonbury or Alexa Chung side-stage at an Arctic Monkeys gig.
Over the past year, the resurgence of cycling shorts, as seen on almost every supermodel and Gen Z icon, has truly changed the world’s opinion on what activewear is acceptable outside of the gym. So whether you’re following Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner, or are inspired by Emma Corrin’s turn in The Crown conjuring nostalgia for Princess Diana’s unrivaled wardrobe - one thing is for sure, the cycling short is here to stay. The easiest way to wear them is inevitably in black, teamed with an oversized T-shirt or sweater and slides; it’s off-duty, dialed-down style at its best.
And the appetite for this previously much-maligned seperate does not stop there. Bermuda shorts are back too, and I could not be happier. Tomboy chic has always held a place in my heart and reminds me of summers in the 90s. GANNI’s printed co-ords are effortlessly chic when exploring a new city; never have you heard someone complain about their shorts hurting after a long day. They are modest; they keep you cool; they are a passepartout.
After dark, I love how Khaite can take a classic, tailored short and make it glamorous enough even for cocktail hour, while Nanushka’s now iconic vegan leather shorts have occupied the ‘most coveted’ position in the shorts realm for the past few years, thanks to their signature high-rise cut. They are, in short, a hyper-flattering city staple. Currently, I’m loving the boxer short look, worn best by Kaia Gerber at the 2018 CFDA Awards. The loose-fitting, masculine style screamed simplicity and comfort, a look which my style focuses heavily on.
On date nights, I look no further than Zimmermann’s linen shorts. We have seen the timeless style so many times it has become an Instagram staple. It does not matter if you’re 16 or 60; their uber-feminine silhouette comes in a multitude of prints that never dates.
And so, after a year of gravitating towards loungewear and core classics, we’re starting to embrace dressing up and leaving the house again. And with their practicality and comfort-factor, surely it is shaping up to be the ‘Summer of Shorts’.