Hot pants: Dare to bare. Get your gam on!
This trend must be handled very gingerly. Unless you are at the beach, wearing shorts will, in all likelihood, blow up in your face. Designers have thrown a big red herring at ordinary folk with the ridiculous shorts they put on the runways this season. At the top of the heap are hot pants. These control-top girdles, cut high in the derrière for demi-cheek exposure, can make you the object of derision. If, however, you enjoy dressing like a high-school majorette, this is the trend for you. Substitute black Givenchy stripper wedges for shiny white boots and you have the look.
The key is to dress counterintuitively. Don’t wear a bikini top and swimming cap with your satin-insert Marc Jacobs hot pants; instead, wear everything not normally worn with shorts, such as tailored blazers, scarves and dressy blouses. The idea is to look like you are going to cocktail party or a board meeting but forgot to put on pants. This is an ensemble that got a reaction even from taciturn Bob, a fisherman in a remote village on Vancouver Island where my family vacations. Bob was having a beer in front of the general store when I rolled up in my haute Huggies. “Is that what they’re wearin’ in Paris these days?” he asked with arched eyebrows. Even Bob will tell you that the problem with tucking a silk blouse into hot pants is that it makes it bunchy in the front. So I threw a Derek Lam blazer over it—a short, fitted jacket that was just imploring somebody to pat me on the rear. A boyfriend jacket was a better choice, except that I looked like a lady of the night being availed of a dinner jacket by a chivalrous john.
There’s no way around it: Absentee trousers put a lady at a serious disadvantage, especially when the article replacing them is best left to 1940s pin-ups. This is when I had my eureka moment: a Rachel Zoe faux-fox vest worn open over a black tank top and the troublesome hot pants, finished with Acne stilettos. I looked like I was about to straddle the hog of a Hell’s Angels underling and bomb off to a billiard-hall opening, but I consoled myself with the thought that I wasn’t half-dressed; I was half-fashionable.
The verdict: 2/10
Let’s face it: They’re calling them hot pants, but they’re really just underwear.