Is it a short? Is it a pant? Is it – gasp – a pedal pusher?! Of course not. It’s the Bermuda short – fashion’s answer to comfort dressing (and the shorts conundrum).
Shorts can be complex and awkward. They dance on the verge of vulgar and cheap, ill-fitting and not-so-flattering, awkward and strange. Basically, they are a tricky trend to pull off. Too short – we can see what you’ve had for breakfast. Too long – they cut you in half. Not even the tiniest peach is safe from a bum-baring cut-off; not even the longest legs immune to ill-becoming hemlines. It’s a seemingly constant struggle between stumpy and stylish, one that plagues the modern fashionista, and for this reason, shorts are often put in the too-hard basket.
That is until the Bermuda short staged its comeback. While The Royal Teens would have us believe we all “like short shorts”, these days, fashion actually prefers its shorts a little longer and a little looser, with the stylish set sporting all kinds of flouncy elongated lengths at fashion weeks and the like. Following on from 2018’s preoccupation with bike pants, the Bermuda continues to hold rank as the short du jour, and unlike its thigh-suffocating cousin, allows you to eat (almost) as much as you like and still look stylish doing so thanks to its capacious, boxy nature.
But what defines a Bermuda? The long and the short of it is this: historically, a Bermuda short sits about one inch above the knee, its origins in the British Army. But fashion being fashion – and not one for rules – any kind of regulatory hemline was swiftly binned as the Bermuda began to flirt with length, hovering both above and below the knee. Its length also depends on where you were when God was handing out long legs. For those at the front of the line, a Bermuda will sit abbreviated and slightly high. For those at the back (i.e. myself), a Bermuda brushes between knee cap and even below, depending how far back in that line you really were. Regardless, a Bermuda should always hover around knee-length, slightly roomy and forgiving.
Fabric, too, has stepped it up; moving from classic cotton drill to tricked-up texture like tinsel and hand-printed silks. It’s a stylish reprise for those who seek comfort but still can’t quite grasp this whole activewear outside the gym thing.
So for those who lament lycra on a latte date, or just feel inclined to lounge in a long-short, take a trip to breezy Bermuda instead. If you’re ready, consider these stylish options. Bermuda (short), come to pretty mama.
the printed bermuda
Rejina Pyo’s sunny, deckchair-striped Bermuda’s are not only an easy, breezy loose fit, but will forever remind you of happier, sunnier days. The cotton-linen blend are beautifully structured yet relaxed enough for a big lunch, but remember, keep your t-shirt tuck strategic as to show off Pyo’s signature artful button. I mean, what says summer more than a stripy deckchair in lemon yellow? Pass us a Spritz already and call it a day.
REJINA PYO Renee striped cotton and linen-blend short, $460. shop now
The classic Bermuda
Ranger Stacey meets Vivian Ward; OCHI’s camel Bermuda’s are (thankfully) an ode to the latter, inspired by the pair worn by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (designer Iana Kuznietsova’s favourite film). Smooth tencel, soft pleating and a neat A-line make these the perfect everyday Bermuda.
OCHI Pleated tencel-blend shorts, $237. shop now
the long-line bermuda
Sitting somewhere between culotte and Bermuda (depending on your pin proportions), Loewe’s painterly pant-short hybrid is nothing short of spectacular. Jonathan Anderson envisioned a gentle meander “through a gallery space” for his Spring ’19 collection, and you can tell. A silk-wool-blend the perfect canvas for broad strokes of whimsy, splashes of orange splice lime green deliciously. A kind of wearable, contemporary art.
LOEWE Printed silk and wool-blend culottes, $2,413. shop now
The business Bermuda
Australian designer Anna Quan knows a thing or two about tailoring. Just as her oversized cuffed shirts were a global hit, her Patsy short is also a sell-out. A chic Postman-style short with front coin pocket and flap detailing, it has been such a success, the designer has now cut Patsy in myriad colours; ranging from rich hazelnut to dusty pink and burnt red. Our pick is still the original, a perfect sandy taupe, and should you wish to complete the look, the Sienna Blazer makes for a modern power suit the stuff of dreams.
Anna Quan Patsy wool-blend shorts, $350. shop now
The coloured bermuda
You say comfort, we say stretch-crepe! Thank God then, for Sally LaPointe’s Pleated Stretch-Crepe Shorts. In brilliant cerise, these are as cool as they are comfortable; chic darts, high-rise and a just-above-the-knee finish make these a winning pair. Wear with likeminded hues and colour block while you’re at it.
Sally LaPointe’s Pleated Stretch-Crepe Shorts, $700. shop now
the tricked-up bermuda
A Bermuda needn’t be bound to cottons and wool, and Raey’s rusty metallic shorts are proof of this. A dose of disco for the day, these silky tinsel Bermuda’s from Raey are both sparkly and spacious – and lined with cotton, meaning they’re smooth on the skin should you wish to dance up a storm.
RAEY Tinsel metallic silk-blend shorts, $370. shop now
The boxy Bermuda
As Bottega quickly assumes the foothold of cult brand, these boxy Bermuda’s will have covered while you wait for the next, highly-anticipated season to hit. Roomy and just right for a long day; the wide-leg makes a flattering proposition for white shorts, while a robust cotton drill is as chic as it is practical.
BOTTEGA VENETA Pleated cotton bermuda shorts, $920. shop now