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    MODERN 'BERMUDA' SHORTS: Taking on Neutrals and Leather

    From runway to curated social fashion feeds, the Bermuda short seems to have captured everybody's attention this season. Contrasting chicness and elegance with modesty and professionalism, the shorts have historically been confusing as to where they fit into our wardrobes. However, it is their refusal to be pigeonholed that we should celebrate. Bermuda shorts shift in tone with the most minor of styling adjustments and their versatility has rendered them the short of Summer 2020, a wardrobe essential. Knee-length socks previously aired with the style are being cast aside, with leather and neutrals used instead to create dynamic new looks.

    'Olga Anderson'. Article 'Modern 'Bermuda' Shorts: Taking on Neutrals and Leather'. Source of the image: www.unionjackwear.co.uk/blog

    FIRST, A CUP OF TEA

    Despite the Bermuda Short’s cryptic title, they first began with a quintessentially English cup of tea. In 1914, the owner of Coxon's Tea Rooms, Nathaniel Coxon, had hemmed his employees' trousers to counteract the heat. He was visited by a member of the military who was coincidentally in charge of uniforms. The appeal of increased mobility and breathability in this new cut was instantly recognised, and they quickly became a uniform essential in hot climates. Largely prevalent for members of the navy and military stationed in tropical climates throughout the British Empire, they were classically worn with knee high socks and polished brown shoes.

    It was through this hasty adoption in Bermuda that the shorts received their namesake, establishing them as a standard way of dress. Bermudians were the first to interpret the shorts as casual wear, galvanised by the 2nd Battalion. Shops began to see an influx of the cropped style. They became excessively popular amongst locals, who maintained the original look with knee-high military style socks, while switching brown shoes out for tassel-adorned versions.

    THE BERMUDA CONUNDRUM

    As American and European tourists returned from vacations in Bermuda, the innovative shorts became a motif of wealth, with strong associations to the yachting and resort lifestyles of the rich. The uptake of the style continued, leading to the shorts being considered a fashionable item in the 40s, and even earning a covetable position on the pages of the ultimate fashion bible, Vogue.

    However, the adoption of these shorts into mainstream wear kickstarted a number of questions. Where were they to be worn? Were they to be seen as casual or formal? Worn around the house for activities such as gardening or out and about in everyday life? People were unsure of how this style of short, which could fit into so many settings, could be appropriately placed into wardrobes. These days, it is widely acknowledged that they can be worn anywhere you want, with a little bit of styling!

    'Olga Anderson'. Article: 'Modern 'Bermuda' Shorts: Taking on Neutrals and Leather'. Source of the image: Pinterest


    READY-TO-WEAR REVOLUTION 

    Yves Saint Laurent started to produce the very first Ready-to-Wear Collection of fashion, including Bermuda shorts, in 1968. Chanel, Fendi, and Prada were other early, notable adopters of the look in their summer collections.


    TIME FOR NEUTRALS

    The use of leather within the Bermuda trend has been prominent in recent runways. Bottega Venetta drew inspiration from the shorts in both men’s and womenswear, producing looks that included matching tailored jackets styled with signature woven shoes and bags, bestowing an effortless twist on the classic suit. The shorts can be transformative, reworking office wear to suit any occasioon. Leather shorts were contrasted with silk blouses, juxtaposing heavy and light, including neutrals and rust colours for a simplistic, yet sophisticated styling. Neutrals were used emphatically across Bottega Veneta, The Row, Chloé, and Alberta Ferretti. Each of these haute-couture fashion houses potentially gained inspiration from the late Karl Lagerfeld's Fendi 2001 collection where, through the use of neutrals, Lagerfeld catapulted shorts into the modern woman's mainstream wardrobe. From chic office looks paired with flats and oversized shirts, to Alberta Ferreti’s matching floppy summer hats and suede belts nipping in waists, it is clear Bermuda shorts are all about clean, simple sophistication, and there is a clear colour palette to achieve this.


    STYLING IS POWER

    Forget florals for summer - it’s all about Bermuda shorts in leather and neutral combinations! The options open to you this summer are endless, helping to revitalise your plain white shirts and flats into a more current look, allowing you to feel luxurious and professional throughout the upcoming summer months. Opt for tans, creams, and earthy tones when choosing the perfect Bermuda shorts. For an edgier look, leather is the perfect option, contrasting grunge with refined elegance. Combining shirts, kitten heels, and light summer blazers will create an easy yet stylish office look, while switching in an airy, floral blouse can adjust the style to suit evening occasions. For casual weekend wear, move towards pairing your Bermuda shorts with flats and a summer trench.

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