The science of shorts: how to pull off this summer's toughest style | Women's shorts | The Guardian
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    Haven’t figured out a daily routine everyday feels like a new day even if I’m making the same rigatoni recipe and messing up the focaccia that everyone else is making so easily 🌸🥰🌸 #relaxinginr13

    A post shared by Michelle Li (@himichelleli) on

The past three months have relaxed our standards of wardrobe formality. Not getting dressed up for work events, weddings or parties has dialled down our wardrobes to the point where what used to look scruffy now looks acceptable – and what once looked like a baseline level of public-facing polish reads as if you have made a tremendous effort. Something has shifted, also, for those who have tended not to be “brave” enough to wear shorts. The past three months has pushed us outside our comfort zone in so many ways. Getting hung up about whether other people are looking at your knees? Maybe we can leave that one in the old normal.

Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand in The Main Event
Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand in The Main Event. Photograph: Photo 12/Alamy

The shorts vibe of 2020 is one part Versace catwalk last year for the masterclass. Prada does a mean athletic short, in signature heavyweight nylon with a front zip pocket and a Prada triangle logo, as seen on the influencer Camille Charriere. Gucci’s elegant white swim shorts are a particularly elevated take on the look – think Paul Mescal meets Slim Aarons. Ganni’s rose-printed cotton-poplin shorts are on sale on, reduced from £115 to £69.

These shorts can be sourced without a designer price tag, however. Sportswear is the obvious place to start – this short is modishly gender neutral, so take your pick. In fact, purists insist that the best versions are the stiff, gabardine PE shorts sold in John Lewis’s school uniform department for less than a tenner. Girls and boys, runners and cyclists – we are all in this together, remember? And it’s time to let our legs out of lockdown.

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