Confusing fashion looks: Shorts with tights

Fashion perplexes me sometimes. You get the trends that are fun and maybe refreshing for the season and then you get those that are complete head scratchers. I haven’t seen this trend being too popular from what I can see when I’m out and about, but there are some that try to make it work. What am I talking about? I’m talking about wearing tights with summer shorts in the winter months.

I’ve actually seen the shorts and tights combo being very popular with Japanese girls when I visited Tokyo a few years ago. It was the first time I’ve seen such a thing. Then I later see it on the streets of New York. I couldn’t help but wonder when this became a good idea on the fashion scene. It looks plain silly. Shorts are meant to be worn in the summer and not in the winter. I guess the idea is to extend your ability to wear summer clothes into the winter months, but no girl can really have bare legs when it’s near 20 degrees or below so the solution is to slap on thick tights before pulling on your favorite summer shorts.

A model sporting the shorts and tights look

I guess it depends on how you wear this particular look. A lightweight fabric type of shorts with tights isn’t too bad, but I’ve seen the denim shorts with tights being a popular look to sport on every day women when I happen to see a girl on the street wear it.

I think tights should be worn with a dress or skirt by default. Dresses and skirts are versatile for any season. When the temperature drops and you want to be able to feel pretty and girly, you can still wear your favorite dress or skirt but keep the legs warm with tights or leggings. Shorts, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same versatility in my opinion. It’s only meant to be worn in warmer months. Has the skirt/dress with tights combo really become bland and boring? Maybe to do something different they slap on tights to revamp the summer shorts look, but insisting this look can work for girls in the winter too.

The ugliest version of the shorts and tights combination is the denim shorts with tights. It’s the same way I view women wearing leggings as pants––just no. When I think of denim shorts I envision wearing them on a day at the beach as you dip your feet in the water or brushing the sand off them after sitting on the shore under the warm sun. Wearing denim shorts with tights in the winter––something doesn’t look right. Whoever thought this was a good idea should really go back and rethink this one.

Are you a lover of this fashion look or do you hate it and wish it never existed?

10 thoughts on “Confusing fashion looks: Shorts with tights

  1. Not everyone has skin they want to show bare, even if they had a figure they’re comfortable with i.e. to wear shorts in the first place. I think it looks great, especially with patterned tights and I’ve been wearing tights with shorts or culottes since I was a child on those rare occasions that I wore shorts at all. Not everyone wants to tan either, which is quite an issue with people throughout Asia. There’s also the issue of hair removal, not all females want to feel the threat of public humiliation/ridicule for not removing the hair on their legs or topping up their last treatment simply to wear an item of clothing they like. Wearing tights has offered those who wouldn’t usually wear shorts be able to do so.

    I think the question of whether the dress/tights and skirts/tights being dull does not come into it, over time females have incorporated trousers into their attire as normal and made their wardrobe even more versatile and those who wear shorts/tights have added another facet to their wardrobe flexibility.

    In regards to the season, out of practicality I don’t like or agree with the reasoning of those who choose to wear tights or short skirts and dresses in cold weather without it being a special occasion and I hope they have private health insurance so the rest of us don’t have to pay if/when they catch flu. I’ve seen a lot of women wear those with opaque tights for work and then moan about the cold – thinking that bulking up on top will keep them warm.

    As for denim – that’s your personal association with it, the beach image, and so you it’s easier to think it looks wrong in other settings and with tights – but denim is a hard wearing, non water friendly fabric that can and is worn in most everyday situations so it follows that those who like to wear denim shorts might wear them with tights.

    1. You have a very interesting take on it all, which I haven’t thought of in that way. Something to think about for sure. Fashion is all about personal preference anyway. What looks good or works for someone else may not work or look good for you.

      I’m always interested to hear personal opinions on why they like wearing something this way when for some it appears to be confusing or not all that appealing in general. I personally wouldn’t wear shorts with tights, but if it’s a fashion statement someone else enjoys then by all means rock the look to your heart’s content.

  2. I agree with dapperdolly–I think this look is simply adorable with all the different patterned tights that are now available. I especially like the look of thin, summer shorts layered with thick, sweater tights. I may be a fan of this, too, because I’m also very self-conscious about baring my own skin in public. This is a great alternative for shy women like me who still want to wear figure flattering shorts.

    I find it interesting that you point to denim as the oddball, because I find denim to be one of the most versatile materials out there. You can do practically anything with it. I wouldn’t mind rocking some ripped denim shorts with black tights, combat boots, and funky, silver jewelry.

    Anyways, I’m delighted to have found your blog (through TWWK) since I’m also an anime+fashion lover. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Marina! I hope you will find more things to enjoy about my blog. It’s always nice to find another fellow anime and fashion lover. 😉

      I’m glad to hear what other people’s opinions are about this particular look. I may never quite get it or personally wear the shorts and tights combination myself, but fashion is such a personal and individual thing. As I said before, what works for one person may not work for someone else.

      You and dapperdolly made really good points about this particular fashion look. I never thought this may be one way a shy person could wear shorts without feeling self-conscious about baring skin. I’m actually a shy girl myself sometimes, but I guess maybe not shy enough if I’m able to go without tights when wearing shorts. I love writing posts that starts discussions like this.

      I’m always for what makes a person happy and feels good for them. If shorts and tights are your thing, then rock it out. It’s all about confidence when you carry the clothes you wear anyway!

  3. I can’t stand the shorts with tights look. I’ve been living in Japan for about 5 years now. I’m always telling my wife how silly it looks. I also tell her that women don’t dress that way in America. If these Japanese women are afraid to show their bare legs then don’t wear shorts. Wear pants or skirts. Tights with jean shorts is just a awful look.

    1. Well, there are women in America who do in fact wear this look. I have seen it pop up on occasion, but maybe not as much as when the look first made an appearance. Like you, I don’t see the point of the look. You either wear one or the other, but not both at the same time. Regardless, it’s one look I refuse to rock out on a daily basis.

  4. I have to say that I enjoy this look, and I wear this look! In fact, I sort of giggled on the inside with mischief when I read that you especially hated denim with them, because that is how I wear them.

    The patterned tights, or plain paired with denim provides a nice contrast in my opinion. It also becomes a handy medium for those medium seasons such as Fall and Spring when weather is neither too hot or too cold. If it helps any, I tend to stay away from the lighter wash jeans with the tights. That looks tacky in my opinion, but a good dark wash jean with black or patterened tights looks nice.

    I find that it can be worn both casual and on the more formal side. Shorts, tights, heels, and a flowy loose top is both cute and comfortable. At the same time, I’ve totally geeked it up with shorts, tights, converse, and a band/geek t-shirt. It is basically an alternative to all the other outfits in my closet.

    While I may disagree with you on this one, I have to say.. I love your blog!!! I recently decided to put myself to it and create a blog. Along the way, I’ve picked up my good friend as my co-blogger. We are two geeky yet girly girls who are looking to expand everyone’s outlook at all things geeky and girly so your blogs are right up our alley.

    – Britney

    1. Fair enough. Plenty of girls have made sound cases in favor of this look. Though it may not be for me, I can respect those who want to wear this look. I’ll admit, I have seen girls who can pull this off really well. 🙂

      And thank you for following and commenting on some of my older posts! I really appreciate it. Knowing that the both of you are like me is awesome to find! The world needs more girly geeks. 😉

      1. Agreed. I’ve seen those that pull it off and those that really don’t. (Ick!) And you’re most welcome! The world definitely needs more girly geeks. 😀 Until then, we stick together.

  5. Shorts + tights are weird, but skirts + tights are good? Hmm. The difference between a simple skirt and a pair of shorts is an inseam. The inseam makes shorts hug the hips and thighs a bit closer than most skirts, I get that. But still, I’m reminded of the po-tay-toe vs po-tah-toe thing.

    To me, what really looks odd? The current fashion of boots paired with skirts and dresses. Imagine how strange a man would look if he wore dressy shorts with a pair of cowboy boots, in any season! But for younger women this winter, this look is a fashion staple.

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