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Fashion Diary: Shorts sighted

July 27, 2009 |  1:12 pm


Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

On Friday, I went down to Huntington Beach to take in the sights, sounds and styles of the U.S. Open of Surfing. I saw lots of neon-print board shorts, cheap sunglasses (a $5-a-pair booth sold retro Ray-Ban styles with flip-up lenses), and tanned tummies with airbrushed logos (courtesy of umpteen corporate partners taking aim at the young demo with everything from samples of Honey Bunches of Oats to Nike bandanas).

It's always a confidence builder to be around so many young, perfect bodies. (Not.) But I'm down with the string bikinis and shirtless dudes. When it comes to dressing, I am not prudish. Still, I couldn't help but be shocked by the latest trend in undressing -- young girls wearing super-short jean shorts unzipped and unbuttoned over bikini bottoms. To me, it is beyond sexually suggestive; it's like advertising that you are open for business.

After noticing it a few dozen times (I mean really, what is the point of wearing shorts if they are barely hanging on to your backside?), I asked a group of girls what the deal was. Where did this trend come from? "We just copy our friends," they said. Second question: Why? "If you are TTK, they cover up." (TTK means "thunder thigh krew," the 15-year-olds from Huntington Beach explained.) When I asked if their parents objected to the look, they looked at me like I had three heads. Zero comprehension of what the styling choice might be saying to the world.

Could they really be that naive? Another thought occurred to me: Perhaps this is the muffin top girls' revenge. After all, leaving your shorts unzipped and unbuttoned minimizes stomach spillover. Of course, so would buying a larger pair of shorts.

What do you think of the barely-there beach shorts trend? Suggestive or just silly?

Story: Letting it all hang out

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Photo: The barely-there beach shorts trend on wide display at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times