Summer's Worst Travel Accessory: The Barely There Short Shorts

Paula Froelich
Editor at Large
June 23, 2014

(Photo: Thinkstock)

I love traveling in the summer for so many reasons but one of the main ones is the fashion. The cute outfits I can put together for any destination, the inspiration I get from other cities when I see what people are wearing and the individual styles I see. But this summer I’ve noticed a nefarious trend. Something so annoying and insidiously obnoxious that I felt I had to point it out: The barely-there, booty hanging out, short shorts. 

Once the weather started warming up, I saw a parade of shorts so small and so prevalent that I started to become concerned: Maybe these women thought their frayed jean bikini bottoms were actual pants? Or perhaps they had one of those crazy carnival mirrors at home where everything seems longer than it is? Maybe there’s a pandemic medical condition — where they can’t turn their heads and someone is playing a practical joke on them by swearing, “You look fine — everything’s all covered!” while laughing behind their backs? At first I felt bad and thought, Should I say something?

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But then I finally realized that although it looked like these women got into a fight with some garden shears and lost, this was all by really sad and bad design. That the Daisy Dukes with ADD are the latest insidious, God-I-Wish-You-Wouldn’t-Do-That trend to hit the streets. Especially as it seems a lot of women are also doubling up on the functionality of these short shorts and also using them as underwear. Which gives any of us unlucky enough to be walking behind them on, say, subway stairs or an escalator an unfortunate gynecological view.


Lately, we’ve been seeing shorts that make these look like capris. (Photo: Thinkstock)

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It’s gotten so bad, Times Square in New York City is starting to make a Playboy cover shoot seem practically G-rated.

Lest you think, “Oh, this is just a crazy New York thing,” let me assure you it’s not. I’ve been optically attacked by this trend in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Denver, Aspen, and San Francisco.


The latest travel accessory: Daisy Dukes (Thinkstock)

I’ve seen `em hanging out in Dallas and swaying in the breeze in Miami. Even worse, some people think they are acceptable travel gear and are now sporting them on planes, trains and busses across the country and worldwide. I’ve seen American butt cheeks flapping at me in a church in Cannes and on the streets of Paris.

And yes, I know. I sound like a crazy old lady spoilsport. And that’s part of the problem. I think I hate these shorts so much because they make me feel old, even though half the women committing this fashion crime are my age. But still, it makes me feel old, as all I want to do when I see ladybirds prancing around in these tiny shorts is to channel my 80-year-old Aunt Dee and scream, “JESUS H CHRIST, PUT SOME CLOTHES ON HONEY, THERE’S CHILDREN ROAMING AROUND HERE!”


Have fun when you travel, but try not to wear shorts shorter than your bikini (Photo: Thinkstock)

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But really, it’s time to say “enough is enough.” Ladies, I beg you: put some underwear on, stop airing your tush and get some real shorts. Because, really — no one wants to see it except your boyfriend. And as I explained to that weirdo pervert on the train the other day, “Didn’t your mother teach you that some things should only be done and seen in private?”