Wearing Shorts in The Hague

It’s finally summer in The Hague! Last week was a scorcher and I found myself digging through old piles of long-forgotten shorts, wondering if being buried for years made them shrink. Works for cadavers…


Bien Bleu shorts on sale ..

Everything was pretty sad looking. From the cheap-and-unfortunately-good quality denims I so proudly worked to death in Ottawa, to the surfer posers I got in Bodrum (courtesy of travel insurance when my luggage ended up in Costa Rica en route to Turkey). So I went shopping.

From bedroom to .. well... kitchen.. (Melting Stockholm - too comfy for words!)

From bedroom to .. well… kitchen.. (Melting Stockholm – too comfy for words!)

How complicated can shorts-hunting get? Actually, next to string bikinis from Eres, it would probably rank right up there as an object of despair, par excellence. Plus, on most of the continent, no self-respecting lady wanders out onto the piazza for drinks in shorts. I know because I tried this in Milan once. Not only did I get thrown out of several churches, I felt the need to just wrap up everywhere I went, like a burrito searching for its shell. And in Paris, don’t, just don’t. (particularly if you’ve just asked for ketchup.)  Bottomline, speakers of romance languages don’t wear shorts. Like a good love affair, something is always hidden.

marilyn-monroe-2Not so for Netherlands. This country is shorts-buying and shorts-wearing mecca. (not suggesting you really wear shorts in mecca.. ) I hit up The Sting and ended up spending an hour there trying out all sorts of concoctions (see purchases above). The high street havens (Zara, Mango, etc) are parading out tons of incarnations too and the “good” thing about NL is that they seem to recycle past years’ fashions on the sale rack, so if you’re still in the mood for a high-waist, high leg, Marilyn number (Marilyn Monroe wore a UK16 so most people can rock this come-on-sailor look), go dig around.

The only thing difficult about shorts here – NL is not truncated-trouser heaven for no reason. Dutch ladies here have legs that go on FOREVER.  They got it and they flaunt it. The bike lane has turned into YSL’s catwalk on wheels and Scheveningen beach is clustered with minimalistic-androgynous 6-foot volleyball champs. Someone bring me a busload of tourists from Houston to hang with please…