Explain it to me quickly: are naked bike shorts the next big...

Explain it to me quickly: are naked bike shorts the next big thing in fashion? | Culture


Hi Alyx, I’ve heard there is quite a stir at the moment around shorts.
Indeed. And this time “naked shorts” are not a grey-area financial practice that attempts to drive down stock prices. In 2020, naked shorts can still result in FTDs, but it’s not failure to deliver, it’s Flashing That Derriere. And it is just as controversial (not really).

So these shorts … make it look like you are in fact, not wearing shorts?
If you opt to purchase a pair that is the same colour as your flesh, that would be accurate, yes. Bike shorts that look like they come in a spray can are quite fashionable at the moment (and have been for a while). The trend has made its natural progression from Princess Diana, to high fashion, to Kardashian, to mainstream. Now fitness influencers are taking that look one step further and making like the Colombia women’s cycle team, circa 2014. Queue flame emojis.

Fendi - Runway - Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 20: A model walks the runway at the Fendi Ready to Wear fashion show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on September 20, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Flesh-toned bike shorts at the Fendi runway show during Milan fashion week spring/summer 2019. Photograph: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Maryam Nassir Zadeh - Runway - September 2018 - New York Fashion WeekNEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: A model walks the runway at the Maryam Nassir Zadeh show during New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Albert Urso/Getty Images)

Pale skin-toned bike shorts at the Maryam Nassir Zadeh runway show at New York fashion week in September 2018. Photograph: Albert Urso/Getty Images

OK, gotcha. So is this a universally accepted thing now? Will I be looked down upon for my current, stubborn non-skin-tone shorts?
Not universally accepted, no. In fact a pair of tiny shorts might just get you told off at the gym. That’s what happened to fashion writer Gabi Goddard when she wore a pair of bike shorts from Australian brand Echt inside out a few weeks ago. The shorts in question feature a “fixed scrunch detail for maximum appeal” – which is basically some inner ruching that makes them super bum-huggy. Goddard’s shorts were grey, not flesh-coloured, but underwear shorts are a close cousin of naked shorts. Goddard posted an impassioned defence of her right to wear whatever she wants at the gym, which, fair enough – and the story was picked up by several news outlets.

Meanwhile Alexander Wang makes a $750 pair of underwear shorts that you don’t even need to wear inside out to get the effect.

Bella Hadid wearing “naked shorts” in Tribeca on July 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

Bella Hadid steps out in ‘naked shorts’ in New York last year. Photograph: Gotham/GC Images

If you do opt to pull on a pair that is skin-coloured, it will probably be great for your social clout too. It’s certainly worked for Australian fitness influencer Tammy Hembrow, whose gymwear line Saski Collection polled followers on which “neutral” colour they’d like to see next a couple of months ago. Another Australian brand, Stax clothing, sell naked shorts in a shade that can only be described as influencer orange, and purport to have made $250,000 in 30 minutes from said tiny pants.

Personally, I think American fitness influencer Shannon Stewart makes the most persuasive case for naked shorts. She models for American activewear line Gymshark – who are also having a moment of controversy today, after commenters threatened to unfollow them for daring to post a picture of … a woman (who is not wearing naked shorts).

What are my options for obtaining some of these naked shorts?
If you’re shopping in the women’s aisles, bountiful. In addition to the above mentioned, Victoria Beckham makes them in pink and beige (it’s a wool-blend too, delightful). Asos have several options, and Alibaba has plenty, which means every dropshipper worth their dime will be selling some soon too.

As for men, Echt seem to be completely sold out (and were sadly never making them in flesh tones) – so you’ll have to go to the original champions of naked shorts and get yourself some dance-wear.

Before I entrust my junk to these shorts, please tell me if there are any potential downsides to the naked short trend
Unless you think ending up on the Daily Mail is a downside, there are no downsides.

I reckon naked shorts could actually become a new frontier in cycling safety – what better way to persuade aggressive drivers to give you a wide berth?

Perhaps don’t wear them hiking though, as legal studies academic Nina Strohminger notes, they’re not exactly bug-proof.

Rona Farrow

Did a deer tick write this tweet https://t.co/nZE3uo4sTI

September 8, 2020

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