1. Skorts are the new black. Face it: a well-fitting skort feels a little sexy. The flirty swish of the not-too-long skirt, combined with the abject comfort of shorts underneath, can be intoxicating. Audrey Hepburn said the happiest girls are the prettiest girls. Who isn’t happier when her thighs don’t rub together in the supermarket? Ah, the luxury of being held in without Spanx. The contentment of pure modesty should we happen upon a Marilyn-Monroe-inspired subway grate! What is more, you can wear a skort anywhere. In the humble golf skort, you can look polished and perfect for any occasion, while secretly enjoying the happy relief of total comfort.
Lately, I have donned a black skort for business presentations, a posh evening wedding, a Broadway play, two funerals and a cocktail-attire fundraiser. I promise you, no one was the wiser; I looked great. Think about it, Ladies: add a flattering black tank to a well-cut skort and you’ve found it: a simple, comfortable, versatile Little Black Dress! Fashion’s Holy Grail. Add a sparkly wrap and some strappy sandals – who’s to say you’re not dressed for the swankiest affair? Change it up with a smart jacket and a pair of pumps and take on the boardroom. Throw on some tights, leggings, leg-warmers: the skort is all-season apparel.
Of course, that same skort (and that same comfort level!) works just as well for less-glamorous occasions, such as hiking, yoga, doing dishes, running errands, stand-up-paddle-boarding, bicycling, watching baseball and maybe even a round of golf. When I rush from the dog park to a meeting, deftly exchanging flip-flops for nice boots and my windbreaker for a twinset, I think of Clark Kent ducking into his phone booth. The black golf skort is so versatile it gives me super powers.
2. Tights are not pants. If you’re over 30, cut-offs, Daisy Dukes and even Bermudas have started to lose their appeal. Capri pants seem like a good summertime option until we admit their inherent frumpiness. As we seek the ideal balance between form and function, between showing and covering the right amount of skin, the skort wins every time. It is cooler (both in terms of temperature and style) than capris, allows more freedom than a maxi skirt, and is more flattering than any pair of shorts will ever be past the age of innocence.
During colder months, it is impossible to resist the allure of leggings for both warmth and our beloved comfort, but let us all vow not to be That Woman: the one with the booty uncomfortably on display. Do we have the right to wear whatever feels good to us? Of course. But let us not confuse self-expression with unwanted attention. Even a flawless figure, when dressed scantily, raises eyebrows and incites gossip. No matter how fierce you feel in your outfit, it’s possible to cause the wrong kind of stir. Once again, we turn to the unassuming skort. Transform from scandalous to suitable just by tugging one over your tights. You’ll still feel like you’re in your pajamas, but you’ll look so appropriate the world will never know your secret.
3. You’ve got stuff to do. You need pockets. Forget bra-burning in the pursuit of attaining our pure potential; who wants the unflattering silhouette? Let us burst that glass ceiling by finally claiming something our men rarely go without: pockets. If you feel frazzled by your frantic schedule—or, say, middle age—embrace the joy of always having your keys (your credit cards, your phone) on your person. The skort is really a prettier take on cargo shorts. Feel like a slick magician as you reach into your well-placed pockets to produce the needs of your situation: dog treats and poop bags, business cards, a screwdriver and tiny measuring tape, pacifiers and tissues, a wallet, receipts, even a small notebook with pen (I am never without it). Relish the fruits of a slightly calmer brain when you lose fewer pairs of reading glasses, I’m just saying.
Lucky for us, the noble pocket is the darling of the fashion industry at the moment. Beauties on the red carpet stick their hands coyly into voluminous skirts, where clever designers have stashed deep pouches. At last we at home can stop worrying about where they keep their breath mints and touch-up mascara! This elegance in design has happily trickled down into the sportswear department. Have you seen a good golf skort these days? It doesn’t come cheap, but it is engineered with the ingenuity of the Roman aqueducts. The best designers have achieved some slimming sleight-of-hand: fabrics skim the body without gapping or hugging, and the cut flatters the waist without suffocation. And the pockets! Three of my skorts hold my iphone in the front zippered pocket without a terribly unsightly bulge. There are snaps on pockets, side-cut pockets, stacked front pockets, and the ubiquitous low-back pocket. Yes, there where the tramp-stamp might otherwise dwell is the most perfect pocket of all. Your phone stays secure there while you run (or run errands); your license, key and credit card hide there at a concert when you need your arms free to dance; you could keep an energy bar or a pet mouse or a weapon stashed in that pocket, always at the ready. Every wise woman knows to be prepared; an abundance of pockets helps you get right on doing your skortalicious thing.
4. You really are smarter than everyone else. I was taught better than to bask in others’ misery, but it’s a struggle these days. Since I have discovered the freedom, function and fashion possibilities of the skort, I stand back and marvel at my friends. When it takes Xanax to pack for a trip, when contemplating outfits for a class reunion sends one into therapy, I think our wardrobes have the better of us. I say this is the revolution: if we are comfortable in our clothing, we will be comfortable in our own skin. If we stop worrying about what to wear, we make time for so many other good things. In a skort, you will never be the best-dressed girl at the party, but you will always look perfectly appropriate. People will treat you exactly as they always have, but your outlook will change. You’ll watch other women fussing and struggling with their clothing and smile smugly to yourself. You’ll stroll confidently (without your thighs rubbing together, without provoking untoward commentary) in the direction of your dreams, enjoying the cool, comfy, sensible satisfaction of knowing exactly what to wear. A certain swagger develops when we discover a secret and pity those around us.
So let us embrace the skort! Let us throw our heads back and laugh at the mental gymnastics of getting dressed every day! Let us scoff, I say, and kick up our heels and get on with the living we have left to do in our singular, precious lives! In a skort, we can do all the kicking—and all the living–we want, and we’ll feel good and look good doing it. Total fashion freedom.
Lisa Lane Filholm is a mother, wife, teacher and clay artist who lives in Denver, CO. She is currently engaged in a Year-Long Experiment in Simplicity, wearing a golf skort every day for a full year. Follow her journey—and her blog—at www.skort365.com.