Melissa Stetten on Denim Underwear

September 12, 2014 • Fashion

Cutoff denim shorts are basically turning into denim underwear.

Denim shorts have been a staple of my wardrobe since forever — they’re an icon in every American girl’s closet, the ultimate DIY easy fashion project, and the most Democratic piece of clothing in anyone’s Summer wardrobe.  Cutting off pants into shorts was, and still is, a yearly tradition that signaled the start of warm weather.  I don’t think I’ve actually bought more than 2 or 3 pairs of denim shorts, now that I think of it.  I’m pretty sure every pair of shorts I own were pants at some point.  It seems silly to buy shorts that could be made so easily with some scissors and 3 minutes of your time.

Surfer dudes in the 50’s wore them, models in the 70s wore them, Dukes of Hazzard made them famous, the 90s were full of stonewashed high-waisted cutoffs, and the Queen herself (Beyonce, obviously) wears them. Now you can’t go to a music festival without spotting tons of cheek peeking out through shredded denim.  Everyone can see everyone’s ass and we’re just pretending like it’s okay.

I went to TopShop recently and grabbed some cutoff shorts to try on along with more white t-shirts because it’s all I buy.  I consider myself skinny and in fairly good shape, but when I put on those shorts I looked at my butt in the mirror and was horrified.  Literally half of my butt was showing and the crotch was so tight I thought I was going to catch whatever infection the previous girl that squeezed into them had.  I took them off and put on the larger sized ones and they were no different.  About half an inch less butt cheek was showing.  There’s no f*cking way I could get away with wearing them.  I would have to travel back in time 10 years and do 1,000 lunges a day to even feel attractive in those shorts, let alone comfortable at all.  I don’t know if I’m getting older and shorts are getting shorter, or if I’m just turning into a style prude, but I can’t get on board with the denim underwear shorts.  I’m sorry, but it’s kinda trashy.

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Telling women what they can and cannot wear is not reasonable. I’m a huge advocate for personal style and I work in the fashion world, so I support people wearing the craziest stuff possible.  However, a part of my motherly instinct kicks in when I see teenage girls wearing tiny ass shorts in public.  I know creepy older men are looking at their cute butts and it hurts my soul.  I never wore cutoffs in high school, but that’s because I was wearing giant raver pants and didn’t understand the concept of sex appeal.  Sometimes I would even wear vintage running shorts underneath my rave pants so I could sag them.  Be on the lookout for me Instagramming that photo once I find it.

If you can see your butt hanging out from the shorts, then they are too short.  There.  I said it.  Well, unless you are Beyonce, then you can do whatever the fuck you want.


  • CJ

    I’m not averse to a pleasing hint of buttock, but even I sometimes find myself like: “Damn, girl! I can almost see what you had for lunch…”

  • ted

    This isn’t denim but it looks comfortable.

  • Bayan Manson Atari

    This article is pretty heavy on the body shaming and policing. I expected more from TSC.

  • Heather Adams

    i think it promotes men treating us like the slutty pieces of trash we dress like. should there not be a difference in how revealing your every day wear and your lingere is? dude, i don’t want every disgusting perverted asshole out there to be able to see ALL my goodies i mean dang! i want those who i want to sexually entice to see them, not every-fucking-body.

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