I’m not saying it’s a good thing to be reminded that your thirty-something-year-old partner still has a bank of Noughties nu-metal references living rent-free in their head, but that is what will likely happen if you unpack a pair of knee-skimming, wide-legged denim shorts in their vicinity.

But this is the denim silhouette we have been dealt in the summer of 2024. In a move no one saw coming, those big and baggy cut-offs you last wore when it wasn’t a phase, Mum, are back with a bang.

But before you run far away – back to the safety of the altogether easier barrel-leg jean, perhaps – you should know there’s actually an appealing new energy to the long denim short this time around, and you no longer need to be an emotional teenager in order to make them work for you.


The knee-tickling length is actually a strong move for the warmer months: it’s appropriate for wearing away from the beach (well, no one has kicked me out of the office... yet), and will be cooler and more comfortable than a restrictive pair of jeans once the temperatures tip into tropical British territory.

Normally, I’d reassure you of the high-fashion points in store by listing a line-up of Big Fashion houses that have approved of the piece in question – but the baggy denim knee-length short is a trend born on the streets, not the runways. At Copenhagen Fashion Week, show attendees styled theirs with trainers and long socks, moto jackets and corporate shirts, and even cowboy boots – two statement silhouettes that, surprisingly, work perfectly together.

That’s the key to bringing the blue Bermuda into SS24: it’s all about contrast, not coordination. The idea isn’t that you shoe-horn your cut-offs into a sophisticated and sleek look, but rather embrace your inner toddler and go all-in with the clashing accoutrements. Here, a crop top and voluminous jacket are as acceptable as a nerdy point-collar shirt, and Converse (they’re also back) work as well as a wedge heel (yep, those too).

I personally enjoy the contrast of a loose denim short – mine are DL1961’s super-flattering Lucila style – with a sock and high heel, which balances out the leg-shortening effects a knee-skimming hemline usually has on a 5 ft 2 person. An oversized blazer looks surprisingly great, while a bomber jacket is a fail-safe partner. You could go full mum-on-holiday with a high waist and deep indigo wash, but a faded blue and baggier cut admittedly carries a cooler kind of nonchalance.

As it turns out, it’s fairly easy to bring the vibe as far from skateboard-wielding teenager as a woman in their thirties probably should be, and so I will be embracing the long denim short all summer long: and encourage you to do so too.

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2024-06-07T10:27:52Z dg43tfdfdgfd