It's not surprising that most people have a love/hate relationship with hot pants. The daring trend has had its fair share of ups and downs throughout the years, and is a notoriously tricky clothing item to pull off for most! Yet, thanks to so many noteworthy collections featuring preposterously stylish versions of these micro-sized shorts on the runways, we have a hunch this leggy look will become a spring favorite! Whether you opt to style them with a sophisticated button-up a la Jason Wu or over opaque tights like Zoe Kravitz, we can assure you this is an of-the-moment trend for fashion thrill-seekers!
Though it seemed as if every designer had their own version of hot pants this season, we were particularly drawn to the iterations at Jason Wu and Aquilano Rimondi, especially the way both labels successfully managed to make short shorts look completely chic for daytime! Wu created a sophisticated and surprisingly charming look befitting a weekend soiree by simply pairing his Floral Print Cotton Shorts ($865,212.941.9656) with a tucked-in Ivory Silk Chiffon Shirt with Beaded Collar ($1995, 212.206.1272) and beige Coated Nylon Windbreaker ($1595, 617.262.6100). Equally noteworthy, albeit more feminine, was the single pair of upper-thigh-baring shorts in the Aquilano Rimondi collection. For a look that's sweetly sexy, designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi cleverly teamed their pale yellow printed shorts with a voluminous top cinched at the waist with a bow-bedecked belt.
On the flip side, if you consider yourself a fearless sartorialist, you're sure to appreciate the bold styles seen at Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga! We can't think of a cooler pair of short shorts than the Jewel Embroidered Briefs (price upon request, 877.70.DGUSA) at Dolce & Gabbana. The way Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana teamed the embellished bottoms with a delicate, sheer Black Lace Top ($1245, 877.70.DGUSA) and Black Mesh and Patent Leather Booties ($1095, 877.70.DGUSA) is admirable; it's just the kind of ensemble you'd want to wear when channeling a pop style icon like Madonna or Rihanna! Finally, we also approve of the Embroidered Douppion Silk Shorts ($2150, 212.206.0872) at Balenciaga, which were belted high on the waist and paired with the Silk Crepe Top ($1645, 212.206.0872) in Blush for a more luxe-minimalist take on the trend.
While hot pants are clearly having a moment on the runways, this trend translates well into real life too! For example, we came across the always-stylish Zoe Kravitz at New York Fashion Week early last month sporting a pair of Reformation Rita shorts and completely swooned over her carefree look. If you're concerned with the thought of baring so much leg, follow Kravitz's lead and wear your hot pants over a pair of sheer or opaque tights. Loose or oversized layers, like Kravitz's perforated knit top and long coat, also help balance the body-hugging fit of the bottoms, resulting in a look that's sultry, yet not too revealing.
If you're ready to get into some hot pants this spring, do yourself a favor and check out a few of our must-try picks. To get started, we've noted a handful of solid-colored options, and are especially fond of Rekiem's Suedette High Waist Shorts ($75) in Rust, Lover's Corduroy Ono Shorts ($241) in Ruby, and American Apparel's snazzy Disco Shorts ($52) in Midnight Navy. Since you're working with a single color on bottom, all of these shorts would look smart worn with a tucked-in printed blouse. If you prefer your short shorts to have a little more pizzazz, don't miss Kenny Guadalajara's High Waisted Baja Stripe Shorts ($138) or Forever 21's Sequin Leopard Hot Pants ($18), as well as ASOS' Hotpants ($54) in Luxe Metallic Animal Print and Free People's Embroidered Hot Pants ($246), selections that are sure to make a statement. We also approve of all the super cute hot pants at Topshop, especially the Holographic Knicker Shorts ($40) and the Floral Printed Knickers ($45). Whatever style you pick, don't forget to add a pair of tights-Wolford's Satin de Luxx Tights ($68) should do the trick-or layer them under a sheer maxi skirt for a noteworthy ensemble you can wear running errands during the day or to a cool fashion fete at night.-Jessica Baker
Photo of Zoe Kravitz, courtesy of X17; Aquilano Rimondi runway photo, courtesy of First View; Jason Wu runway photo, courtesy of Jason Wu; Balenciaga runway photo, courtesy of Balenciaga; Dolce & Gabbana runway photo, courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana.