In defense of shorts

Greg has lived in Naples for six years and I have come to visit him numerous times during that period. If you’ve ever travelled to Europe you know that their fashion sense is similar but also vastly different from ours in the US. What do I mean? Well, they’re similar in that people wear clothes and different in that they are willing to wear stuff that most Americans wouldn’t even dream of spending money on. Up until this summer (or last, if you’re to believe Greg but who wants to believe Greg?) women did NOT wear shorts, ever. EVER. Capris? Fine. Jeans? Have at it. Slacks? Why the hell not? Skirts? Maybe. Shorts? Nope, don’t even think about it. Men would occasionally wear shorts though the preferred warm weather pants are man-pris. (Guys wear these a lot in the US as well they just call them “long shorts” but they are, in fact, man-pris. Google it, you’ll see.) “But,” you’re thinking, “when I went to Italy three summers ago I wore shorts!” Yes, you did, but did you notice what the locals were wearing? It wasn’t shorts. For example: the uniform for teenagers (boys and girls alike) across Naples a couple years ago was skin tight t-shirts, belted, low-slung, tight-fitting drop crotch jeans, and Nike Air Max 97s. Apparently a memo had gone out and every teenager was required by law to wear some variation of this outfit every day year-round even when it was 95 degrees outside. (If you Google “drop crotch jeans” you’ll see they are the latest trend, lord help us all.) Anyway, fast forward to last week when I arrived here and noticed that women and men were wearing shorts! Cute, brightly colored shorts of all different lengths and styles! And! And! They’re wearing flip flops! I can’t express to you how exciting this is because it means that I no longer have to hide the fact that I like to wear shorts and bright colors. It’s one thing to draw attention because of something you can’t help (hello blonde hair, blue eyes, obviously not Italian) but now I don’t have to worry about drawing attention for wearing shorts on super hot summer days. Praise be to Jeebus! I know this seems like a ridiculous thing to get excited about but a lot of times it’s the little things that mean the most. (By the way ladies, a lot of the guys are wearing short-shorts and it’s pretty great. I’m just sayin’.)

This past weekend we took a trip to Ikea (to which I wore rolled up jeans because I wasn’t wholly convinced the shorts things was real) so that we could buy a new dresser for my fabulous wardrobe. (Ha!) During previous visits I’ve put my clothes into a much smaller dresser that Greg bought at Ikea because I didn’t bring all that much stuff with me; staying for three months and having access to laundry meant I was free to travel light. We also bought a new chair with a foot rest so I can spend my days lounging in comfort. The apartment was fully furnished when Greg moved in so there’s not much room to add our own stuff but I plan on buying a couple slipcovers to help make it look not so…mis-matched. Greg isn’t quite on board with it but I’ve tasked myself with making this place look nice and that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ve started looking around for jobs but so far nothing is standing out too much. I’m thinking about taking more classes at Centro Italiano so I can improve my Italian. It’s gotten a bit rusty to say the least. I still have to get my permesso di soggiorno so that I’m official, hopefully by this Friday.

Live long and prosper,

Kern

P.S. I in no way, shape, or form claim to be an authority on style or fashion. My outfit of choice includes jeans, t-shirts, and either Vans, Pumas, or Chucks so please accept my apologies if I offended anyone with my overly generalized critique of Italian style trends. But, come on, those drop crotch jeans are just horrible.

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