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Wool gives shorts a warm, fuzzy feel for fall |

Wool gives shorts a warm, fuzzy feel for fall

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Monday, November 30, 2009 12:00 a.m

The fashion focus is on legs this season.

But no need to suffer from chilling drafts. Pairing wool shorts with thick tights equates to cozy and comfortable.

“This fall, try pairing wool shorts with opaque tights and ankle boots,” says Susan Gregg Koger, co-founder of, which offers a wool short that is high-waisted with front pleats and rows of buttons on the side. “It’s an easy way to create a fashion-forward look that’s totally unexpected and chic.”

A cropped bomber jacket over a ribbed sweater gives winter shorts an edge, says Michael Carl, fashion director for Allure magazine.

“I love them and wear mine all the time,” says Suzanne Mauro, a stylist accredited by the Association of Image Consultants International. “I have a basic cuffed gray pair and love wearing them in place of a skirt or mini. I just feel you can move around in them more, and wool shorts are another option for cooler temperatures when you pair them with tights.”

Winter shorts ranging from knee-length walking shorts to those halfway up the thigh can be found in tweed, corduroy, velvet and wool.

The Bermuda-length short is more appropriate for the workplace, according to “The New Secrets of Style,” a book written by the editors of InStyle magazine. This tapered style can hit from mid-thigh to just above the knee. It’s flattering to most women and, if worn in a solid color with a jacket or cardigan, can be work appropriate.

Also for the office, try swapping out a skirt with a pair of shorts for a trendy update. Finish off the look with a blazer, blouse and pearls.

Another option is to pair wool shorts with a long sweater vest.

Anthropologie has wool shorts with cuffs and belt loops. The Gap’s version also has cuffs, while J. Crew’s are wool flannel with a hint of stretch, pleated detail in front and fully lined.

Shorts work well with tights for the added warmth and leg attention. In addition to opaque, patterns and prints add pizzazz, especially with solid-color shorts. For a sleek, dressier look, go with sheer hose.

“I like wool shorts best when worn in the daytime with a pair of opaque tights,” says Michelle McCool, fashion director for Cosmopolitan. “Winter shorts have been seen in gray flannel, plaid and boucle wool. It’s important to keep the shorts on the shorter side. Shorts that graze the knee are too frumpy.

“Also, keep patterns to a minimum on the shorts. The fabric is already thick, and a pattern may add the illusion of more pounds.”

In addition to ankle booties, go daring with heels. Flats are another footwear option.

“Don’t be afraid to wear a wool walking short with a cute whimsy bow or jeweled flat,” Mauro says. “You will look charming. And if you choose gray tweed wool shorts, accent them with poppy tops and vibrant accessories. Add a sequined jacket with plain wool shorts and tights for evening.”

TLC for wool

• After a wool garment is worn, it should be left on a quality hanger for 24 hours. Any wrinkles that were produced during the wear generally will release by themselves if the garment is left hanging for a day.

• Spots and stains should be removed as soon as possible from wool garments with a brush or damp sponge.

• Wool garments should be dry-cleaned only once a season, and, if they get wet, be sure to keep them away from heat to avoid shrinkage.

• If wool needs to be ironed, use only the steam without touching the iron to the garment, and try to steam it on the under-side of the fabric.

• Wool is a natural fiber, so always store it in a well-ventilated area.

• When storing for spring and summer, wool should be thoroughly cleaned, padded and wrapped in white tissue. Add mothballs to the storage area to prevent moth damage.


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review fashion writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, or via Twitter .

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