Priya Tanna: No way!
Disclaimer: My age, size and fashion predilection have nothing to do with my views on the following trend.
There are two vivid images that front my imagination when I am forced to think of cycling shorts—one of the late Princess Di leaving the gym. And Lance Armstrong during Tour de France. Playing a lead role in both, the shorts then represented function over fashion. Comfort, not style. When they were conceived in the ’70s, these sweat-wicking, stretchy shorts were made with the specific purpose of making it easier for cyclists to prevent chafing and bunching. Which is precisely why, when two decades later, these distant cousins of the legging family have started invading my Instagram timeline, often tagged gladly as the #OOTD, I am compelled to ask aloud: What went wrong here? Do we live in times where anything goes as fashion? Can balance be restored in the sartorial cosmos? All our years of getting oriented to good style and great fashion teach us that clothes are personality-markers. They give away so much about your life, your mood and what you want the world to know about you. So, when you show up at work in a belted white shirt with cycling shorts underneath, what are you saying? That you forgot to change one half of your gym gear? That if you are happy to wear your cycling shorts to work, you would be just as open to wear that shirt to the gym? Or that you are just confused about what makes for good style anymore?
Then there is that added problem of accessorising. Too Candy Crush and you risk looking like Kimmy Gibbler’s doppelgänger from Full House. Too much and you risk looking like you are about to break out any moment into Salt-N-Pepa’s ‘Push It’. Good news is, it’s not too late to save your style. If you have yet to buy one, thank your fashion police, you have been absolved. And if you have succumbed to the pressure and own a pair, introduce them to your tees, sneakers, tracks, hoodies…you know.
Rishna Shah: Yes, please
Remember the first time you realised the fanny pack was making a serious fashion comeback? And good ol’ mom jeans? Let’s not forget the hard-hitting dad sneakers. Cycling shorts are the next ’90s mega trend to be back in the spotlight. And if it isn’t love at first sight, that’s okay. Just don’t be a hater.
This little number is as comfortable as leggings (people run marathons and climb mountains in these) and as flattering as a miniskirt (think of all that leg it has to offer). All you need to do is pair it with your favorite XXL top. Sounds easy enough? Well, it is.
It also helps that science is on our side. Never before has the cycling short been more flattering. Suctioning waistband with built-in tummy control? Yes, please. Spandex slimming silhouette? Bring it on. Butt contouring? Don’t mind if we do.
Please note that Princess Diana was slaying this trend way before any of these sneaky tricks existed. These days our feeds are dominated by Kim K, who prefers her variety by her husband’s label Yeezy, and sister Khloé, who makes her own version at Good American. Even the Hadid sisters are getting in on the action.
I am no Hadid by any means, especially after baby number two and stubborn postpartum weight. But I’ve realised it’s all about proportion for me. If I want to wear a potato sack to cover my flaws on the top half of my body, so be it, but for the bottom half I’ve got to give them something to talk about. And if I want to make it look more sexy, less spin class, I bring out a structured blazer and heels. Cropped tops work too, but are preferred with toned abs and a thigh gap, neither of which are applicable currently. For now, as a mom of two, I’m going to stay in the athleisure space, channelling my inner aerobics instructor without bothering to set foot in the gym. So sceptics, move aside; this waist-slimming, butt-perking slinky short is a keeper. If it’s good enough for a princess, it’s good enough for you.