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The Very Leggy Summer

Very short shorts on a model from the Luella spring show provide a visual length gauge.  

For Women ...

Photographs by Davies + Starr  

Jackson, Johnston & Roe
$134 at TG170, 170 Ludlow St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-995-8660
Crisp and ultralightweight, from a new Brooklyn-based design trio. Save these for the dog days.

$175; 173 Elizabeth St., nr. Spring St.; 212-966-8484
Tailored, high-waisted denim is formal enough for (some) offices.

Vintage Tracy Feith
$60 at Ina, 21 Prince St., nr. Elizabeth St.; 212-334-9048
This exact pair might be gone, but recycling is very popular these days.

Steven Alan
$172; 229 Elizabeth St., nr. Prince St.; 212-242-2677
A slightly longer hem and fabric that looks better wrinkled makes these the designated favorites.

$128 at Olive & Bette, 384 Bleecker St., at Perry St.; 212-206-0036
The daisy print and forties details are root-beer-float cheerful.

$70; 131 Mercer St., nr. Prince St.; 212-966-9685
Petal pink, with subtle waist detail; good for the weekend, or at the beach over a bathing suit.

Right: Loeffler Randall Flutter Jumper, $345 at Otte, 121 Greenwich Ave., nr. 13th St.; 212-229-9424.  

About Those Playsuits

Romper, playsuit, onesie—call it what you will, but the one-piece article of clothing that looks like a chopped-off jumpsuit (also freshly back in fashion) is this summer’s version of last summer’s baby-doll: a cute, slightly infantilizing uniform that shows leg. But unlike other trends (gladiator sandals), rompers are not universally flattering. Why the torrent?

1. Retro. The pinup fashions of the fifties are back, as evidenced by high-waisted two-piece swimsuits, skinny jeans and plaid shirts, and A-line dresses.

2. Rompers are playful, but edgy. Most of us haven’t worn them since we drank juice boxes and had bedtimes. But follow-my-style celebs like Rihanna (pictured) and Chloë Sevigny are making them grown-up, and even possible as eveningwear.

3. Dresses are boring and this is “the summer of the romper,” says Loeffler Randall designer Jessie Randall. They can be daytime or evening, weekend or (depending where you work) weekday. Plus, you don’t have to worry about wind (or a subway vent) blowing up your skirt, and it makes sitting demurely at a picnic, well, possible.