My day in hot pink leather shorts

My day in hot pink leather shorts

The market editor of Vogue raids her wardrobe for that item she has never dared wear before . . . 

leather shorts Emma Elwick with her leather shorts Photograph: Linda Nylind

I like Roxy Music but I’ve never seen myself reflected in Amanda Lear’s dominatrix leathers on the For Your Pleasure cover. I walk a whippet not a panther and I’m predominantly made of denim. Or am I? A quick wardrobe tally and I find three biker jackets, a teeny miniskirt, black leather walking shorts and some jodhpurs.

There’s one other hide, hiding in my wardrobe. Shocking vintage raspberry leather shorts. I happened upon them in a flea market in Paris. They reminded me of that Chloë-in-Chloé moment . . . style chancer Sevigny in the tomato bloomers from Hannah MacGibbon’s debut collection – all gazelle gams and getting away with it. After a moment of attempted self-asphyxiation (with nowhere to disrobe, I applied the “circumference of one’s neck is half that of one’s waist” theory), I parted with my €30. Call it a combination of the right circumstances and the right company. “Wear them immediately,” encouraged Matthew Stone, artist, and Gareth Pugh: “They are the perfect drummer-boy lederhosen“. I packed them up and within darkest environs of the closet they stayed.

Until now . . . it’s time for me to wear them in earnest. I’d forgotten how high-waisted and 80s they were. Grace Jones via Von Trapp? I dressed down the panto factor with a simple navy American Apparel T-shirt, a mannish grey cardigan and spindly Alaïa sandals. If I’m set to make this statement, a demure covering of the arm and an elongating heel are a must.

After a quick walk of the dog (perplexing the builders on my street), I arrive at work. Leather shorts are an acceptable dress code at this particular office, but even here they are not the most practical work-wear option. Sitting in the editor’s office for a meeting, I immediately regret taking the window seat. Leather does get rather warm, so perhaps I shall put the shorts away until November and bring them back out with dotty tights and cheeky cuissardes.

The heat notwithstanding, leather is a confident look for uncertain times. It comes with a high cost-per-wear ratio but remains cool and empowering – just maybe not in hot pink.


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