Holiday Shorts: Biddy Pants Vs Crack-A-Lack

Every year, I go through the same damn thing. I book a holiday, I carry on with my life, the holiday is imminent and I realise I still only have one pair of shorts.

Then ensues a mad dash to find a pair and every year, it’s the same mad ferret run and I panic buy a pair of cheap ones in Primark that I never use again.

Since I’ve decided to start shopping sustainably – or at least desist in buying disposable clothing, Primark is a no go for me. But where does that leave you, as a 30-something who’d just like a pair of shorts that doesn’t show my entire crack of doom to the universe or come up to my armpits like Moleman from The Simpsons?

Because unfortunately, those are the two camps that fashion stores seem to have arrived at in the shorts department.

You can either have something stylish (and I use that phrase loosely) but designed to unfurl your butt cheeks, or something old-ladylike which pouches at the waist and gives you a gut where you may have none.

Marks & Spencer were off limits because I don’t like the way the waistlines fit (too baggy) and frankly I don’t like the style which is too Soccer Mom. So in my search, I went to Uniqlo, my safe haven for comfortable stretchy waistlines, to be told they only had shorts for sleeping or gym shorts.

Slow clap, guys.

Then I went to Zara – literally awash in kimonos, zero shorts. Gap – usually a place I avoid because I find their stuff so vanilla – only had shorts for size zero (although they did have some nice ‘work’ shorts for £40), And Other Stories and H&M are out of bounds because they do not cater for women with arses.

I should mention I was also on a timeline – I was in a rush to meet a friend for drinks – so I needed to lock this shit down. I reached the terrible crotch of Oxford Circus – you know, where Topshop meets the traffic lights, and I had a choice between braving Topshop or going to Warehouse.

I made the wrong choice: Topshop – see below.

These may not look terrible but that’s because of the angle. I need a size 12 there because of my bum, and the rips were just….ugh. The waistline was too big, but I knew I wouldn’t even be able to squeeze half a cheek into a 10.

Then I wanted to check how much I was flashing in another pair. WTF if I dropped a penny and needed to pick it up people! 👇

Also – is it just me, or is the lighting in a Topshop changing room Satanic? It highlighted every bobble of cellulite, every last inch of fat to the point that I left not only a) with no fucking shorts and b) feeling utterly terrible about my pre-holiday bod.

So now, I am left with my Sweaty Betty fitness shorts (which are gorgeous but not exactly great for walking around a ye olde Italian town), or my trusty old Zara pair that I’ve owned for five years, which never let me down.

If you’re struggling for shorts, some people on Instagram have suggested Fat Face, Banana Republic or Next. Personally I’m not a huge Next fan (I was too traumatised by queues for the sales in Bluewater when I was a teenager – like a pioneering Black Friday) but it’s worth a go.

The problem is I don’t want stiff restrictive denim shorts – I want something loose, soft, with a nice waistline that means I can lie on the beach or alternatively sit in a restaurant and not feel like a savage. Someone suggested cutting my own shorts but for me, this is akin to cutting my own fringe – I’m too cackhanded to do it evenly.

So, fashion suggestions very welcome in the comments, please!

Because the alternative, if I don’t find a pair soon is either appropriating a pair of someone’s boxers or bedazzling an adult nappy – neither of which seem remotely appealing.


  1. Kathryn Hernandez
    August 4, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    I bought a linen pair at OldNavy last summer that I adore; Not sure if Old Navy is found in Britain. They were not too tight, nor short in length (about the length of the pair you are wearing in your post today) and a nice deep bronze color.

    • poornabell
      August 14, 2017 / 7:24 am

      Old Navy is amazing – I always stock up when I’m in the US but sadly you can’t get it here 🙁

  2. New Brunette
    August 13, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Hahaha I so am with you! I have one pair of shorts on my travels and when I went looking the other day all the shorts were either bum cuddlers or longs (nothing short in sight)! Ended up cutting the legs off a pair of trousers, badly, but they’ll do for around the house.

    • poornabell
      August 13, 2017 / 7:59 pm

      Bum cuddlers 😂

  3. Sarah
    August 14, 2017 / 10:00 am

    I’m in 100% agreement about Gap being a yawnfest, but I wandered in when the sale was on and unexpectedly found my Holy Grail denim shorts…. comfy, gorgeous light colour denim, v flattering on the bum, similar length to the ones in your third pic. Their sizes also come up massive so I could strut around pretending I’m a size 2. Maybe worth another try?

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