Versatile Style: Motel Ethel Shorts


With hotter weather quickly approaching, I’ve finally put away my winter clothes and busted out my summer wardrobe! As excited as I am to be reunited with my maxi-dresses and flowy tanks, I’ve noticed that I’m severely lacking in the shorts department. Sure, I’ve got enough pairs of denim cutoffs to last me through eternity, but I’m hankering for some fancy pants…err…shorts. And I think I’ve found the perfect pair – the Ethel Shorts by Motel!

The Ethel Shorts are high-waisted and made of breezy rayon, making them perfect for the summer. They’ll keep you cool while looking cool! The retro floral print is fun, yet most people would find it restrictive. I’m here to show you how a patterned bottom is actually SUPER versatile and can fit neatly into your current wardrobe.

I’ll start with the daytime look:

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Because these shorts are already so fun and punchy, I wanted to let them be the center of attention. I pulled the pink shade from the shorts (the roses) and found a cheap tank in a similar color. Depending on what you’re comfortable with, leave it untucked to hide a tummy or tuck it in to show off the shorts even more. (That’s the joy of a high waisted short! Even more versatility!) Because it’s daytime, I stuck to a flat sandal, but one that has lots of pretty detailing and added a bag in a different color found in the shorts’ fabric. If you are a hat gal, top it off with a quirky riverboat chapeau in a lightweight straw and fun sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes. Because this look is so colorful and the shorts are so busy, I kept jewels to a minimum and just went with a single statement ring, but you could throw a necklace or a dainty pair of earrings on too!

And now on to night:

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Even though the Ethel Shorts are busy, you can still sport them with a patterned top and not look like a crazy homeless person. For nighttime, I chose a pretty lace crop top – wear a tank top under it and tuck it in if you aren’t down with the exposed bra look. I pulled the blue again, this time in the form of stiletto heels with a cute peeptoe and side cutout. However, you can actually add more colors to this look, like I did with the mint green clutch. (When you’ve got a multi-colored piece, adding more color only enhances the look.) It’s perfect for spring/summer! Again, these shorts call for subtle jewelery, like this set of bangles and delicate, nature-inspired earrings. The ’70s ‘do the model has is perfect for this outfit, but a giant mass of curls or a sleek pony would be equally appropriate for your night out. If you’re feeling daring, top off your makeup routine with a super bright neon lipstick, pulling the pink from the shorts in a super unique way!

Now, I hope the cogs in your head are turning in regards to the other patterned pieces in your wardrobe. Just because a piece, whether it be these Ethel Shorts or anything else, is full of color and life, doesn’t mean that you always have to pair it with a boring neutral. Be creative in the way you match colors, like through makeup and shoes! And don’t be scared to introduce an additional color or two into your palette. You’d be surprised how much truly matches once you’ve tested it out! (And if you’re worried, send over a picture of your outfit and I’ll let you know if it’s working or not!)

Good luck!

I love my little hometown and all that goes with living in the Great White North - snow, skiing, hot chocolate, bulky knit sweaters. I'm passionate about a lot of things, but you'll most often find me writing about books, makeup and fashion. As I like to put it, I've got beauty AND brains.