I’ve never been a big fan of summer: I cannot stand the heat, the humidity is unbearable, but most importantly, I can’t comfortably wear my favourite clothes for a few months of the year. Much to my great displeasure, one can’t really wear layers upon layers of wool in Turkish summers. I also have a complicated history with wearing summery garments, I’ve never felt at home wearing a pair of shorts… until now!
These black linen RIVA shorts might have just single handedly converted me into a person who can actually enjoy summer dressing. They have that classic, high waisted and pleated silhouette that I so love in bottoms, and their wide legs offer the best ventilation one could ask for. I love how graphic and architectural they look, especially in this black linen. These are truly the perfect blend of classic & tailored with easy and relaxed.
I made them in the stunning Softened Midweight linen in the colour Black, which was the perfect match for this pattern. This linen has a beautiful tight weave and it feels silky smooth to the touch. It pressed like a dream, which made sewing these shorts an absolute pleasure. I also found that it’s quite wrinkle-resistant (as wrinkle-resistant as linen can be) so the shorts still look great at the end of the day.
My measurements (W:23”/58 cm, H:33”/ 84 cm) placed me somewhere a couple of sizes down from the smallest size available, so I had to do a bit of grading to get this pattern to fit me. I simply took out some volume from the centre of the front and back pattern pieces in order to maintain the lovely details of the pattern while making it smaller. I also made the back welt pockets a little wider to make them more functional, omitted the buttonhole loops, and lowered the placement of the back pockets to suit my body better.
This pattern is full of small, interesting details: the back of the waistband has a really interesting split detail, the double welt pockets on the back truly elevate the whole piece, and the deep hem allowances provide the hems with a bit of extra weight and structure which gives them the coolest shape. I constantly talk about how details are what makes a pair of trousers (or in this case – shorts!) so it was so nice to get lost in making this pair of detailed, interesting shorts. The only part I found a bit challenging to sew was the split in the back of the waistband but I’m excited to make it sharper on my next try – which there is bound to be one!
They work so well with the rest of my wardrobe, I can’t wait to style them in all sorts of ways this summer! I already tried pairing them with my oversized linen shirts, plain white tees, and even wore them out with a wool sweater to deal with the strange, temperamental weather we are having here in Turkey. They are one of the most versatile, easy to wear pieces in my collection of garments and I can’t wait to see what other ways I can style them! To the wonderful designer of these shorts: Consider this my formal thank you letter for making me excited for the summer for once <3