July 11, 2011
Last week, I found myself itching for a pair of gold shorts, not because of anything I saw on the runway, or at a boutique that I just couldn’t afford; I was just so fixated with the idea of wearing a pair of shorts in gleaming metal. I guess I was partly inspired by these gold swim shorts from American Apparel, but they were pocketless, sneer-inducingly short, and well, obviously swimwear. I thought a pair of gold shorts would be just luminous in a sea of jean cutoffs, so I decided to make myself a pair.
I took an old pair of overdyed black skinny jeans from Cheap Monday. The ill fit of this pair, which always seemed to run abnormally large, worked to take some of the Vegas out of the shorts, the idea of which was already quite risqué.
I laid it flat under a pair of cutoffs in a length I liked, and snipped away.
I cut open some plastic bags to protect my floors,
and proceeded to paint. For this project, I used Lumiere by Jacquard metallic fabric paint in Brass, which I found to be the easiest, most effective way to metallicize fabric. One stroke of the brush on black denim, and it was radiant gold. The paint dried up fairly quickly, and is holding up quite well.
There really wasn’t a science to the way I painted over the shorts. I tried to slather it on as evenly as possible, leaving some bald spots to evoke the look of distressed, oxidized metal.
the shorts halfway done
With the shorts fully painted (and still a little bit wet), I couldn’t help myself but try them on, and instinctively, I felt that the knee-length length was just too much gold. I decided to cuff them myself. Dear gentlemen who read this blog, who probably aren’t foolish enough to paint their shorts gold, take heed of this DIY within a DIY. I think DIY-cuffing your shorts is an easy and effective way of making a pair of cutoffs a little smarter and more polished.
I folded the hems twice, made sure they were of the same length, and perma-creased them with an iron.
I then made the simplest of stitches on the sides of each leg, right on the seams, to lock the cuffs in place. It was just a few stitches in and out of two points, locked at the end, much like sewing on a two-hole button.
the shorts, cuffed
To finish it off, I made a highlighting wash out of a few squirts of the fabric paint, water, and very fine glitter.
I brushed it over the seams and pockets to bring that subtle bit of extra glint to a pair of shorts that were already quite louche.
Here they are worn, on a day of surprise sunbathing in sweltering SoHo:
BDG wide-neck t-shirt, DIY metallic gold shorts, Dr. Martens oxfords
close-up of the texture and my wolf ring, crafted out of 925 silver by Navajo Indians in New Mexico
last three photographs by Mia and Tiffany