It's a skirt! It's a short! But is it really a skort?
Like many ladies, my view of a skort is an above-the-knee pair of shorts with a skirt-style front, combining the sporty practicality of shorts with a more polished skirt finish. My Tilley Endurable skort is much different -a pair of knee length, lightweight, comfortable, regular shorts – with a detachable skirt that can zip over them! How crafty is that!?! The skirt layer is a few inches longer than the shorts, hitting below my knees, and attaches around the waist band via a discreet zipper. You can easily unzip the skirt portion in under 30 seconds, and it just takes a tiny bit longer to re-zip it back on.
The skirt is a bit longer and fuller than my usual style, but I still like it as a practical choice for visiting religious sites and other more formal settings, knowing that I am modestly and appropriately dressed. I like having the option of wearing the skort combo in the morning to visit a temple, then unzipping to just the shorts for an afternoon hike, then reattaching the skirt to be a bit more dressed up if I score last minute theatre tickets. It's a great choice if you're not sure what your day will bring and also a good choice if you want a bit of warmth in the morning but suspect the temperature will rise later in the day.
I was concerned that the combination of the two layers would feel too warm, but I tested it on a very hot day in Toronto and it was very manageable. Of course, you are wearing two layers instead of just one, but the fabric is extremely lightweight and the skirt layer is button down in style, allowing for greater breath-ability.
The big question: can you wear the skirt part on its own? For the most part: no! The skirt layer has no proper waistband, as it just zips onto the waistband of the shorts. As well, the front of the skirt has generous gaps between buttons and it would be hard to stay –ahem- covered up in some critical areas. That being said, if you paired the black skort skirt with black leggings, you might be able to get away with it in a pinch. You would also be fine using it short term to throw over a bathing suit bottom at the beach, where you wouldn't be so concerned about people seeing through the gaps between the buttons.
I have only one adjustment I'd make to the skort. While the skirt layer has four pockets (two open at the sides and two zippered at the back, the shorts layer only has one hidden security pocket. When wearing just the shorts, I often try to put a receipt in my pocket, forgetting that I have none! Ideally, I would love to see future models split the pockets more evenly between the two layers.
I love the endless versatility of this piece and I can't wait to put it in action when we set out for our round-the-world trip. I know the shorts will be perfect for exploring the rain forests of Australia and taking a harbour tour of San Francisco, while the skirt will be the comfortable and appropriate choice for visiting a war cemetery outside Singapore or taking a cycling tour in Bangkok.
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. Do you have a favourite piece of travel clothing that does double duty?
If you enjoyed this article, you'll also like:
The Perfect Little Black Travel Dress
Anywhere in the World with Carry-on
Around the World in 80k: Going Around the World on Points
I would never normally consider a garment like this, but I do like the idea of this one. As well as the obvious advantage for temples etc, there are also times in the big city (particularly in Europe) where shorts just wouldn't cut it, and the ability to 'cover up' with a dressier skirt can add more flexibility to the day. The other I like about this convertible garment is that it doesn't look like most convertible garments - I find they look like hiking gear, and I just wouldn't be happy with that!
1/9/2013 10:53:57 am
Jo - I'll pass your name on to Tilley Canada!!! You never know....
11/12/2013 02:16:07 am
I took it with me on our round the world trip and it worked really well!
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