Wear This, Not That: Winter Shorts Versus Mini-Skirts (We Try It Out For You!)

I'm way over miniskirts. Bring on the wooly and warm winter shorts, and show some leg the cool girl way. PLUS: Meet Joe Fresh, it's major.

When it comes to showing off a bit of leg in the colder months, I'm bored and uninspired by mini-skirts and tights. It's not a bad look or tacky like wearing an Ed Hardy trucker hat -- it's just a bit of a snooze.

Why? It's a visceral reaction based on what looks right, what looks new and what looks cool to my eye right now. However, I'm guessing most of you probably want a practical argument to back this all up.

Fair enough, that's easy. For one thing, they're really not sensible for the New York City gal (like Jane, Emily, Mads and Olivia -- see yonder) who are faced with flights of subway stairs, exiting cabs and unexpected gusts of wind each day.

Last time I checked, none of my brilliant co-workers particularly want to panty-flash their lady-bits, and pull a Brit-Brit. [Speak for yourself --Emily]

Enter winter shorts: comfortable, versatile, sexy, but still a bit boyish, and best of all, flattering on almost all ages and sizes. These puppies will help you transition from crisp fall days right into goose-bumpy winter months seamlessly. And, they will look a hell-of-a-lot fresher then a mini-skirt. Oh right, I said that already.

On an unseasonably warm day last week, I introduced the xoJane team (and now you) to Joe Fresh -- a new fashion line from Joesph Mimran, the founder of Club Monaco. Launched in 2006, the brand is sold in over 300 locations across Canada (which is why Hannah already knew about them) -- and get this, most of which are essentially grocery stores.

Prices seriously rival other fast-fashion brands, if not cheaper, the aesthetic is fashion-y enough to warrant showing at Toronto Fashion Week and my truly amazing assistant Helene (who is a Canuck) has this good news: She'd swear on my much cherished, signed first addition copy of "GRACE: THIRTY YEARS OF FASHION AT VOGUE" that the quality of the clothes she's gotten has been consistently good and durable. So, each gal got the same style of black wool shorts and a slew of tights to choose from. Here, why don't I let them tell you.

ALL SHORTS: Joe Fresh, $39.00 .

Jane's up first.

Jane always thinks outside the box and opted to go sans tights. Here are her thoughts on winter shorts:

"What really made these "winter shorts" work for me was that Jules (our awesome and stylish and shoe-OBSESSED office manager) lent me her cool platforms to wear instead of my sneakers or heels. They made the whole ensemble feel very Olive-Oyl-ish(sp), in a REALLY good way. I felt free to do goofy dance moves around the office and didn't feel self-conscious about them. The air on my legs felt good.The downsides: They felt like bulky diapers. They were itchy. Tights would probably help this. I didn't look in a mirror before these photos were taken, so you can be the judge of how they look. I did overhear some comments about my legs that made me relate to my almost-9-year-old 33-pound (healthy) daughter."

Although Emily is far from conservative, she zeroed in on the classic black opaques from HUE, $13.50. This way her animal prints have center stage. Her winter shorts musings:

"As many frequent readers of this site have noted, my legs are one of my best features. Thanks, guys! So I think I look pretty darn cute in these"winter shorts." That said, I'm not big on shorts even in the summertime, so I probably wouldn't wear these in real life. But if you like your legs and are down with shorts, I say grab some tights and go for it. I also have already bought like 5 cute things from Joe Fresh since it opened here in New York."

Madeline likes to blur the line between whimsy and boyish and set her sights on a sexy pair of DKNY nude fishnets, $14.50, which added sass to her otherwise more conservative look. When Madeline wants to toughen up the look I'd suggest these Free People Intarsia Leggings, $48.00.

She discusses the winter shorts matter:

"I was already down with "winter shorts" before we did this, but it's very very nice to have the things I like validated by the Fashion Director. These are my first experience with Joe Fresh which NYC is going mental over. My other fall shorts are Theory, and while they're similar, the Theory's are a bit less sexy, and more profesh-looking because they're longer and slightly more tailored. I'd wear these ones out to party!"

Olivia is downtown cool to the core. Although she generally gravitates toward all black, these Forever 21 berry-red ribbed tights, $7.80really jumped out at her. They complement her striped top nicely, and let the winter shorts shine. She discusses:

"I'm pretty enthusiastic wearing anything that is both black and has pockets. So I enjoyed wearing these puppies. Warm, cute and affordable!"

So there you have it, ladies -- winter shorts are the way to go, you gotta trust me on this one. Will you be wearing them this season? Leave me a comment to tell me how (or why you won't!)