Maybe it’s because we were all quarantined for the entirety of spring, but it feels like summer in NYC came out of nowhere. One day, it was suddenly 85 degrees and humid! I was forced to acclimate quickly because I’m still avoiding public transportation (due to Covid-19) in favor of riding my bike whenever possible. So I’ve been wearing a lot of shorts since I can’t bike in a miniskirt.

I love floaty culotte shorts such as those from Miss Candyfloss and Trashy Diva (which you can see here and here), but when I need something less delicate, I turn to denim.

My favorite denim shorts have to be the Bucklebacks from Freddie’s of Pinewood, which I purchased last summer. They’re a rare find indeed—they fit my higher than average waist-to-hip ratio beautifully and have a strap on an adjustable buckle in the back to nip in the waist even further.

The Bucklebacks are just as good for glam looks…

…as they are for hiking in the woods!

I was all prepared to review the Bucklebacks this season, but then I discovered that they were sold out in nearly every size. I reached out to Freddie’s to see if they’d be re-stocked, but sadly the answer was no. However, the lovely staff offered to send me a new style of shorts to review for this year instead. Readers, say hello to the “Chorus Girl” shorts!

Disclosure: This item was received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

The Chorus Girls come in brown or indigo denim and feature a unique adjustable waist that allows them to be customized to a variety of body shapes.

I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to try these shorts after I learned they’d have an adjustable waist. It’s not just for practicality, either—it’s actually an attractive detail from a design perspective. There’s a strap sewn in place on the center front, then D-rings on each side that meet another strap you can wear tighter or looser and wraps partially around to the back. It’s basically a built-in belt.

Throughout the day, I found myself adjusting the waist a little at a time depending on whether I was sitting or standing, or whether I had just eaten a big snack. It was so handy! I like the way it looks to have the ends of the strap facing out, but you can also reverse the placement so that the end is facing inward if you prefer it tucked away. That’s actually the way it was set when I first received them.

Another issue these shorts solve is one I run into all the time—even when the hips of a skirt or pair of shorts is in theory big enough to fit my thighs, the closure mechanism won’t open far enough. So I’ll have to try and squeeze my ass through a tiny opening. But there are buttons on both sides of these shorts, so I can open up both sides and slide the shorts over my thighs with no trouble at all.

Another feature I like is the length and the built-in cuffs. In the very first two photos of me wearing these up above, I’ve got them unrolled to the original length featuring a little decorative cuff sewn into place. But if I want a slightly cheekier look, I can fold that cuff up once or twice to make them a bit shorter.

Now, let’s talk pockets. I’m sad to report that there are no front pockets, but I suppose that double-sided button opening wouldn’t be possible or would be kind of bulky if there were pockets there. But as you can see in the photo just above, there is one back pocket, which has a cute look to it and shows off the red Freddie’s logo.

Finally, a few more tips on fit. I ordered my usual size 30 (with measurements waist 29”-30” and hips 42”). When I first put the shorts on, they felt a bit snug all over and I worried that I should have sized up. However, the next day, I wore them to ride my bike to multiple stops throughout the day and the fabric loosened up beautifully. Now I feel that they fit perfectly. There’s no stretch in the denim, but they’re soft enough that I can move plenty and feel totally comfortable, which is a rare feat for denim shorts in my opinion. And in addition to the adjustable waist strap, there are darts for shaping on both the front and back.

As with all Freddie’s jeans, these are vintage-style and very high-waisted (just the way I like ‘em!). At the time that I’m writing this, the listing for the indigo color is missing its size chart, but the brown ones do have a chart with detailed measurements, so make sure to compare it to your own body carefully. Since the waist is adjustable, I’d suggest ordering based on your hip measurement, then just cinch in the waist if it’s loose on you.

By the way, in these photos, I paired the Chorus Girl shorts with a Freddie’s teal work blouse (size UK 12) that I already owned. You can read my previous review of this bust-friendly top for more details. It’s the perfect partner for their pants and shorts and comes in so many great colors, with new shades being released every season.