If you've been trolling through the after-Christmas sales at your favorite mall, you've probably noticed a veritable bounty of what folks in the fashion world call "formal shorts." (Shorts they are; formal they are not.)

Because the formal shorts are the only things that remain on the otherwise pick-over sale racks, I think we can assume that this 5-inch-inseam trend hasn't been a big seller this year.

And thank heavens for that!

Let it be said: formal shorts are not only logically fallacious, they just plain don't make any sense!

Isn't the whole point of winter to have a five-month break from the unflattering monstrosity known as the short? Shouldn't it be enough that we put up with them in the summertime when the weather justifies our willingness to see our otherwise normal-looking legs reduced to inelegant rectangles?

I know that celebrities think they're fabulous (Gwen Stefani, Posh, Kate Moss, et al.). For the rest of us mere mortals with real woman bodies and practical lives, the formal short is quite possibly the worst turn of the fashion wheel we've seen in years. (Yes, formal shorts are worse than skinny jeans AND leggings, my friends. In fact, not since big shoulder pads has the female body been so assaulted by one single style!)

So, as the Oprah show theme song tells us, "Get with the program!" Formal shorts are for the birds! If my pleading alone doesn't convince you, hopefully your measly retail profits will.