Over the past year and change, we’ve watched our community divide itself into two seemingly irreconcilable camps: hard pants and soft pants.

The skort by Seattle-based Girlfriend Collective may be the item that finally brings us together.

That's because it's a true chameleon; the ideal piece for the transition from Year of Our Lord (Elastic Waistbands) to Oh Shit, We're in Public Again. In the past week, I wore my Girlfriend skort with a sports bra for a four-mile run where the shorts mostly stayed in place and nothing chafed—truly a summer miracle. I wore it as a coverup over a pair of high-waisted bathing suit bottoms. I wore it with a puffy-sleeve wrap blouse and Jeffrey Campbell heels for a dressy morning with family. No doubt, I did some lounging in the thing. And I bought it in a different color in case I want to wear it even more.

Am I saying this is the perfect article of clothing? Unequivocally yes. It's got a high waist, a short-but-not-too-short inseam, and three total pockets. Plus, Girlfriend's a hometown company we can be proud of for both its fashion and climate cred, with clothing made from plastic bottles and a recycling program that turns your old skorts (and leggings and unitards) into new garments and a sweet, sweet $15 credit.

Do not miss limited-edition color drops—like lilac, coming our way sometime in the first half of August (!!!).

As more people push for size inclusivity, more brands have heeded the call to, uh, appear as though they serve a variety of bodies. And while Girlfriend Collective’s range doesn't venture beyond plus-size into extended sizes (and I've heard of a few anecdotal fit issues in the smaller and larger ends of the size spectrum), the brand makes a significantly more valiant effort than most: its XXS accommodates a 22.5-inch waist, while its 6XL fits up to 52 inches. Compare with the exercise skort from Outdoor Voices, another popular athleisure brand, which only stocks straight sizes (XS–1XL), or Athleta’s line of skorts, which extends to 3XL. Girlfriend's models reflect a realistic diversity of sizes and body types, too, which makes it easier to see how the pieces might look on you.

Bottom line: If you're into fashionable clothing that works for everyone—even the staunchly anti-hard-pant—Girlfriend's got you covered.

We Needed This is a new monthly column where our style editor gushes about local products that she, well, really needed (and that you might, too). Got an idea for something she's just gotta try? Send her an email at [email protected] or DM her on Twitter @zoe_sayler.

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