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Choosing the Right Shorts for Your Body

Updated on February 5, 2016

Face it, we’ve all been there. After several months of fending off the cold in bulky sweaters, corduroys and boots, you are suddenly confronted with the daunting task of trying on shorts in anticipation of warm weather. You stare blankly at your image in a three-way mirror in the dressing room of your favorite store and dutifully try on pair after pair. Oh, the horror! You'd like to be transported back to a time when shorts didn't exist!

Women's shorts have been around for longer than you think!
Women's shorts have been around for longer than you think! | Source

Next to trying on swimsuits, choosing the perfect pair of shorts ranks extremely high on the anxiety scale for women. Luckily, designers and clothing manufacturers are looking out for us. Today, you can find shorts in any length, size and style—rest assured, there are shorts out there to make the most of your body type!

Mid-Length Shorts

If you are tired of Capris (and by now, who isn’t?), check out some of the mid-length styles. This is a style almost everyone can rock. Choose a pair with a flat front (no pleats, please!). Mid-length shorts can be referred to by many names—look for monikers like walking shorts, golf shorts, classic length, weekenders, etc. If you are confused by the names, you can immediately spot them by checking out the inseam length with a measuring tape. Ideally, they run about 7 to 8 inches.

Mid-length shorts actually elongate your legs, unlike knee-length styles that visually cut your legs in half. While making your legs look longer, this forgiving style also helps to slim problem areas like upper thighs and hips. To find the most flattering look, choose ones with a slimmer cut without being tight. You’ll be surprised at how slender your legs look as well!

Knee-Length Shorts

These are a great option for disguising a multitude of flaws, especially in older women. If you are self-conscious of the cellulite or spider veins on your thighs or don’t quite have the muscle tone you once had, knee-length shorts are the route to take.

Although knee-length shorts can make short legs appear even shorter, you can pair them with cute wedge sandals to balance out the look. Again, shop for a slim cut—they will give you a longer, thinner profile. The extra fabric in over-relaxed or pleated styles adds the illusion of weight, whether it’s there or not!

Pendleton Women's Three Quarter Time Shorts, White Washed Twill, 4
Pendleton Women's Three Quarter Time Shorts, White Washed Twill, 4

Knee-length shorts are the perfect length to cover thigh issues.


Short Shorts

This style is certainly not for every body type, but if you are under the age of 20 and have a low body fat count, you can easily pull off this style. Short shorts will lengthen short legs and give longer legs that willowy look. Short shorts typically feature an inseam of 5 inches or less, so beware!

You can choose from a couple of styles of short shorts. Hemmed versions look more tailored. Cutoffs are definitely more casual and appropriate for a day at the beach. Roll-up shorts are kind of in-between, but can make your legs look stocky if there’s too much fabric in the roll. However, rolled-up styles give you the option of wearing a shorter and slightly longer length. As with most styles of shorts, stick to a slim fit with short-shorts.

Lucky Brand Women's Abbey Double-Roll Short, Pearl, 27
Lucky Brand Women's Abbey Double-Roll Short, Pearl, 27

Short shorts to roll or down to suit your mood!


Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda shorts have been around forever, and with good reason. This almost-to-the-knee length makes them a favorite of curvier gals. You can wear this longer length anywhere and hide a multitude of sins!

They can be dressed up for a summer dinner date or even work (if you’re lucky). Go casual with Bermudas for a weekend shopping excursion, running errands or tropical vacation. Like knee-length shorts, you can make your legs look longer by strapping on a pair of wedges or mules.

Tips for Buying Shorts

How to Camouflage Your Inperfections
Hide the Tummy -- Choose shorts with low pockets. They will take the emphasis off your stomach. Go with styles that hit just below your natural waist to give you extra tummy control.
Minimize Curvy Hips -- Look for shorts with diagonal pockets, a slim fit and cuffs to create a sense of balance.
Compensate for a Boy Shape -- Select a more relaxed cut and modest pleats to compensate for a lack of curves in the hip and rear sections.
Disguise Fuller Thighs -- A slim cut and pinstripe pattern will elongate and slim your thighs. Stay away from cuffed styles.

© 2013 lindacee

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    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      I'm right there with you teaches! Longer styles are so much more flattering. At least there are a wide variety of styles and lengths to choose from these days. So nice to hear from you! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am past the short short stage and realize that if I am going to look decent, I must stick to the bermuda styles. Thanks for the tips. I will keep this in mind as I look for shorts this summer.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      Om, we all have our crosses to bear with regard to body issues. Luckily, we can disguise them! Glad you liked the tips. It is definitely shorts weather in Vegas! What happened to spring? :)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Great tips! So glad it's warm enough for me to wear shorts again now! This summer I'll shop for slim-cut, pinstriped shorts as you suggested. My thunder thighs do need a disguise :)

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you, Alecia! I know what you mean about a cold workplace--I have to wear a sweater even during the hottest summer months. I do prefer longer lengths for the very same reasons you mention. Thanks for reading and your comment! :)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Very useful. I can only where shorts on weekends because of the work dress code but for the most part it won't bother me since the office is too cold to accommodate shorts everyday.

      I prefer mid length and bermudas simply because I don't have to worry about showing too much skin or not feeling comfortable.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      vespawoolf, must be the Latin culture. In Uruguay, we lived in Montevideo and then a small, coastal resort town where shorts were acceptable, thank goodness! Not the same in el campo, however. So glad you liked these tips. Always a pleasure to hear from you! :)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Shorts aren't really acceptable in the rural areas of Peru, but now that we're living in the city they are an option I can once again visit. I like the idea of Bermuda shorts. I agree that there's nothing worse than pleated mid-length shorts! I'll definitely stay away from those. Thanks for these helpful tips.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      mts1098, I do see people wearing shorts year-round. Not something I personally do. It seems men are more prone to wear shorts in the winter, especially in milder climates like this one. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • mts1098 profile image

      mts1098 4 years ago from InsideTheManCave

      I say any shorts I can wear all year will do...

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      ahorseback, that should give us the confidence to wear any type of shorts! Thanks for the inspiring comment. :)

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      Carol, I like any length except short shorts. I am lucky enough to get away with wearing Capris to work, so I take advantage of that during the summer months even though I'm not crazy about them. Thank you so much for reading and weighing in on the subject of shorts! :)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      You know ladies , To a simple guy ? The curves of a woman look great in anything , I swear !.lol........:-}

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I am comfy in mid thigh length. Though I do not have the body of a 20 year old..I fortunately am slender and look okay. Living in a very warm place this is good. Enjoyed reading your "short hub" Voted up and sharing.