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Find the Perfect Shorts

Updated on April 5, 2012
Mischa, Mischa, Mischa...pleated, baggy shorts in a weird length with suspenders! All the wrong moves in one pair of shorts.
Mischa, Mischa, Mischa...pleated, baggy shorts in a weird length with suspenders! All the wrong moves in one pair of shorts.

Summertime is almost here. Summer brings warm weather, time at the beach, and every woman’s dread…shorts. I remember I used to spend all summer in shorts as a kid. But, now that I’m older, shorts need be worn with care. I can’t just go out and buy any old pair and expect to look good. So, I thought I would put out my recommendations of some of the shorts that are currently on the market. I’ve been out there and tried a ton of them on and I’ve come to realize that shorts can actually cover up some flaws in your legs if you by shorts specifically for your body. Or you can be a shorts disaster like the poor girl to the right….

Short Shorts

C. Luce Women's Belted Colorblock Short, White, Small
C. Luce Women's Belted Colorblock Short, White, Small

Good length, no pleats and great color-blocking which will be one of the big trends for summer.


I Want Short Shorts!

I like actual short, shorts. But, the problem with most shorts is that they’re made for juniors. I am not a junior even though I can wear junior sizes. The difference between women’s and juniors clothes is the cut. Juniors are cut far slimmer and have far less forgiveness in the fabric if there’s something you want to hide. So, if you want short shorts too then the first suggestion is to actually buy them in a women’s department or store. Second look at the leg opening. This is where the shorts are either going to work or not. If the leg opening on your thigh is too tight, you’ll look like an encased sausage. But, if you get one that sits slightly off of your skin you’ll find that this will make your legs actually look longer and leaner. You can also get away with colors like white if you follow this one simple rule.

Medium Shorts

Dickies Women's 7 Inch Boyfriend Twill Short, Khaki, 4
Dickies Women's 7 Inch Boyfriend Twill Short, Khaki, 4

No pleats, falls straight and in a great basic color.


I Want Medium Shorts

This is actually the hardest type of shorts to find. The reason is because most designers either go really short or really long. There’s really no in-between length that’s standard unless you’re looking for those dowdy, poufy “mom” shorts. And no one looks good in “mom” shorts. In order to get a little more coverage without looking super dumpy here are a couple of key rules. First, wear shorts that actually fit you around your waist. If you buy them a little baggier then that’s exactly what they’ll do, they’ll act like a big garbage bag. With jeans you can get away with this more but, in shorts, it looks like you’re wearing a big diaper and that’s not cute at all. Second, dress for your body. If you’re a little larger stick with something that doesn’t have a ton of volume and pleats because the last thing you want to do is add more volume. If you’re thinner you can get away with pleats but make sure they don’t also add volume and width. Finally, the same rule applies to all shorts. Make sure the leg opening does not have your thigh in a death-grip.

I Want Long Shorts!

Long shorts can be pretty tricky as well. I personally don’t like them for me but I have to admit that I’ve put on a few pairs that were decent. They’re also pretty comfy if you’ve got the infamous “thigh rub” happening downstairs. The key to finding a good pair of longer shorts that do look like you dug them out of your father’s closet is that they need to be tailored. That means they fit well, fall straight from the hip, and do not have a leg opening that’s super wide. I personally like to go with brands that make jeans and use their jeans as a base pattern. However, the biggest trick to getting these to look right is that you absolutely, cannot wear anything with pleats. This is the biggest reason that longer shorts look manly or dated.

I hope this helped you on your next shopping trip.

If you want more fashion & beauty tips, sale notices or just looking for something new and exciting, come visit me at my blog The Angry Shopper.


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