Finding the Most Flattering Shorts For Your Body
Who wears short shorts? You do!
Summer fashion calls for fewer layers and showing more skin, but for those of us wary about slipping into shorts, stylists insist now is the time to let go of your fears.
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“Shorts are an essential summer staple, and for the past few seasons we’ve seen an up-trending of shorts instead of miniskirts for warm weather,” says Shannon Davenport, fashion and media editor at Stylesight. “The great thing about shorts is that they can be dressed up or down, so depending on how you style the look, you can get a lot of mileage out of a great pair of shorts.”
According to Davenport, there are lots of styles to choose from, including boyish twill, silk and destroyed denim. But if you’re looking for something sleek and basic for day or night, there are a few points to keep in mind before investing in a new pair.
“The rise is really important, so if you want to wear a tinier pair, having a higher rise is more flattering, which is also great if you want to nip in the waist or stomach area,” says Davenport. “White or colored denim cutoffs are a chic option. Loose shorts are a romantic universally flattering option, and work well if skin tight isn’t your thing.”
Ready to go short? Read on for some expert tips and tricks on how to rock this look:
Know Your Body Type
“If you’re very short, cropped shorts that go under the knee will only make you look shorter,” explains celebrity stylist Anthony Henderson. “Taller people should avoid wearing ultra-short shorts that show too much leg.” No matter your height, Henderson says shorts hitting your midway will be the most flattering and are the most workable for day or night.
Get Longer Legs in Seconds
Wish you had longer legs? Don’t fret! Jocelyn Sanchez and Miranda Baham of personal stylist site Stitch Fix say ladies with this dilemma can take a cue from country crooner Taylor Swift. “To add length to shorter legs, throw on a high waisted pair with a shorter seam and add a heel with a bit of height,” they say.
Embrace Your Curves
Got curves? Flaunt them with the right pair of shorts specifically made to enhance your sexy shape. “For curvier ladies, the cut is crucial,” say Sanchez and Baham. “For extra coverage, try slim-fitted dark Bermuda shorts with a longer inseam and a higher rise in the back. Again, you can always add a heel for extra height if you want to elongate your silhouette.” If your slim fitted shorts don’t include the right cut, you can always take them to a tailor who will create it for you.
Get a Tailor
Tailors are crucial for making any outfit, including your shorts, fit perfectly. Model and fashion expert Jaimie Hilfiger believes any woman, regardless of her age, can wear shorts, as long as she visits her tailor to get the look down pat. “A major rule is to always make sure your shorts are tailored,” she explains. “It doesn’t matter what type they are. Having them tailored to fit properly avoids the problem of looking messy or exposing too much.”
Go Shorter (If You Dare)
“Short shorts certainly aren’t for everyone, but there are so many options out there now that no one needs to fear them,” says New York City-based stylist Sara Cooper. “Short shorts are a great way to show off your legs, especially if you’re long and lean.”
Invest in Walking Shorts
If you find shorts, well, too short for daily wear, Cecelia Myers, chief styling officer at online personal styling service CakeStyle, suggests investing in walking shorts. “A walking short ends a few inches above the knee and keeps you cool and covered,” she explains. “Trina Turk does a great walking short every year in a lightweight fabric. And don’t forget, your shorts should be loose, never tight. I often buy my shorts a size or two bigger than I would buy my denim.”
Shorts aren’t just for casual wear. According to Hilfiger, you can easily dress up your pair with the right accessories. “Try a belt or choose a pair of shorts with added embellishments to spice up a plain look,” says Hilfiger. “A fitted jacket with elegant heels will transition your daytime shorts into the evening perfectly.” If you’re wearing a high-waisted pair, Hilfiger suggest going bold with a crop top or even a bra top with an open jacket over it.
Prep Your Legs
Before rocking your shorts this summer, make sure your legs are in tip-top shape. “You must take care of your legs as you would your face,” says Myers. “Exfoliate them to get your skin glowing.” Myers adds you make your own scrub at home with sugar, untoasted sesame oil and peppermint to remove dead skin and to promote a natural glow. Also, Myers says you should protect your legs from wrinkle-causing sun rays by applying sunscreen daily. “If you want a little color, go for a sunless tanner,” she says.
Look for Couture
If you only buy two shorts this year, Henderson says to make sure you have one that's loose-fitting for day and a couture pair for night. “(Couture shorts) are often very fitted to the body and made with lustrous fabrics,” he explains. “Pair them with a top that doesn’t overshadow and shoes that compliments them.” When it comes to evening shorts, look for unique fabrics and designs, such as lace overlays or floral prints, which stylists say are on-trend and work for everyone.