The hot weather is back and, as always, some of us cringe with the thought of donning a pair of shorts. While they may look great on six-foot tall runway models, many ladies consider shorts to be a less than flattering summer style option. And we understand. It can take time to find a pair that fits properly. It’s hard to know how to dress them up and how to dress them down. Some pairs seem to cling to the body in all the wrong places (high-waisted shorts anyone?) We get it.
However, after a bit of trial and error, it’s entirely possible to find a pair of shorts that are both comfortable and form fitting. And with shorts as one of the hottest trends of summer 2011, we present you with a couple of steps to shop for your body type and get over your fear of the shorts.
Step #1: Decide on a style and keep it simple.
There are tons of different styles of shorts and just as many options for how to jazz them up with a great outfit. But the first rule of wearing shorts for you shorts-haters is to keep it simple. Regardless of whether you’re trying something casual and relaxed, or tailored and sleek, you generally want a pair of shorts without too many accoutrements. In other words, you want a solid colour, a well-made fabric, and a cut that suits your body type. What you don’t want are extra things like rhinestones, beading, oversized pockets, any kind of embroidery… you get the idea.
For a casual summer look, consider a pair of gently flared linen shorts (such as H&M’s 12.99 Gently Flared Linen Shorts), or some classic cotton shorts (such as Gap’s 1969 Wide Hem Shorts in black, or Rag and Bone’s Hampton Short.) Both match perfectly with a crisp summer tank and a pair of strappy flat sandals. If you’re looking for something to wear out this Saturday night, why not go for a pair of black silk pleated shorts? (such as T by Alexander Wang’s black Silk Shorts) Throw on a sexy, fitted blazer and some leather pumps and you’ve taken shorts to a whole new level. So remember: if you’re still trying to convince yourself that you can pull them off, shoot for something simple, classic and flattering.
Step #2: Determine the length.
Jessica Simpson’s movies and Katy Perry’s songs may have temporarily revived Daisy Dukes, but that doesn’t mean that all of us are looking to slip into a pair (and by ˜slip into’, we mean struggle with the zipper to get into.) 9 times out of 10, the reason that you’ve tossed back a pair of shorts after trying them on is because they simply weren’t the right length for you. If your legs are super long, you’ll be able to choose between a shorter short that hits right at the upper thigh, or a longer Bermuda-short length right above the knee. Women with shorter legs who want to show them off can produce the illusion of length with a shorter cuffed short (such as Banana Republic’s Ryan Pleat-Front Cuffed Short.) If your legs are thicker, try a pair that sits a little closer to the mid-thigh.
Step #3: Choosing a colour.
This works in tandem with Step #1 concerning simplicity. Shorts dis-enthusiasts should avoid overly flashy colours. Instead, look for shorts in black, dark blue, or trendy neutrals like khaki and army green. While this may seem counter-intuitive when summer is usually all about brights, the strong, solid colour will bring a level of sophistication to an often casual and beachy garment.
There are both stylish and practical advantages to wearing shorts (cycling gets a lot easier, for one.) Consider these 3 steps and give shorts another try. Come January, you’ll be glad you did.