It's safe to say that Summer has started in Texas. This means it's time to officially get the shorts out of the attic, unless you are planning to stay inside or sweat profusely through your jeans (been there, done that). Honestly, shorts are not my favorite thing to wear. I have flaws that I prefer to be covered. In addition to that, finding shorts that are flattering can be really tough. Then consider all the different fits, inseams, and fabrics. There are so many choices, yet so few winners. BUT, there ARE winners out there! There is hope to your Shorts story.
First, INSEAM. I am going to be bold and highly recommend that anything under a 3" inch inseam should be taken off your plate (some exceptions). Let me back up some and explain that the inseam is measured from the seam intersection on the crotch of the shorts down to the end of one leg. When shopping, you will usually see short inseams labeled under 3", then 3"-7", 9" and 11" inches. Different brands usually have a set of inseams they carry.
So, back to my bold claim that anything UNDER 3" is out (or should be), unless you are petite in height. It's just a lot of booty for anyone over 5'3". Save it for your pajamas. At home. [stepping off soapbox]
In order to find the inseam range you are most comfortable with, trying them on is going to be the best option. I am 5'8" and have found that the 4-5" inch range is the most flattering. Kris is 5'2" and can easily do a 3" inch and sometimes shorter. You want to find a length that covers, but still allows the shape of your leg to be seen (unless you are going for the Bermuda style we will talk about later). This usually means that the shorts should hit you mid-thigh. If you go about 3/4 down the thigh, your legs can look shorter and more cut-off. The trick is to find the inseam that is going to cover, meet your comfort level, but still elongate and flatter your legs.
SUPER IMPORTANT...do not buy shorts a size bigger so that that they hang a bit and are longer in length. It never works out. Trust me, I've tried it about 1,000 times. If you aren't comfortable with the length of the shorts in your size, they aren't the shorts for you. Buying big will never flatter your figure, whether you wear a size 2 or 16.
The inseam measurement applies to all styles of shorts: cut-offs, flat front, high rise, rolled denim. One trick I have learned (because I require a little longer inseam) is to order a Tall instead of regular size. Retailers will usually add an inch to the inseam with Tall sizing, or take an inch for Petite sizing when it's available.
Now, STYLE. One of the most popular short styles out right now is the distressed denim cut-off like I have on here. SO MANY of them are super short, so you can imagine my excitement when I found this pair at Target for $20! I love the laid- back vibe of cut-offs. They go with everything from v-neck tees to a layered jacket look. You can wear them with sandals, sneakers, or booties like Kris did here. I found some cute options here, here, and here. If distressing isn't your thing, you can find cut-offs without here, here, and here.
The boyfriend shorts style is another great denim option. They are usually a slouchier fit with a rolled hem. They offer the same versatility and comfort of cut-offs. You can find some of my favorites here, here, and here.
The Bermuda shorts style (usually around an 11" inseam) is universally flattering. You will feel covered, stay cool, and there are lots of cute options to choose from, like here, here and here. You can easily dress up the always classy Bermuda shorts with a cute pair of wedges and a blouse for a casual night out or lunch with friends.
Another popular shorts style this Summer is the loose fabric, elastic waist, pull on style. Think back to the Jogger pant we talked about here, but a shorts version. They have the same versatility and comfort plus come in lots of cute patterns, fabrics and colors. I love these for running errands, going to the park, or slipping on over my swimsuit. Here (I own this pair and love them!), here, and here are some super cute options.
You can also find shorts this season in a variety of dressier styles with metallic threading, lace, or more structured fabrics and pleated styles. I like to think of these as a skirt alternative. You don't want to go too short, but you can pair them with a blouse, heels and clutch for a Summer date night out. Very chic. Some of my favorites here, here, here and here.
I promise there are shorts out there that you can feel confident, cute and chic wearing. It's time to start shopping! Put on your favorite sunless tanner and rock those gams, ladies. Anyone can beat the heat and look fabulous doing it!
Photo Credit: Jackson White