A Girl’s Guide to Buying and Wearing Shorts


With the weather warming up right now and summer not far away, it’s helpful to start examining your closet to see what you need to stock up on for hot days, whether in the office, at the beach, at barbecues, and more. Shorts are a staple summer item that many women don’t wear often enough or can feel worried about buying and wearing. Here are some tips to help you in this department.

Consider Your Body Shape and Size

One of the first steps when choosing new women’s shorts is considering your body shape and size. For example, if you’re a plus-sized lady, Bermuda shorts tend to be the most flattering option, unless you’re petite and curvy, in which case mid-length shorts suit well. If, on the other hand, you’re petite, it’s best to wear cuffed and rolled-up styles if you have long, slim legs or high-waisted shorts if you have a long waist or torso, lengthening the look of your legs. Petite gals should steer clear of thick horizontal stripes and big prints. 

Ladies with hourglass figures need to wear simply-shaped clothes to keep the natural balance of their proportional body type. Pick shorts with sleek, simple silhouettes with streamlined pockets and little embellishment on the hips. Straight-up-and-down women can, on the other hand, easily add detail and structure to their shorts to help give them more curves, especially if they’re tall. 

Hippy women, though, are best served by balancing out their shape by keeping shorts simple and subdued. Stay away from bulky button-front shorts and choose products with tab closures or side zippers instead, and avoid extraneous details like angled or cargo pockets. 

Find a Length That Suits You

Getting the length right is crucial, too, of course. Avoid drawing a line at the part of your body you like least. For instance, the hem is an eye-attracting detail, so if you’re self-conscious of your knees, don’t select shorts with hems that hit right at or close to your knees. A good all-around option for most people is the classic walking shorts, which are mid-length with an inseam of around seven to eight inches. They provide decent thigh coverage but are short enough to help lengthen the body’s look. 

If you’re a tall lady with slim legs, many shorts work well for you, from flattering mid-length ones to short shorts or long Bermudas. However, if you’re petite, you’re best to consider shorter shorts, perhaps with a length of 3.5 to five inches, which will help to lengthen your legs while keeping your inner thighs covered. 

Move About in the Shorts Before Buying Them

When you’re trying shorts on in stores or at home, if you order online, move about in each garment before you decide if you like it. Some clothes look good to the eye when standing still, but once we move about, we realize they ride up in unflattering places or feel uncomfortable and like we must keep pulling at them. 

Don’t forget to sit down in each pair of shorts you try on, too, to see how high they end up when you’re seated. This extra check will help ensure you get the right fit and look and don’t have to relegate some shorts to the back of the closet or the donation pile. 

How to Wear Hot Shorts According to Celebrities Joan Smalls
Photo Credit: @joansmalls/Instagram

Have a Range to Choose from in Your Closet

Next, consider setting yourself up with a range of shorts in your closet, according to factors such as the weather, occasion, your self-confidence level on the day, etc. It’s nice to have a variety of lengths so you can wear some longer shorts to the office, when dining out, at a church event, or the like, and shorter ones around the house, at the beach, or on a date. 

Plus, there are many styles to choose from, and playing around with different ones is fun. For example, you might like to own a pair of cool black leather shorts to add an edge to your outfit, some oversized statement shorts to showcase your style, and high-waisted neutral shorts for a utilitarian-inspired look. Add some vibrant animal or tropical patterned shorts or Bermuda shorts for a head-turning or casual vibe, and athletic shorts for exercise or lounging around at home. Also, denim shorts are an evergreen classic, while structured knee-length shorts work well for the office or brunches with friends. 

Other tips for wearing shorts effectively are to pair them with suitable tops (you might like to layer a tailored blazer or jacket over the top or pair them with a simple white tank top or floaty blouse, for instance) and accessories. Depending on your body shape, the style and length of shorts, and the occasion, you might wear strappy sandals, slip-on mules, heels, or wedges. 

Pay attention to your jewelry and handbag choices to keep your whole look balanced, too. Always consider the material types and the care instructions when shopping for shorts, too. 

There’s plenty to think about, but considering all these factors will help you buy and wear shorts more effectively this spring and summer. 

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.