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Everyone can look cute in shorts. You do not have to be a Barbie doll, a 16 year-old, or Heidi Klum to look great in shorts. If you've been feeling a little uncomfortable in your shorts this summer, reaching instead for skirts or capris, I understand. But there's no need to avoid an article of clothing that is so cool and versatile! You can dress shorts up with heels and a slinky blouse or a blazer; or down with sandals and a tank top and a big bulky necklace, and you can go anywhere.
Here's all you need to know about looking -- and feeling -- great in a cute pair of shorts this summer.
1. When it comes to size, buy up, not down. You want to be able to sit down and bend over comfortably, and shorts will look better slightly loose than too tight. That's not to say all-out baggy is what you're going for! Just err on the side of room to breathe.
2. There's always a lot of talk about certain fits for certain body shapes, but the most important thing is that you think they look good on you when you try them on. (AND YOU MUST TRY THEM ON.)
A few good rules of thumb:
- A mid-thigh length is usually the most flattering to all;
- pleats in the front are very hard to pull off unless you're Twiggy or Keira Knightly; but
- that doesn't include tie-waist shorts, which can be really chic and sexy; and
- too many pockets can add bulk.
Here's a great pair of Caslon Clean Front 5-inch inseam shorts with a flattering, flat-paneled front. I'm crazy about the pattern! (On sale! $28.47 at Nordstrom.com)
I think tie-waisted shorts, like these ASOS Belted Shorts With Turn Up are ultra flattering and feminine looking. They'll emphasize your waist and curves without adding too much bulk. ($37.33 at ASOS.com)
LOFT always carries affordable, flattering shorts in a variety of lengths. These Julie Geo Print Stretch Cotton Walking Shorts with a 10” inseam give you a sleek silhouette, but some extra coverage. ($54.50 at LOFT)
4. A little height in your shoes really does help elongate the look of your legs. Wedges look fab with shorts; I love them because they're super flattering to your legs, but they're still pretty easy to walk in! However, if you fancy summery sandals and flats, then they can work too; just keep in mind that the more of your foot that shows the better (so, ballet flats are more flattering than, say, sneakers or ankle boots. Unless you're Heidi Klum. In which case, stop reading.)
5. Think about what you're wearing on top. If your shorts are more fitted, a looser top can look very nice, like a flowy, high-low t-shirt, a summery a tunic, or a casual button-down (tucked in with a belt, tucked in only in the front, or left open over a tank top). If you've got drawstring shorts or something looser on the bottom, a tailored top, a form-fitting tank top, or a well-made tee will look sharp.
6. Most people will tell the lighter skinned folks among us to reach for the sunless tanner, working under the assumption that tan legs are more attractive. I do like the way my legs look when they're tan, but I also think paler complexions are beautiful too (just as I think naturally dark skin is gorgeous). If you love your legs tan, and feel better than way in shorts, then go for it. What really matters is how confident you feel. But it's certainly not a must! If you need inspiration and a reminder for how pretty pale skin can be, may I direct your attention to this photo of Jessica Chastain in shorts.
So, do you wear short shorts?