As a shortie myself, barely measuring in at 5’1”, wearing shorts can be a bit of pain. You don’t want to wear them to long because then they’ll cut your frame and make you look stocky or drowned in and you don’t want to wear them too short because then they start to hit the inappropriate mark. So if you’re short and love to rock shorts in the summer time or anytime of the year (yes you can wear shorts anytime of that year but that’s for another article!) then here are some rules that you should follow.
Rule #1: Just because I stated that you shouldn’t go too short with your shorts to avoid looking like a street walker, short women shouldn’t discount short shorts completely. Just make them tasteful. When it comes to the length of shorts avoid shorts that fall anywhere from your calf to your knee as well as avoid short shorts that are rolled up or cuffed.
Rule #2: High waisted shorts are your best friend. Make sure that you pick a pair that ends in the mid thigh area for a longer leg look. High waisted shorts can be paired up with just about any shoe, but if you’re looking for a leggy look, pair up with some wedges or even some espadrilles with a bit of height to them. If you happen to be short and curvy then high waisted shorts will also give you a slimming effect.
Rule #3: What about those shorts you love so much but happen to hit you in the wrong spot when it comes to length? Invest in a tailor. A tailor can do wonders to your closet and adjust, nip, correct a pair of shorts to fit you properly. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, dust it off and save a few dollars to get the best looking shorts possible.
Rule #4: Invest in a pair of walking shorts that can be worn all year round. The difference between regular shorts and walking shorts is that walking shorts are made of a lighter fabric than other shorts. These you can dress up, dress down and in the cooler months can be paired with tights and sweater. Look for a pair that are made in soft cotton or linen and make sure that they too fall around mid thigh.
Rule #5: Boyfriend shorts and Bermuda shorts are a great choice when it comes to showing off some leg but not too much. They cover your thighs but land right above the knee and can be dressed up or down depending on your preference. Just don’t choose a pair that has a lot of pockets on the sides like cargo shorts. Not only will they make you look wider than you want to appear but the extra material can also weigh you down, doing the opposite of looking taller.
Rule #6: Try a pair of shorts with a vertical pattern. Not just stripes either. Look for shorts that have details on them that make the eye look up and downward like pleats, buttons and even detailed piping. It’s an easy trick to learn and can also be used when choosing other items in your closet like skirts and long pants.
Rule #7: Back to shoes. Everyone knows that when you wear a pair of heels it makes you look taller…duh. But wearing the right shoes makes this happen, and not just any shoe. For ankle strap shoes opt for a pair that have T straps versus ankle straps to avoid cutting the visual line. Also look for shoes that have a low vamp; vamp referring to the part of the shoe that comes across the top of your foot at the base of your toes. Try to steer away from shoes that have bulky soles like platforms.
Rule #8: If you’re not really a shorts person, combine the look of a mini skirt with shorts. No, not the ugly misshapen looking items called skorts. Shorts that are made of a softer more flowing material like silk or rayon that are not fitted but flared out make the best option here. Not only do they give your outfit a classic feel, they’re a better option to be worn to the office as well.
Rule #9: If you absolutely hate the way your legs look and absolutely have to wear knee length or longer shorts look for a pair of short that have a slimmer fit to them versus a pair of baggier ones. Like gauchos. These type of shorts also look great when paired up with wedges.
Now that you have 9 basic rules to start off with, it’s time to check out some visual styling tips for short women to wear shorts. Just click through the slideshow for ideas and where to buy. Other great places to check for inspiration include Polyvore and Pinterest.