Some people believe women shouldn’t wear shorts after a certain age. To those women I say, “you are missing out!” From a purely practical point of view, shorts are pretty bitchin’. They offer us the comfort and convenient of jeans and pants without making you cook like bacon on the griddle in summer. The right cut of shorts is flattering, can be dressed up or down depending on the style and is now perfectly appropriate – fabulous even – to wear on a fun night out.
So here are a few tips to getting shorts right:
- Consider your environment. Shorts meant for hiking or exercise of any kind only belong in the environment they were made for (i.e. the mountains, the golf course, etc.) An urban context leaves you lots of room to play, while a country club or dinner with the in-laws might call for some restraint.
- Fabric choice. Apply the same rules to shorts that you’d apply to a dress when considering whether shorts are appropriate for a certain occasion. If you wouldn’t wear a denim dress to your favorite restaurant, you shouldn’t wear denim shorts there, either. On the other hand, if you would wear a tailored wool sheath to drinks with a client, you should feel just as comfortable wearing tailored wool shorts.
- Length and proportions. Young girls today seem to have no problem letting a little ass-cheek show. I don’t care how firm your butt is, if you got your period more than twenty years ago, cover that sh*t up. No one wants to see that. Not even on a teenager (but we let that go because she’s learning and we don’t judge.) That being said, I think shorts are a great way to play with proportions in an outfit. (See my post on playing with proportions.) The key is balance. If the shorts are tight and showing a lot of leg, try a more covered-up look on top, like a long-sleeved blouse or a loose-fitting sweater. If they’re knee-length and casual, try them with something crisp and tailored like a collared shirt or a blazer.
- Get the shoes right. You do NOT have to wear flip-flops and sandals with shorts just because shorts are for warmer weather. Stiletto pumps, open-toe sandals, boyish Oxford’s, ballet skimmers…they can all look fab with shorts! Again, when choosing a shoe, apply the same thought-process you’d apply to wearing a dress or skirt. When in doubt, take a picture of yourself with each pair you’re considering and choose which ones look the most flattering with the rest of your outfit.
As for that shyness, just know this: your legs are probably a lot sexier than you think they are. Fine – maybe your knees are wrinkled or your spider-veins show (like mine!) or you have a few dimples or scars. That makes you human and like 99.9% of the other women on the planet.
You’re not getting any younger and there’s a good chance your legs will never look better than they look right now. So I say, show off those pins! Our ancestors fought hard for the right to wear pants and shorts. Let’s not fail them now. If you’re still feeling shy after that pep talk, consider trying “Take a Picture…It Lasts Longer” body balm by Benefit Cosmetics, which adds a seductive golden-pink sheen to your legs. (I use it sparingly – a single swipe on my shins, thighs and the backs of both legs for a hint of shimmer.)
1. Peplum tank by Current/Elliot. 2. Levi’s cutoff shorts. 3. Multi-Colored bracelet by HiPANEMA. 4. Hobo bag by Rebecca Minkoff. 5. Sandals are Stuart Weitzman and sold out, but these are similar and come in three additional colors. This pair by O’Neil are also very similar and only $56.