Womens Shorts

Womens Shorts

Women’s Shorts l Affordable, Classy & Casual

While there are many reasons to look forward to summer each year, one of the best feelings is being able to pull out your favorite pair of shorts again. Consider not only lived-in favorites but also cute new shorts that pop up in our store throughout the season.

While some women find shorts intimidating, the truth is that anyone can wear women’s shorts and look fantastic. Especially on the hottest days of summer when pants aren’t an option. Once you feel confident in styling your shorts, they become a piece worth looking forward to wearing.

History of Women’s Shorts

The modern “short trouser” emerged in 19th and 20th-century England and America, and was exclusively worn by young boys. Considered juvenile, shorts were the bane to men, who suffered the hottest summers in dignified long trousers. Women, by contrast, were mostly consigned to skirts and dresses.

When World War II took a generation of men to tropical climates, short pants became more acceptable for grown men, achieving widespread acceptance throughout the Western World in the late 20th-century. Shorts remain taboo as office wear (outside of “Casual Friday”) to this day, and many conservative countries still frown on grown-ups wearing shorts, even in hot climates.

The first women to wear shorts in public were 1930s Hollywood celebrities. They caused such a scandal that New York City passed a law banning women from wearing shorts (repealed in 1942). Considered a sign of loose morals, womens’ shorts remained the province of athletes and pinup girls until the culture itself began to loosen.

The cultural and sexual revolutions of the 1960s saw the rise of shorts-wearing among young women—to the horror of their more conservative parents. Women in shorts remained a sign of counterculture throughout the Swinging 60s and Disco 70s. In 1979 Catherine Bach, an actress in the popular TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, became a sex symbol, thanks to the barely-there shorts that bear her character’s name—Daisy Dukes.

Conservative iterations of womens’ shorts began to appear at garden parties throughout the “Me” decade of the 80s, further normalizing women wearing shorts in an era when it became common for female adults to wear jeans, trousers, and suits. Today, millions of women freely wear shorts to beat the heat and make a statement.

How to Choose the Best Shorts for your Body

Finding the right fit for shorts can be challenging. A woman’s torso can vary greatly from person to person and there isn’t one short that is perfect for every person. This makes shorts a wild card. Shorts that flatter one woman may make another feel uncomfortable. Finding the perfect balance of comfort, personality, and wearability is the key.

When buying shorts, there are a handful of inclusions to consider when searching for your perfect pair. Here are a few guidelines to help you pick the best shorts for your style...

Shorter Women

If you are petite, the right pair of shorts can make you appear taller by framing your legs and torso to maximize length. Women shorter than 5’4” could consider shorts that come up higher on the legs and lower on the waist.

Shorter shorts will make your legs look longer, while a lower rise in the waist will create a sensation to lengthen your torso. When choosing the perfect shorts, find a pair that is casual and loose. Lightweight fabrics work much better with these types of shorts than with tighter options.

Taller Women

Tall women have long legs and if you are looking to show them off, consider shorts with a higher waist. This will have the effect of making your long legs look even longer. This is a look that will accentuate the length of your legs, making them the highlight of any outfit. Your height does the job so the shorts don’t have to.

Slimming Shorts

If you are someone who is looking for a pair of shorts that are meant to slim, we recommend side-zip shorts. Bottoms that zip up on the side have a trim effect on the hips and waist. When looking to accentuate an hourglass figure, adding buttons or zippers in the wrong area can cause bulkiness in places we don’t want.

Volumizing Shorts

By contrast, women with narrow hips might want to create the illusion of volume and curve around the hip area. Pocket detailing or pleating can do the job for you, adding shape and drama around the hip area that may not come more naturally.

If In Doubt, Stick to the Middle

The safest place for shorts to fall is the mid-thigh. If you’re not sure where to start, start here. Mid-length shorts show plenty of leg without revealing too much, and they tend to win on comfort and style as well. If you choose a short with a roll-up cuff, you may be able to play with the lengths of the short, as long as you don’t over-roll the cuffs to the point where they appear too bulky.

What to Wear with Women’s Shorts

What you wear with a pair of shorts depends on the shorts and the occasion. The great thing about shorts in the summer months is that there’s a pair for every occasion. Here are some ideas of what to wear with various types of shorts...

Suit Jacket

If you want to class up a pair of shorts, you can’t do better than the short-suit. A suit jacket and matching Bermuda shorts are perfect for an upscale happy hour, brunch, or a business lunch in the sun. Think resort wear to the max.

Button-Down

A button-down shirt over shorts strikes just the right balance of casual and classy in the summer months, fit for Cape Cod. A loose, lightweight button-down, either short-sleeve or long-sleeve, works perfectly with jean shorts, khakis, Bermuda shorts, or just about any style of women’s shorts you can imagine.

Striped Tee

Nothing says “summer” like some lightweight shorts paired with a horizontal-striped tee and boat shoes. It’s an effortless, breezy casual look that will keep you cool and classy during all the warmer months. This is a fan favorite for days out on the water.

Graphic Tee

To make an assertive statement, pair your jean, khaki, or dressy shorts with a graphic tee. It’s a chance to play with color and message, making a personal statement for the summer and letting your shorts complete the look rather than being the main attraction.

Crop Top

One of the best ways to rock high-waisted shorts is to pair it with a crop top so everyone can see that high, stylish waist and how well it flatters your figure. A graphic crop top or cropped tube top takes this look to the next level.

Blouse

There are as many blouse styles as there are women who love them. Almost any lightweight blouse is great to rock in the summer and pair with your favorite shorts.

Blazer

A blazer over a pair of shorts with a graphic tee is a staple of that classic rock-n-roll vibe. For something more classy, consider a sleeveless blazer over a pair of Bermuda shorts for the bohemian businesswoman look.

Denim Jacket

The denim jacket is the perfect outerwear for the summer months when temperatures still drop at night—light enough even in the heat, and cute enough to match the look of your shorts.

Pullover

Shorts aren’t all about summer clothes, either. Try mixing up your seasons with a lightweight, loose-fitting pullover. Shorts with a pullover are perfect for those transitional months from summer to fall and winter to spring, when the days are hot but the nights are cold. The go-to look for getting to and from the gym.

Tank Top

A tank top and shorts are a classic pairing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t new things you can try with them. Consider switching it up with a vintage crocheted tank top or trendy new cold shoulder.

Cami

A cami is the perfect pairing for a classy pair of loose shorts with pocket accents. It straddles the line between intimate and fashion-forward. Try a statement cami with paper bag women’s shorts or another pair of loose shorts.

Sneakers

Shorts and sneakers were practically made for each other. You can’t go wrong with pairing your jean or casual shorts with a pair of sporty or upscale fashion sneakers.

Sandals

Sandals are another staple of summer. When you think of summer fashion, the two things that come to mind are shorts and sandals. Try your favorite shorts with flat sandals, wedge sandals, gladiator sandals, or dress it up with ones that feature rhinestones or bright pops of color.

Heels

Just because shorts are casual doesn’t mean they don’t work with heels. Dressier, tailored shorts are the perfect pair for heels because they elongate and add elegance to your legs no matter your height.

What is the Right Length of Shorts for Me?

The short length is measured by inseam, just like pants. Short shorts tend to have an inseam of five inches or less, while longer shorts have an inseam of ten inches or more.

The best “all-purpose” short length is seven inches. This looks good on everyone—it shows the right amount of leg and falls on the thigh in a place that makes everyone feel confident. Shorts with roll-up cuffs allow you to experiment with length, too.

Shorter women may choose to wear shorter shorts to make their legs look longer, and slim-cut long shorts can flatter short legs just as much as they flatter long legs. A higher waist may make a torso look shorter, but it can also make legs look longer. A shorter woman who wants to make her legs look as long as possible may want to try short shorts with a high waist.

Q&A Women's Shorts

How do you pick a pair of shorts?

The best place to start is the shape of your body. Taller women may prefer high-waisted shorts to emphasize the length of their legs, while shorter women may want to choose a lower rise and shorter shorts to elongate their length. Women with narrow hips may prefer pleats and pocket details to add shapes to their hips, while women with wider hips may prefer side zippers to flatter their curves. Try shorts with roll-up cuffs to play with length.

How are women’s shorts supposed to fit?

There is no one size fits all answer for this. Traditional shorts tend to fall mid-thigh for most women, but shorts can come down to practically capris-length, or as short as “boyshort” underwear. Shorts can be either loose or snug while longer shorts risk looking baggy and unflattering. We recommend this as a style to play around with. There are as many ways to wear shorts as there are women’s bodies.

How do you wear women’s shorts after 40?

No matter your age, you are able to wear whatever clothing you want, including women’s shorts. While some women over 40 may feel insecure, there is absolutely no reason to feel that way, as all it takes is to find the right short for your level of comfort.

Traditionally, higher-waist shorts periodically come into fashion among younger women, but women over 40 can never go wrong with them as well. Look for classic styles like khaki or Bermuda. Seven-inch mid-length shorts tend to cover the hip and leg features that make you feel insecure, while still showing off your still-shapely legs to maximum advantage.

What type of shorts makes you look thinner?

Tight-fitting women’s shorts in heavy fabric with side zippers have a slimming effect - but avoid pleats, pocket details, or features that accentuate areas that make you feel insecure. Avoid lighter fabric, as this will make it more visible with the details you may prefer to hide.

What’s the most flattering length for shorts?

The most honest answer is “it depends.” Women come in all shapes and sizes. Generally speaking, 7” inches is the most flattering length for shorts and the easiest place to start. These shorts fall in the middle of most womens’ thighs and show off just the right amount of leg without riding up. These are also a good length, as you can typically cuff them to play with the length you feel comfortable at. Shorter shorts can look marvelous, especially on shorter women, while longer, tight shorts can make legs of all lengths look good.

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