• Lori Thomas

How I broke free from my fear of wearing shorts - tips for finding your perfect pair

For years I was afraid to wear shorts. It's probably safe to say I didn't wear a pair from around the age of 15 to my early 40s. My legs were never a zone of my body I felt particularly good about and didn't want to draw attention. My mum (whose legs I inherited) used to always jokingly say, "at least they reach the ground". While I was not a fan of this comment, admittedly; it would immediately result in us both breaking out into fits of laughter as this was the same response she had heard from her grandmother when she also expressed the same complaint as a teenager.

Two things have come in to play that have broken me free of this pattern.

1) Age - I realize no one is really looking as carefully as I thought they were!

2) I've learned to dress for my body shape and how wearing the right pieces can direct the eye wherever you want it to go. Getting dressed is all about creating optical illusions.

If you've done a closet edit and realize there is a gap in your wardrobe when it comes to shorts, this is a great time to add a new pair to your wardrobe. Obviously, because it's the season. But, also because summer sales will be starting very soon.

What's trending now in shorts:

I never advocate shopping according to trends, but I always think it's good to acknowledge what is out there at the moment. And, if you love something, it's a great time to pick it up to keep your wardrobe fresh and modern. If you hit the shops right now you'll see plenty of shorts in the paperbag style. These are working for many body types so if you like the look of them, they are worth giving a try. Short sets are also trending (they will offer some versatility in the wardrobe) as are longer Bermuda styles. Cycling shorts worn as a fashion piece have also been on trend in magazines and amongst many influencers - I haven't seen people who aren't Kardashians style this look for non-athletic purposes, but if you are fashion-forward it could be a comfortable option to play with. That's what I love about style, there is something for everyone...(an avid cycling fan, my husband has been trying to convince me to give this one a go for some time - but, this particular trend isn't for me!).

How to wear shorts if you are petite:

If you are petite, it is best not to overwhelm with too much fabric. If you opt a pair on the shorter size, it will give the illusion of a longer leg. If, like me, your are a little nervous about drawing too much attention to your legs; look for a more neutral hue and add interest in your outfit through the top half. Looking for denim cut offs? Try a mid to high waisted pair. Petite and love your legs? Have fun with bold prints, colour and texture in a shorter style. Typically the inseam on shorter shorts run between 3.5 - 5 inches.

What to look for in shorts if they make you a little uncomfortable:

As mentioned above, if wearing shorts still makes you a little uneasy opt for pairs with clean lines and in a neutral palette. Take some time to try on several pairs in order to find your most comfortable inseam length. Typically a mid-length short is going range anywhere from a 5-7 inch inseam. Pay attention to the width around your legs - you don't want them to be too tight. Look for where the short ends as that is where they eye will be drawn. Chino style, Bermuda if you prefer longer, walking shorts, or some of the newer paper bag styles are worth giving a try. Don't forget to also check how they look from behind!

Tip: take photos of yourself during the try-on session, this will give you a more accurate account of how the shorts are actually fitting.

How to wear shorts if you love your legs:

If your legs are one of your favourite features this is the time to show them off! You can either go short, or play with bold colour and prints. Cut-offs can also be your best friend in the summer.

Need a little inspiration or ready to shop? I've rounded up a collection of what's out there now in this catalog. I've also included some picks for the guys!

What are your favourite shorts styles?

  • Style Smarts Personal Styling
  • Style Smarts Personal Styling