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How I broke free from my fear of wearing shorts and 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 (especially as Summer approaches!), this is a great time to add a new pair to your wardrobe.

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

If wearing shorts tends to also make you feel a little uneasy, opt for pairs with clean lines and in a neutral palette (and, darker hues over light if you don't want to draw a lot of attention).

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 4-6 inch inseam (short shorts would be around 1-3, and mid-long is 7 and above). Pay attention to the width around your legs - you don't want them to be too tight! Tip: if you have a wider leg opening, your leg will appear smaller. Remember, getting dressed is all about creating optical illusions! Look for where the short ends as this is where they eye will be drawn. It's the same philosophy we use when finding ideal skirt or cropped pant lengths, direct the eye to the spot you want to hi-light. Don't forget to also consider the rise. If you are long waisted, you might opt for a higher-waisted pair to give the illusion of length in the legs. If you are shorter waisted, you'll likely want to stick with a mid-rise pair to balance out your proportions.

Try on a variety of styles such as: chino/cargo, denim, culottes or Bermuda (if you prefer longer - these are really trending at the moment!), or paper bag styles to see how they work on you. Don't forget to also check how they look from behind!

Tip: take photos of yourself during the try-on session (either at home or in a fitting room), this will give you a more accurate account of how the shorts actually fit.

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 to draw the eye to that zone. Cut-offs can also be your best friend in the summer - always in style!

I've put together a roundup of shorts (as well as other Summer bottoms: skirts and pants) that are in stores now that caught my eye. You can check them out in this virtual catalog.

I also walk you through my tips and picks in this video.

What are your favourite shorts styles?

Shorts still not your thing? Not to worry, not every garment type is for everyone. There are so many skirt options available, or, the ankle length crop can be a fabulous alternative...

Need help figuring out what's best for you? Let's chat!


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