The Long and the Short of Shorts

Style Tips

Shorts are great. They are practical, they won’t cause embarrassment when you bend down and they won't restrict your movement or blow up in the wind like skirts can. They can have useful pockets too. So, why is it that when it comes to buying shorts we struggle? How many times have you gone out to buy shorts and returned home empty- handed? Shorts are probably one of the most difficult pieces of clothing to choose because in order for them to cover all the bases – be comfortable, fit well and look good – you have to get the style, cut and colour absolutely right.

For many women, our hips, tum and bottom are the areas we find most difficult to dress and shorts focus on all those places. So, to help you get the best shorts for your shape, see our tips below:

The main things to look out for are: fabric, cut, length, detail.

Fabric: As a general rule, fuller figures should choose softer fabrics that will fit nicely over their curves. Slimmer figures can take the stiffer fabrics

Cut: In terms of cut, you will find both tailored and casual styles. Very tailored, structured cuts will look best on slimmer, rectangle or neat hourglass figures. Soft tailored shorts are probably the most flattering for most people. Enormous baggy shorts are generally not a good look!

Length: Short shorts are fine for most people on the beach, but beyond the seaside, they should be left to those in their teens and early twenties.  Bermudas are smart, but the reality is that they only really work on slim, long-legged figures. You need to consider the length of your legs to decide what length of short to go for. Mid-thigh is probably the most popular. If you have short legs, make sure you wear an open-toed sandal to elongate your legs in your shorts.

Detail

If you are lacking curves then detail on your top and/or bottom will add volume and give the illusion of more shape. Pockets, buttons, zips, embellishment or pattern on your shorts is good for you.  If you are a triangle shape (fuller on the hips) avoid details on your shorts as it will emphasize your hips.

Denim: Curvy bodies need to choose soft denim in a darker shade. Lighter denim will attract the eye more and you won’t want this area to be the focus of your outfit. Denim shorts often have pockets, buttons, zips or stud detai, so again, think about how much you can get away with. Denim shorts never really go out of style and they are a big trend story this summer.

Colourful: You don’t have to opt for safe black, navy or beige - have fun with your shorts! Firstly, you must choose a colour that looks great on you. You will need to take care with colour, if you have a fuller figure, go for a simple style with no detail at a flattering length and in a dark shade from your colour palette. The colour will draw attention to that area so you don’t want to bulk it out with pockets etc.

High waisted; High waisted shorts can be tricky to wear and make your middle look bigger than it is. These are better on figures with medium to long legs. They can, however, give a streamline look to the body if you go for a style with no detail on it.

Final word: shorts are casual wear and should not be entertained in the work place or for an evening out - unless you happen to be going  for a 1980’s fancy dress theme!

Get tips on choosing denim shorts this season in our video guide with Colour Me Beautiful Image Consultant Mandy Lehto.

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