Dare I do a post on shorts?

44

mother shorts

Few issues divide the GOACA community quite like shorts do: some of you like them just fine, others find them to be nothing short of an instrument of the devil. And I understand the loathing: they can be tough to wear and unflattering too. But if you wear a shoe with some height, I think even the less-than-perfectly-willowy can get away with them. I love the way a Bermuda-length short looks with a button-down—very casual preppy chic—and this pair is nicely slouchy.

halogen shorts

This red pair is awfully snappy.

vince shorts

I showed you these Vince shorts last week in black, but I think they’re pretty classic in the khaki too.

perse shorts

I bought a version of these James Perse shorts a couple of years ago, and they are insanely comfortable.

Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 6.39.14 PM

This chambray pair is pretty cute.

halogen1

And I’m a big fan of the check pattern here.

fisher shorts

These are linen, which is a nice material to have next to your skin when the weather turns toasty.

lang shorts

I almost didn’t include this pair, because the last time I showed denim cutoff shorts, a whole flotilla of you complained that they’re the easiest thing in the world to make yourself and not worth the cash, but every time I try to make my own cutoffs I screw it up somehow, and possibly you are the same. Anyway, I like how these hit right at the knee.

hudson shorts

Same here.

Share this post:

Comments

44 Thoughts on Dare I do a post on shorts?
    KHD
    30 May 2018
    7:07am

    Was going to suggest a “shorts with grown-up hem lines” post, such perfect timing! Thank you!

    0

    0
    Tammy
    30 May 2018
    7:26am

    I love the black, pointy mules with the black cutoffs. I haven’t worn shorts in one-quarter century. Excellent options, if I change my mind. 🙂

    0

    0
    Dianne
    30 May 2018
    8:20am

    I’m 56, wear a size 12 or 14 bottom, and couldn’t get through the summer without shorts.

    I’m putting comfort over looks in most cases but I don’t care.

    I prefer a mid thigh length and most shorts are too long or too short but I do what I can.

    I’m far to old to be hot and uncomfortable in the summer

    0

    0
      DeDe
      30 May 2018
      9:42am

      Agreed. I’m 5’2” (which I think I say every other post or so) and a really curvy size 8 on the bottom. Most of the time I prefer one-piece things in summer because, laziness, but I wear shorts sometimes. There are occasions when I don’t wanna futz with a jumpsuit and a dress isn’t the right thing. Are shorts unflattering on me? Maybe, it depends on who’s judging. But I guess I don’t care that much. Some things just aren’t worth the worry to me, especially when it’s 99 degrees in May.

      0

      0
    Gemma
    30 May 2018
    8:58am

    I certainly appreciate this post on shorts, and Kim, you’ve got me thinking about them. I haven’t owned a pair of shorts in years and years. In the summer, I’m all about dresses and skirts. I even own a couple of pairs of hiking skirts.

    0

    0
    IW
    30 May 2018
    9:31am

    I have to say, with shorts, the right approach has proven to be counterintuitive for me. I just turned 50 and I am 5′ 2″ and don’t have long, perfect legs. Still, shorter shorts look better on me. The imperfections are just there and I don’t care. The proportions are right. I am careful not to look like I’m playing a young woman’s game. I go for slouch and maybe even a slight A-line. I would not be able to pull off these long shorts, cute as they are.

    0

    0
      Heather
      30 May 2018
      11:33am

      I agree that shorter shorts are vastly more flattering, regardless of one’s Leg Issues — something about the longer length of, say, a Bermuda short just looks dowdy, even though a skirt of the same length would look perfectly fine.

      Then again it’s my eternal complaint that everything seems cut to look purposefully “dowdy” these days — cropped pants, midi skirts, boxy tops, the list goes on.

      And while I’m happy teen/20s women aren’t feeling pressured by fashion to walk around half naked like they were a few years ago, for someone who likes looking stylish but is old enough that dowdiness doesn’t look ironic… it’s tough out there these days!

      0

      0
        Katie
        30 May 2018
        12:09pm

        I agree! Long shorts strike me as universally unflattering.

        0

        0
        Francine
        30 May 2018
        12:31pm

        1000% agree! If I dared wear this length, I’d look like a squashed hot dog. Shorter is better for most I think.

        But I’m probably in the minority because I don’t care how hot it is, I won’t wear shorts. I’ll suffer if I’m at the beach, but otherwise, why put myself through that? I’m so much happier in my summer uniform…white jeans, white or grey T.

        0

        0
        Lesa
        31 May 2018
        9:14am

        Love the phrase about unironic dowdyness…will likely steal it.

        0

        0
      L.J.
      1 Jun 2018
      12:07am

      Same IW!
      I am also 5’2″, average weight but pretty wide hips and so-so legs. Shorter shorts are way more flattering. I only have one pair, and hope they never wear out! I’m in my forties, I only wear them with a baggy shirt and my fanciest flat sandals.

      0

      0
    Rebecca Too
    30 May 2018
    9:32am

    Love this post! Bermuda shorts ahoy!

    0

    0
    Mauimermaid
    30 May 2018
    9:33am

    I really appreciate the post on shorts but have to say that most of these are a most heinous length. Perhaps a play with paper bag waist and differently proportioned shorts might be nice. I feel that some looser and slightly shorter shorter lengths can be very flattering.

    0

    0
    Maggie
    30 May 2018
    10:22am

    I have been trying to make shorts work for me for years, especially now that my feet are so jacked that I prefer sneakers to sandals, but they just somehow don’t. I think it must be my butt & hip to thigh ratio, because no matter what size I buy, they always look wide up top and deflated toward the bottom. I LOVE jean shorts and would wear them all the time despite being pale and splotchy, if they just fit well.

    0

    0
    Lisa
    30 May 2018
    10:24am

    I agree with IW regarding the “shorter shorts” issue. I am 5’8″ and have a 29″ inseam, crazy proportions right? Any knee length short ends up looking like a capri pant gone bad and capri pants are just high waters. So how do WE of the shorter leg wear a short??? any help would be great!!!

    0

    0
      Maureen
      30 May 2018
      3:41pm

      I like a mid-thigh to above the knee short length. Have had good luck the past two summers with the Gap girlfriend fold up chino shorts and some breezy ones from Athleta. I find that wearing them slightly slouchy adds to the coolness/comfort factor.

      0

      0
        Viajera
        31 May 2018
        3:22pm

        I am from the cut off old pants school when it comes to shorts … but Maureen, I love it when people name names. See now, if I *were* to go looking for shorts, I would know one place to start.

        0

        0
      Lorange
      30 May 2018
      8:57pm

      Try a 7 inch inseam short. It’s just long enough but also shows some leg above your knee.

      0

      0
    Gleemonex
    30 May 2018
    10:28am

    Cute picks, Kim, as always, but Bermuda length makes me feel uncomfortably mumsy. I’m 5’5”, short-waisted, and proud / borderline vain about my long, toned legs, so I love shorter shorts (3-5”) even at age 44. (Side note / TMI: I *need* shorts for summer – I very very rarely wear skirts or dresses, partly out of practicality, but also, as I’ve recently realized, this is an aversion stemming from the time a subhuman creep took an upskirt pic of me on a crowded BART escalator about 15 years ago. Ugh.)

    0

    0
      Adrien
      30 May 2018
      12:31pm

      Hi Gleemonex!

      I agree – I am 5’5″ and short waisted and I like my legs, so shorter lengths just work better on me.

      I do agree, Kim, about the cutoffs! I love them but I’ve never successful made my own. I always get it wrong, somehow.

      0

      0
        Erika
        30 May 2018
        1:55pm

        Also agree about shorter shorts – I really hate the Bermuda length on my legs, and I like my legs. I tend to size up a bit in shorts – I’m a true 6 and generally a size S, but prefer an 8 or an M in shorts, and wear them a little lower on my waist, which works best for me. I’m 5’6″ and have found that the elastic / drawstring waist style short allows me a little more room in the thigh while allowing me to cinch in the waist.

        0

        0
    Mary Alice
    30 May 2018
    10:39am

    I’m 59, live in Southern California, and when it’s hot, I wear shorts. I like the J.crew stretch chino 7″ inseam -at 5’8″ that length seems to hit my legs at a flattering point – and a dose of self-tanner on my optic white legs helps a lot. But mainly, it’s for comfort on blistering days.

    0

    0
    Mimi
    30 May 2018
    10:50am

    I kind of like the look of the long bermuda shorts in this post – on other people. Did I wear shorts when I was 12? I can’t remember. But I know I haven’t owned a pair since. And I’m a 5’6″ willowy size 2-4. I don’t find light cotton or linen pants hot or uncomfortable. Ditto skirts. Apologies to Gemma, but a lot of GOACA where I live wear hiking skirts that I think look silly, even on women in good shape. As Kim noted, shorts can be polarizing and I’m clearly anti-shorts. Who me, opinionated?

    0

    0
    kj
    30 May 2018
    10:59am

    I agree that bermuda shorts aren’t for everyone. While they look terrific on the models in these posts, I’m 5’5″ and find slightly shorter shorts with a wider leg more flattering. That said, I don’t wear them often. I gravitate to wide-leg pants and cropped denim.

    0

    0
    kristie
    30 May 2018
    11:08am

    I did not know that knee-length shorts for women even existed. I find them awkward-looking.

    0

    0
    Kitten
    30 May 2018
    11:14am

    I wear shorts with my pale, size 12/14 curvy bottomed self all summer. I’ve learned that the best fit and cut are the 5 inch inseam in a 14 or 16 petite from Lands’ End. I can dress them up and down. I have about 12 pairs now and I always get compliments on them. I have long legs and a short waist/torso that is very curvy. If I wear long shorts I look stumpy and lack any real range of motion. Too short and well it’s too much flesh. I go with the petite because I don’t need the shorts to come up to my bra. Ha.

    0

    0
    Wendela
    30 May 2018
    11:46am

    I wish I had the legs for shorts. I wear skirts or linen pants instead. But it’s not super hot where I live, so that helps—a few weeks in a hot climate when traveling is easy—I’m not living with months of unbearable heat. Anyway, your next post should clearly be about self tanners!

    0

    0
    Tricia
    30 May 2018
    11:50am

    For a while I stopped wearing shorts because I felt like my legs weren’t attractive enough. Then I went to Disneyland and saw people of all shapes and sizes wearing the equivalent of hot pants. I starting thinking maybe I was being too harsh on myself so now I wear shorts when the weather is unbearable. Usually I get them larger so I can push them down a bit in a slouchy kind of way.

    0

    0
    Candy
    30 May 2018
    11:54am

    When you have major thigh spider veins, there’s nothing, not even Kim’s attractive choices in this post, that will get me to wear shorts. Besides,flowy knee-length skirts are very comfortable even when its sizzling outside (I keep telling myself).

    0

    0
    Valleyoftheshoes
    30 May 2018
    12:05pm

    I love shorts but wear them at a shorter length since I have a shorter inseam. It’s all about the proportions.

    0

    0
    monique J johnson
    30 May 2018
    12:40pm

    These are all cute, but yeah, I’m with some of the other commenters, I’m 5’4″ and I prefer them closer to mid-thigh.

    I buy jeans one size larger (usually from a thrift shop), cut them off at the knee, and roll them up. For me it works with my athletic thighs and the larger size gives them the slouch I like. I live in Mariina del Rey where it’s usually pretty warm, and I live in my cut-off, rolled-up denim shorts.

    0

    0
    EMM
    30 May 2018
    1:16pm

    I actually love shorts even though I’ve got a couple of small spider veins and a little cellulite. I live in Hades, I mean Houston, and shorts are good for running around with the kids. For me at 5’5″, a 4″-5″ inseam works best, and my favorite pair right now is high-waisted and slightly flared, a very 1940s style. So far no one has run screaming at the sight of my 52-year-old knees. 😉

    0

    0
    Darcy
    30 May 2018
    3:03pm

    The attractiveness of shorts really depends on skin tone (men or women). If one has nice brown, black, or tawny legs you can’t go wrong.

    I have very long, thin-ish legs that you’d think would be TDF but the glowy, white skin with red dots and some veins behind the knees and other minor splotchy patches ruins it all.

    Short-ish, linen skirts with pockets and a tie waist. That’s the way.

    0

    0
    HickfromStyx
    30 May 2018
    3:57pm

    Nope. Shorts look out of proportion on my curvy frame. Pass.

    0

    0
    Deede
    30 May 2018
    4:23pm

    I have always worn shorts…so why stop at this stage in my journey…smile…I prefer knee length…I dress them up with wedges or down with sandals…Hey its hot and shorts are comfortable…
    If you decide not to wear shorts because YOU decided it…That’s great…If you decide not to wear shorts because some “authority” says you are in the wrong age group…Rethink your decision..
    Shorts done right can be quite chic…blazer, wedges cross-body and you are ready to go out…Casual looks can also be chic…and comfortable…

    0

    0
    Jenny
    30 May 2018
    4:47pm

    I might take scissors to my least-worn pair of jeans tonight and see what happens. I’m feeling the need for shorts, not too short, not too long, with a bit of fullness in the leg (snug like the ones pictured above are not comfortable on my muscled thighs). Per the survey, one of the great things about GOACA is that on a good thread like this, the commenters are also creators. And can anyone share where they are getting these magic skirts? I haven’t found a great summer skirt in many years — they are either too straight (not comfortable) or too full (one gust of wind away from a flash) or too short (not comfortable). Pockets a plus.

    0

    0
      Mimi
      1 Jun 2018
      10:41am

      I love long, full midi-skirts with pockets, of course. Have found them in cotton or linen at & Other Stories (size up), Cos, J. Crew, Shopbop, Zara, Massimo Dutti and Yoox, all for less than $120. Happy hunting!

      0

      0
    Gablesgirl
    30 May 2018
    8:39pm

    This is the summer I am going to wear seersucker Bermudas to work. I’ll throw a navy blazer over them. Between global warming, living in South Florida and being menopausal hot 24/7, it’s time!

    0

    0
    Elizabeth
    30 May 2018
    10:59pm

    I have officially become a member of the cult of the skort. Columbia and Title 9 have them in every length and color and the under-bike shorts are comfortable and sometimes add a little spanx for good measure.

    0

    0
      moi
      31 May 2018
      12:47pm

      I just found a good one at Athleta.

      0

      0
    Turner
    31 May 2018
    3:08am

    Love longer shorts! I’m 5’6” and they work ok for me and I don’t feel mumsy. My knees are one of my less beautiful zones.

    0

    0
    Stefanie
    31 May 2018
    7:28am

    Small favor Kim, to request that when you do a post like this can you please include more budget friendly options along side of the higher priced models? I am not about the $175 shorts life, kids in college and all of that in play forces a more modest price point for this reader.

    0

    0
      Jenny
      31 May 2018
      12:26pm

      With much respect to Stefanie, I wonder if a better solution, given that Kim is getting so much incoming about “show US made” “eschew fast fashion” “show petites” “show cheaper” “show ethical/green/made by women/made to last” is for Kim to make a statement about her curatorial standpoint and refer to it often (I think such a statement has been made before), and then the rest of us can take inspiration and seek out a similar look if we really like it from our vendors of choice? Sometimes we’ll win with the links, sometimes not. This is not an original suggestion –many commenters before me have said the same thing. But perhaps, given the site redesign situation, a restatement is useful.

      0

      0
    moi
    31 May 2018
    12:41pm

    I’m with you for the most part. I wear them to run in, but can’t seem to find a non-athletic short that looks good on me. I’m nearly 5’8″ tall but long bodied, so shorts never fit me well. Regardless of how far up in size I go, I get all camel toed and my thighs look weird.

    Which has been fine for years, because I live in a desert climate and find that I don’t suffer in pants or even denim in a dry heat (I’m not much of a skirt or dress wearer, either). But now my husband and I live parttime in a hot and humid climate and OH. My. God. Clothing all suction-cupped to my bod! So I spent an entire day in futile pursuit of a pair of shorts. Came away with nothing. Last stop was Athleta, where I pulled what I thought were shorts. Turns out they’re a skort, which fits me just fine and which I can make look like daywear and not like I just got back from exercise class with a billow cotton top and platform sneakers.

    0

    0

Leave A Comment

Archives

About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

Find Out More

Instagram

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

Join my newsletter! The latest fashion, beauty and inspiration for all the girls of a certain age.