Simple Tips to Elevate Your Look When Wearing Shorts

clothing stylist

Look better wearing shorts – tips from a clothing stylist

Ahhhhhh Shorts… As women we either love them or hate them. I have a problem with shorts. They’re not flattering for most of us. When I see women wearing them, they are typically way too casual and unflattering and I don’t want you to make that mistake. So if you want to up your style when wearing shorts, read below for some tips to elevate your style.

Getting started with wearing shorts

Choose the “right” short – the right shorts in absolutely no way, shape or form hug or stick to your legs. If they do, they are too small, too tight and not right. They should be essentially a “short” trouser style with or without cuffs. The shorts should hit on your mid-thigh. If you are not happy with your legs in that area of your body or don’t feel comfortable showing your leg, then you guessed it- you should not be wearing shorts. Your options include lightweight pants, skirts or dresses.

When it comes to denim shorts, I advise my clients should have a pair of dark wash trouser jeans and the same goes for shorts. Cutoffs, rolled up at the knee or light wash denim shorts don’t generally flatter unless you have a distinctive, edgy, rocker vibe and you are owning that style.

Elevate the look of your shorts

Ensure your clothes (and especially your shorts) fit–  This is crucial beyond the basic style of short. If your shorts are too tight or big for you, the overall effect will be sloppy and unflattering. Remember proper fit means your clothes skim your body – there should be no excessive tugging, pulling or bagginess. Below are some examples of proper fitting shirts and shorts that also are beyond the basic tank top and short combo.

Look better wearing shorts

Choose your shirts and shoes with care -Avoid the basic t-shirt and flipflop look. Create visual interest with layering pieces, unique shirts, and/or shoes.  Don’t forget about silk and linen long sleeve shirts if you’re self conscious about your arms. These fabrics can provide lightweight coverage of your arms. And don’t forget about accessories! When you are putting together your outfits – what are some statement pieces and accessories that you can add to elevate your look? Don’t forget about footwear and try to opt for a sandal and not flip-flops.

Look better wearing shorts Look better wearing shorts Look better wearing shorts

Add visual interest with patterns, accessories or colors – In this example, using looks I created for my client, the look is casual but with a visual interest. While she is not a fan of accessories like jewelry, she is not afraid of color or patterns. In addition the top with the cutout sleeves adds more visual interest. Also I have used complementary color pairing (left) and analogous color pairing (right) to pair this tops with two different pairs of shorts shorts.  Read how to add accessory colors to your outfits and for more on color pairings.

Look better wearing shorts

More shoe ideas…

Don’t detract from the goal of an outfit with sloppy or too casual shoes. Here are some examples of sandals that may inspire you to elevate your looks!

Another final rule (and I see this broken a lot!)

Do not wear oversized crewneck t-shirts with athletic shoes. This look is overly casual (unless you are mowing the lawn) and usually completely unflattering. When you wear an oversized t-shirt with shorts and athletic shoes it sends the message that you have taken zero interest in your appearance. I understand we all have those days or those errands when we have to leave the house in whatever casual outfit we already have on. However, those days when we really dress as if we don’t care should be the exception and not the rule.

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