When my gorgeous friend Christina, who is a busy mom to two beautiful little girls, asked for ideas on how to wear casual shorts well, I jumped at the chance to blog about this topic. I never gave shorts much thought until a few seasons ago, when dressy shorts jumped onto the fashion scene and I started taking this casual staple a little more seriously. Christina describes herself as “tall with hips” – basically, my ideal body type! But I digress… Tomorrow, suggestions for those of us (like me) who aren’t lucky enough to have curves. But for now, here are some of suggestions for wearing shorts stylishly if you have hips.
1. Fit is Everything!: Nothing looks worse than ill-fitting shorts, and we’ve all seen them. If they are too tight, ride up or tug, or gather in the place where your hip meets your thigh, leave them behind! Shorts should lay smooth and flat.
2. Show some leg: Ideally, shorts should hit at a slim part of your leg – remember, that’s where people will look. The ideal length for most women, and one that is almost universally flattering, is mid-thigh. This is long enough to not cause overexposure, but short enough to flatter. Showing a little more leg also creates the illusion of length and of a long, slim line, which draws attention away from the hips. Make legs look even longer with the addition of a wedge or an espadrille or a pretty high-heeled sandal, but steer clear of stilettos, which are a challenge to pull off with shorts. A pretty, stylish, modest top keeps the look from going over the top.
3. Avoid pleats or high-waisted styles if you have hips. Avoid any fussy detailing around the hip area, and definitely steer clear of full, flowy shorts, which create the illusion that your hips are wider. Cargos are not your friend! Choose shorts with a natural or slightly low waist, and pick a cute top that hits just below the waist and isn’t too voluminous, to keep from adding inches to your hips.
4. A dark color on the bottom and lighter color on top will help balance wider hips. Also helpful – a straight line from hips to hem. Tapered shorts are not your friend!
5. Bermudas are fine if they have a straight line from hips to hem, but make sure the material is substantial and not flimsy for maximum flattery. Avoid shorts that are too narrow or too tight. A sturdy fabric with some stretch is your best bet.
6. Angled pockets are best than pockets that fit in the seam of the shorts, as these tend to pop open.
7. A pretty top with some embellishments and a great necklace draw the eye upwards, and away from the hips.
8. Keep casual from veering into sloppy by picking tailored shorts, a chic little top, and cute shoes – not a basic tee and sneakers.
If I could go shopping with Christina, this is what I would choose for her (note that the colors I recommend are not the colors shown – I wouldn’t necessarily wear that green-orange combo):
1. 5″ Twill Shorts, $39.50, Talbots: This sturdy fabric will hold its shape and flatter, and is the right length and cut to show off Christina’s great legs! They come in every color imaginable – dark brown would be perfect with this ensemble.
2. Gauze Mexicali Top, $24.94, Old Navy: This pretty top has a little bit of volume, to balance the hips, some pretty detail to draw the eye upwards, and in Temptation Teal (not shown) it will bring out Christina’s beautiful blue eyes!
3. Lucky Woven Espadrille, $69.50, Ann Taylor Loft: Pretty and so versatile, these mid-heeled espadrilles will go with everything, all season long. Practical, comfortable, and chic – a hard to find combo. Their low-key appeal goes perfectly with shorts but also pairs well with sundresses.
4. Wide Leather Bracelet with Gold Grommets, $16.99, Target: This hip bracelet adds a bit of an edge to a pretty outfit.
5. Acai Tassel Necklace, $58, Anthropologie: A longer length echoes the outfit’s long lines while providing a touch of earthy glam.
oh my gosh thank you! this is so perfect! you are right about the pockets and the place they hit – that is so so important to me. i never even thought about them being darker than the top helping. It is funny how the wrong pair of shorts can be so so wrong!