5 Tips for Polished Short Style!
Happy day, Reader Dearest!
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is warming and it’s time to face the elephant in the closet…
Think you are too old for shorts?
Pish tosh. If you want to wear shorts, you can.
Want to love shorts but can’t figure out how to style them?
I’ve heard that warm weather complaint before!
Actually, I hear two different complaints. One is: How do I style shorts so that they are flattering? Because let’s face it, many shorts are not. Flattery is a matter of proportion and is simple to sort out; I address the proportion problem, here.
The second complaint is from those who prefer a little more structure to their looks or a higher level of refinement than most shorts outfits provide. They say shorts are just too casual (or in their words, sloppy.) There’s got to be a place between running shorts/beachwear and city short suited Jimmy Choo stiletto clad stylista. Let’s spend some time there!
(1) Choose Shorts with Structure
Waistbands with a tab and zip closure have more structure than an elasticated waist. For waisted figures, belting is a flattering way to add structure, too! If you want the comfort of elastic, look for a pair with a half waistband at the front and elastic in the back. I’ve seen these with a fabric self-belt for a finished look. Another tip: Look for vintage styling; if the shorts have a 1940’s or 1950’s feel, their higher waist will give them more polish, especially if they zip on the side! Speaking of polish, look for fabics with a tight weave and smooth finish.
(2) Walk Away from Distress
Doesn’t that sound like good all-around life advice? Distress is the antithesis of ease and polish! In this case… Raw edges, worn, sun-faded and distressed finishes are always going to look relaxed and casual. For more finesse, choose fabrics with a tight weave and smooth surface. Save the rough and rugged for your beach vaycay or working in the yard.
(3) Adapt and Overcome
Some of my best shorts were trousers in a previous life! You can’t (generally) make trousers longer, but you can always make them shorter. Don’t have a pair of trousers to sacrifice to the cause? Look for (and purchase) a duplicate of your favorites on Ebay and shorten them! Need tips for shopping preloved on-line? Read this. Meanwhile I’ll be there looking for duplicates of my ruffle pocket trousers…
(4) Level Up Your Top Half
Leave your tee in the drawer! Top your shorts with a shell, a short sleeved or sleeveless sweater or a blouse or button up shirt. Yes, you have permission wear a silk blouse with shorts. Even with denim shorts if that works for your personality! I’ll be wearing my navy polka dot blouse and my floral blouse with shorts for sure. Crazy, I know.
Some people won’t wear 3/4 or long sleeves with shorts. Why not roll your long shirt sleeves up past the elbow? If even that is pushing it, you’ll probably be happier in long (or ankle length) trousers paired with a sleeveless top. That’s fine. You do you.
(5) Step Up Your Footwear
Deep breaths! I’m not suggesting those Jimmy Choo stilettos. How about a ballet flat or a low heeled pump? A leather sandal with a block heel works beautifully to lengthen the leg and is stable enough for walking about! Put all the tips together for your summer Outfit Recipe…
Skip the flip-flops, sneakers and comfort sandals here. NOT that comfortable sandals can’t be stylish! I would happily pair any of my 5 Ride-or-Die shoes for spring and summer with shorts. I might even wear the high heels with a longer short out to dinner… If I owned a pair!
How About You?
What’s your attitude toward shorts? When do you wear them? When won’t you? What’s your favorite way to style your shorts? Which of the combos above do you like best? What do you think about the shoppable links? Share your favorite shorts Outfit Recipe below… I love to hear from you!