Shorts were once thought to be rather risqué or inappropriate attire for women. Not to mention that the ladies fashionable (and quite daring) enough to wear it had to serve a penalty under the law. Thankfully, times have changed.
Shorts are now a popular piece of clothing for both ladies and gentlemen. They line the racks of hundreds of clothing stores all year out, with new styles appearing now and then.
Shorts are unquestionably a summer wardrobe staple for most people. The humble short is the ideal garment for introducing a slightly carefree and casual touch to any outfit, whether you’re at work, on break, or simply going about daily life.
Check out this comprehensive article on the various types of shorts for women to help you decide which one is best for you.
Different Types of Shorts
With many different types of shorts available, you may be perplexed about what to wear. This essential women’s shorts guide will have you feeling more confident for your next summer shopping trip.
Short shorts are a timeless addition to any summer or spring wardrobe. Their length is usually above the middle of the thigh. These shorts are typically made of denim, which allows them to be worn with almost any tank top, t-shirt, or blouse.
It’s critical to choose a pair of short shorts that aren’t too small. You don’t want them pressing your thighs uncomfortably. Choose a pair of short shorts with cuffed hems rather than frayed hems for a more refined look.
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High-waisted shorts were popular in the 1970s and have since been reintroduced. High-rise shorts are all the rage right now—you’ll see them in every store—but you may not always know how to wear them without appearing like an old lady.
Couple your high-waisted shorts and a stylish crop top for a fun beach day in Barbados. Wear a blouse and tuck it into the high-rise shorts while out on the town. High-waisted shorts are flattering on any body type because they reach your belly button.
Boyfriend shorts are ideal for lounging around on hot summer days. They’re typically made of denim and have a rugged appearance. You’ll notice rips, frayed hems, and an overall loose appearance on boyfriend shorts.
These shorts look fantastic with a simple tee, but they can also be dressed up. Instantly elevate your dressiness with a pair of high-waisted boyfriend shorts with a pretty tucked-in blouse.
There are many different fashion shorts in the fashion market; some are printed, some are solid colors, and some are even made of lace. With so much variety, it’s difficult to decide which style to try. Fashion shorts are typically made of cotton and have an elastic or drawstring waist, making them extremely comfortable.
Wear a pair of high-rise fashion shorts for a classic look. The high-rise style lets you tuck your shirt in for a more seamless appearance. If your shorts have patterns, pair them with a solid-colored shirt.
Who knew these shorts would ever be fashionable again? Bermuda shorts, when worn correctly, can make your ensemble look like a statement piece.
Bermuda shorts falling just above the knee keep your work attire professional in warm weather. They’re also light enough to wear while going for a walk.
Pair a blouse and blazer with your Bermuda shorts for a summery business casual look. On days when you don’t feel like dressing up, pair your Bermudas with a tucked-in blouse or a t-shirt.
Chino shorts are often the same length as Bermuda shorts, but they are typically made of cotton rather than denim. Chinos, like Bermuda shorts, make you look professional while remaining comfortable.
Chino shorts are available in various colors, including navy, tan, and black. Wear a striped t-shirt with whatever solid-colored chino for a casual occasion. Conversely, pair chino shorts with a tucked-in button-down for a more formal look.
Midi shorts fall to the middle of the thigh. These denim shorts are usually form-fitting, providing a good compromise between short shorts and Bermuda shorts.
Midi-shorts are available in both high and low-rise styles—the choice is entirely yours. Many midi shorts are available in denim, letting you pair them with almost any top. Dress it down with a loose white tee or up with a slightly tucked-in blouse.
Cargo shorts aren’t only for men! Ladies can wear them in both tomboy and girly outfits. They resemble cargo shorts for men, but they are sometimes shorter and are typically found in army green or tan.
Pair your baggy, long cargo shorts and a form-fitting tank top for a more edgy look. Shorter and longer cargo shorts look great with a tube top or tucked-in solid-colored t-shirt.
Every other season, utilitarian-inspired clothing makes a comeback on the runway, and this summer, we’re all about functional fashion. Choose a paper bag or high-waisted women’s shorts in creamy tones of ivory, beige, and light caramel brown to avoid appearing too much like your dad on vacation.
Wear a woven bag and a short-sleeve linen shirt for a safari-inspired look.
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Nothing quite captures the effortless, summer-ready “cool girl” look like a pair of black leather shorts. While they aren’t the most practical choice for the sweltering city heat, there’s no denying that they’ll add intrigue and a tough edge to any outfit.
Choose a high-waisted pair with a loose-fit cut around your legs and a fitted, flattering waistband—a breeze in hot weather. Combine these statement shorts with some classic, oversized sunglasses (check out this guide to sunglasses!) and a tucked-in black tank top for a simple and chic everyday look.
Reimagined Daisy Dukes
When it comes to summer/spring fashion, denim shorts are a must-have. While the classic teeny-tiny Daisy Dukes conjure images of butt-skimming light blue shorts coupled with a midriff-baring crop top, this season’s stance on the trend is more versatile—and wearable.
Daisy Duke’s shorts range in length from mid-thigh to ultra-short, and fittingly, the trend makes for the ideal at-home DIY project if you have jeans that could use a makeover into cut-off shorts. Whatever you choose, slip-on mules, a structured black blazer, and gold chain link jewelry can effortlessly elevate even the most basic denim shorts.
Skorts are skirts that have stitched-in shorts underneath that combine style and functionality. They’re ideal for windy days and for women who don’t feel comfortable wearing skirts due to the risk of exposing their backside. They have the appearance of wrap shorts, are comfortable, and can be worn as sportswear, casually, or for dressy occasions.
With our current obsession with loungewear and athleisure, it’s no shock that athletic shorts have firmly established themselves as the perfect summer shorts for women. While they come in various styles and shapes, from high-waisted boxing shorts to technical biker shorts, the slinky running short is the key silhouette.
Wear your black shell shorts with an oversized pinstripe shirt and a black bralette to the gym.
How to Style Women’s Shorts
If you know how to dress them, shorts can be the surprising star of your wardrobe. While shorts were always a go-to for casual occasions, you can also wear the right pair in more formal settings. Continue reading for tips on styling and wearing women’s shorts for various outfits.
Styling High-Waisted Shorts
To highlight these statement-making shorts, wear something simple as a top, such as a button-down or plain white blouse. Wear high-waisted shorts with a favorite graphic tee tucked in for a more casual and cute look. The easiest way of pulling off this silhouette is with a classic color palette, such as white and black.
It’s ideal for apple and hourglass body types because it draws attention to the waist.
Styling Chino Shorts
Because chino shorts are frequently available in neutral colors, take advantage of this by pairing them with a button-down or polo for artful preppy vibes. Pick an embellished or low-heeled sandal to add an unexpected twist to the look and keep it from feeling too “prep school.” A black-and-white striped top adds a fun twist, especially when paired with a rolled-sleeved denim jacket.
These are excellent for all body types because of the tailored lines, but they work particularly well for ladies with longer legs.
Styling Trouser Shorts
Meet your ideal work partner. Pair them with a puff sleeve blouse for a feminine touch, or opt for a chic menswear-inspired look with a belt and matching blazer. Choose luxurious fabrics such as summer-weight wool or leather to add polish to your outfit.
Trouser shorts are perfect for hourglass body types, as the classic straight cut emphasizes curves. Wider silhouettes help to balance inverted triangles and fill out rectangular frames.
Styling Denim Shorts
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Denim shorts are a true classic, and their casual cheekiness adds to their enduring appeal. Wear them with sneakers and a breezy white button-down or a bohemian long-sleeve top. You can also dress up denim shorts with heeled sandals and an oversized blazer.
It’s great for everyone because, like jeans, they come in an infinite number of fits, rises, and washes, allowing you to find a pair that flatters any shape.
Styling Paper-Bag Shorts
Tie-waist shorts are a more formal version of tie-waist shorts because they sit higher on the waist and are typically more tailored. A fitted crop top or soft tee is what you need to make these shorts shine; an oversized blazer adds a nighttime twist. Monochromatic color combinations keep the look lean and long no matter how you style it.
These are ideal for pear shapes looking for more waist definition and coverage or inverted triangles to balance a broad shoulder.
Styling Tie-Waist Shorts
Tie-waist shorts are highly comfortable because they are typically made from fabrics such as linen and poplin. Wear a blouse (don’t forget to tuck it in) with an oversized collar to dress up your tie-waist shorts, or go more casual with a crop top. High-neck tops look especially good with this short style.
Because they’re usually a little roomy, they’re ideal for athletic body types who wish to show off their strong legs. The defined waist is also flattering on apples and hourglass figures.
Styling Long Shorts
Long shorts, also known as the Bermudas, can be a hidden style weapon on hot days. Wear a slim black tank, ripped denim Bermuda shorts, and flat sneakers for a casual look, or go for a luxe appearance with a thin cashmere sweater and a pair of longer oversized leather shorts. A bit of height in footwear keeps the Bermuda short feminine, but don’t go too high; a kitten heel pushes the perfect, modern balance.
Long shorts complement pear-shaped body types because the hemline hits the lower thighs, creating a lengthening effect that helps balance your top half.
Styling Bike Shorts
Biker shorts go well with sweatshirts and graphic tees for a casual athleisure look, but you can also dress them up with a structured blazer belted at the waist. Biker shorts look more stylish and expensive when accessorized with boxy handbags and layered gold necklaces. It’s a celebrity’s favorite street-style trick.
Almost everyone can wear bike shorts. Because athleisure fabrics are used to make these women’s shorts, they smooth and contour the hips, legs, and thighs.
Styling Linen Shorts
You can use linen shorts to create various outfits, but mixing textures can result in some of the best. For contrast, wear a lightweight sweater or an intimate Victorian-style lace top. Add a linen blazer in a similar color to complete the look for work or other formal occasions.
These are ideal for apple body types, as the flowy fabric and relaxed silhouettes contour the body comfortably.
Shorts are versatile bottoms that you can wear for exercise, walking, sports, swimming, and even special occasions. The color, fabric material utilized in fabrication, and style influence the differences.
Think again if you feel like you can’t wear shorts. You can easily find a pair of shorts that flatters your figure with such a wide assortment of shorts. Let your hair down this summer and flaunt those legs!