How to wear shorts

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 57 Comments

There are a few items of clothing that scare most women when it comes to buying them … and wearing them.



and …


Most of our fear around buying and wearing these items is wrapped up in our own crazy body issues.

It took me styling more than 150 women (before this blog became my full-time business) to realise that one woman’s body issues is another woman’s ideal.

This realisation was a big AH-HAH moment for me, personally.

I’m far from immune to carrying around the chatter of negativity in my head but, in that moment, I realised that it was MY chatter and the only person who could stop it was me.

No-one else is standing around waiting to share negative thoughts about how my body looks.

It was up to me to continue to work on my confidence and replace the negative with the positive.

I must say that’s something that also comes easier with age. Well, it has been the case for me.

So … to today’s topic. SHORTS.

I’ve had a couple of reader questions about shorts for summer 2015.

It’s a trend that shows up every spring-summer but this season there are definitely more options out there.

What I’m loving is that the after a few years of only denim “undies” available as a shorts option, there is a variety available for all occasions.

Here are my top tips for how to wear shorts.

Style tips

1. Find a length of short that feels comfortable for you. Remember, don’t let the negative interfere too much with finding those comfort levels. Any length from the top of the knees to mid thigh is most flattering on most people. If your legs are shorter, the shorter the short, the more your legs will have the illusion of being lengthened.

2. Create interest by creating contrast in the volume of your shorts’ outfits. With a fitted style of short, contrast that with a loose top. With a loose style if short, contrast that with a fitted or streamlined top.

How to wear shorts - casual

1. Katies cardigan $29.95 | 2. Betty Basics singlet $19.95 @ Birdsnest | 3.  Ruby Olive bangles $23.80 (on sales) | 4. Tony Bianco bag $119.95 | 5. Django and Juliette sandal $169 @ Styletread |  6. JAG shorts $89.95 

3. Wear shorts with sneakers, flat sandals, thongs, wedges or heels. Just choose the right shoe for the right occasion.

4. Don’t be afraid to dress up shorts for a night out. Yes, we mostly think of shorts as a casual outfit option but the right style of shorts really does lend itself as a stylish alternative to a frock or skirt for a summer evening out.

How to wear shorts - evening

1. Country Road top $129 | 2. Trenery shorts $99.95 | 3. Amber Sceats earrings $79.20 @ The Iconic | 4. Mimco clutch $179 | 5. Mollini heels $149.95 @ Styletread | 6. Witchery cuff $69.95

5. Shorts can also make for a summer office outfit. Umm, no denim undies in corporate land but a longer, style of short with a silky top, jacket and block heel or wedge can be right at home in the workplace.

How to wear shorts | the office

1. Belle Bird jacket $119 @ Birdsnest | 2. Belle Bird tank $69.95 @ Birdsnest | 3. Karen Walker necklace $149 @ The Iconic | 4. Country Road bag $279 | 5. Frankie4 Footwear wedges $239.95 | 6. Katies shorts $29.95

6. Think about where your waist sits when seeking out shorts to suit. We can get hung up on our legs but it’s often our waist that gets in the way of finding the right pair of shorts for our body. If you have a long and defined waist, embrace a high-waist short. If, like me, your waist is short, a low-to-mid waist (or buying up a size to wear lower) will give the illusion of extending your torso.

7. Get your legs out there. I know it may mean a bit more prep than in winter – hello hair removal and a faux tan – but there is something quite fun about wearing shorts. You don’t want to miss out, do you?

#everydaystyle inspiration

The real women of #everydaystyle know how to rock a pair of shorts. Take inspiration from these women and make sure you follow them on Instagram.

How to wear shorts | @trysomecolour @fourlittleducksbydesign @stylingyou @morgs71 @fromhandbagswithheels @trysomecolour

Clockwise from top left: @trysomecolour@fourlittleducksbydesign; @stylingyou@morgs71; @fromhandbagswithheels

How to wear shorts | @lovelightandlife @champagnecartel @beachstylemum @desperatelyseekingsuzy

Clockwise from top left:  @lovelightandlife;  @champagnecartel;; @desperatelyseekingsuzy

Do you know it’s almost two years since I first shared my daily outfits on this hashtag? We’ll be celebrating those two years with a lunch at the end of November with about 30 of the women who regularly join in and live near Brisbane. I you live further afield and would like to get yourself to the lunch, email me: [email protected]

Would I find shorts in your summer wardrobe? Found any fab ones of late?

* This post contains some affiliate sales links. You don’t pay any more if you buy something via the links but I may receive a small commission from you doing so.


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Comments 57

  1. Hi, I am desperately looking for shorts to wear. I too, haven’t worn shorts in many many years as I am worried about the way they look on me. I have quiet large thighs and big knees. I am off to Thailand in February and want to find at least two pairs that I feel comfortable in. Can please you recommend?
    Many thanks!

  2. Just found some flat front linen shorts at Suzanne Grae $39.95, so comfy and two great colours grey and neutral just above knee and nice tailoring and I have short chunky legs

  3. I love my navy Trenery shorts from last year. They were great on my last holiday with my – yes you guessed it – my striped top ! I would love to come to your lunch at the end of November. How do I get invited ? @Brisbanefrannie

  4. Over this year I have lost 23kg so this summer I am embracing shorts! At last count I have 6 pairs and all mid thigh or above. I always thought longer shorts would be more flattering but having short legs, shorter shorts seem to work better and give me a little more leg length. Do it ladies they are so comfy 🙂

  5. Thankyou for getting me back into shorts…..last time was about 20 years ago. Your advice has really empowered my leg confidence and opened up my summer wardrobe to new possibilities xx

  6. Such a timely post…I needed this. After putting on a heap of weight and my shorts no longer fitting I needed a push in the shorts direction. This is also where #everydaystyle comes in useful…real women with real legs! Picked up a pair of Katie’s soft shorts to do the job until I manage to get back into my others and I have to say, I’m so pleased with them 🙂

  7. I love wearing shorts but have always been concerned as I am nearly 60, however I always try to wear longer style with a lovely top. I am certainly going to take on board your tips.

  8. I must say, my new $10 Kmart denim drawstring shorts got a serious work out at the beach on the weekend. Bargain! Not dissimilar to the Country Road shorts from last season. Luffing them sick!

  9. I’m always telling people to roll up their shorts or buy shorter ones. The length and where it hits your leg makes such a different depending on the shape and distribution of your leg. I’m team shorts! Thank goodness it’s that time of year again.

  10. I find it hard to shop for shorts, but I have some Boohoo ones that fit me perfectly! I usually stick with capris but this year I have seen some gorgeous shorts- those Katies ones in your office suggestion are beautiful.

  11. Interesting – this is highly controversial, but I don’t much like the way shorts look on most adults, either men and women. Obviously there are exceptions, but to my eye, they look university-ish, where most skirts and dresses and trousers look more sleek.

    I hope I’m not adding to anyone’s internal negative chatter! It’s nothing to do with anyone’s body type, it’s simply the styling.

  12. Yes, yes and yes! And one more yes just to confirm ! Thank you Nikki for putting it out there, why are we so obsessed about having the perfect body before stepping outdoors? What a way to live ! Time to get over ourselves girls and wear shorts if that’s what you feel like wearing. By the way after reading your blog today Nikki I jumped onto Jag and got myself a few more pairs of Tomboy shorts. I’m so glad they are still producing this style as I did buy some last summer. They are great for social, casual, and even golf wear. Perfect length for me anyway. And it’s also great seeing all your style picks from the Spring shop everywhere !! We all need to save ourselves time and just buy everything you put up in your online store, you have an amazing ability for picking the key pieces that will trend ! Congratulations!

  13. Love this post Nikki, I’ve got a pair of black shorts on today with a grey T (and black GEORGiE’s 😉 ), but as I’m super self conscious about my cellulite at the back, I simply tie my chambray shirt around my waist to cover any dimples. Coverage at the back, pins out at the front. Win win. Get your pins out ladies!

  14. Love this post Nikki, I’ve got a pair of black shorts on today with a grey T (and black GEORGiE’s 😉 ), but as I’m super self conscious about my cellulite at the back, I simply tie my chambray shirt around my waist to cover any dimples. Coverage at the back, pins out at the front. Win win. Get your pins out ladies!

  15. Wow those girls look great. I love my shorts but they were only ever part of my ‘at home’ wardrobe before I ‘met’ you. Now, apart from work, cos I’d freeze to death, they’re my everyday/doing whatever item of choice.

  16. thanks nikki!
    everyone looks good!
    not a shorts girl myself! have had c r black linen ones which I wore to death once upon a time! … no need here! … maybe at home or to the beach!
    who knows I won’t say never, but I can guarantee I won’t be wearing them with heels, to a dooo! lol m:)X

  17. Hi Nikki, as one of your curvier followers, the Coles Mix Walking Shorts are my go to when spring rolls around. Great length, cut and range of colours, even a soft chambray this year. Great post x

  18. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve injured my foot and now have to wear the very stylist moon boot for some time so shorts/skirts are what I’ll have to wear for now until Xmas. Thanks for cheering me up with your post Nikki!

  19. Thanks, Nikki! I’m still looking for those elusive perfect shorts. The closest I came was Boden, the other day. Once I worked out their sizing! Happy Wednesday. Jude

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