3 ways to wear shorts this summer: work, casual and evening

3 ways to wear shorts in summer but still feel dressed up

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 10 Comments


They’re up there with a swimsuit in the wardrobe department, another piece of clothing that can make even the most confident woman run a mile.

Me, I love them. Not all of them. No, not all of them love me either. But I do have a great short selection in my wardrobe.

I like that I have a non-dress or skirt option in summer when it’s just too damn hot to have anything covering my legs in their entirety.

Are my legs perfect? Not on your life. But they are perfect for me. They get me from place to place, they now even run 5km now and they get a good stretch at Pilates.

A bit like a swimsuit, if I held back on wearing shorts until my legs were perfect, I’d miss out on summer wardrobe comfort.

In this post, I’m sharing my tips for choosing shorts for your legs, plus three ways to wear shorts in summer but still feel dressed up.

3 ways to wear shorts in summer: work, casual and evening

WORK: 1. Katies linen blend shorts $49.95 | 2. Bird Keepers blazer $89.95 | 3. Country Road silk tank $119 | 4. Oroton tote $148.50 (on sale) | 5. Samantha Wills necklace $159.95| 6. Michael Kors watch $479| 7. FRANKiE4 Footwear CATE heels $219.95

CASUAL: 1. Bohemian Traders denim shorts $139 | 2. Boho Bird top $119.95 (coming soon) | 3. Sportsgirl earrings $24.95  | 4. Minkpink sunnies $49.95 | 5. Ruby Olive bangle set $35 | 6. Dotti bag $39.95 | 7. FRANKiE4 Footwear LiLLi slide

EVENING: 1. Country Road shorts $139 | 2. Motto top $99.95 | 3. Jimena Alejandra earrings $229 | 4. Country Road choker $29.95 | 5. Country Road clutch $149 | 6. Uberkate cocktail ring $195 | 7. FRANKiE4 Footwear ALANA heels $219.95

Tips for wearing shorts in summer

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.

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.

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.

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. Don’t wan’t do shorts? Avoid the three-quarter pant. Opt instead for a wider leg pant that crops in just above the ankle. A pant that finishes on the widest part of your lower leg – the calf – can give the illusion of being shorter. To elongate the leg in a cropped pant, wear either heels, wedges or a slide that it minimalist on the foot.

My number one tip? Just get your legs out there. Do a post-winter deforestation, if you have done so already. Whack on my favourite gradual fake tan and start by just wearing shorts around the house to build up your confidence. 

So, tell me, are you a shorts-wearing girl? What is your favourite style and how do you wear them?

Comments 10

  1. I wear shorts a fair bit. I think I was lucky that I managed to graduate from teenage/early-20s-hood to adulthood without anyone telling me that I shouldn’t wear shorts or that my legs had to be a certain way if I wanted to wear shorts – which is surprising because like everyone else I have my share of body hang-ups.

    I’m really enjoying your tips and advice.

    1. Post
  2. Useful tips – thanks! I need a new shorts-drobe this yea -! I decided at the end of summer that my black shorts were too faded and denim shorts worn thin, so I binned them…and of course never replaced! I have a well-defined waste but *solid* thighs that can cause fabric to bunch, so always find shorts shopping pretty tricky

  3. I’ve got back into wearing shorts in the last year or so (after some convincing) & have a striped pair from Saba that I wear in the evening. I’m currently on the hunt for a pair I could wear either during the day or dress up or down, but it’s been hard work for this pear-shaped gal sadly. Going to have a look at both the Katies + Country Road pairs you’ve mentioned as I need/want something that’s (maybe) high-waisted to suit my defined waist yet loose enough for my curvaceous upper legs.

  4. Hah. Love your turn of phrase. Nikki. (Some shorts I love. Not all…. But then not all love me.) I love your fun yet pragmatic approach to fashion and style. Thanks for this shorts inspo.

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.