How to Wear Shorts—No Matter Your Body Type!

Tips on how to sport shorts

By Diana Nguyen Aug 21, 2015 2:28 AMTags

Shorts are a pretty basic concept: They have the flexibility of pants and mimic the proportions of skirts. Still, many cringe at the thought of the closet staple as much as Tinder pickup lines (real story: "What Disney princess did you kill to get a smile like that?").

Perhaps it's because no pair seems to fit quite right or you feel it cuts you in all the wrong places, but we're telling you: If there's a will, there's a flattering way.

Here, suggested scenarios that may have stirred your shorts anxiety—and the perfect pieces to overcome any doubt.

When you want hide a food baby: When you're feeling a little bloated and can't bear restrictive waistbands, opt for elastic or draw-string shorts. The band automatically scrunches up lightweight fabrics, like linen or silk, and camouflages any unwanted curves. The looser the fit, the better. We're not saying Jamie Chung has something to hide, but you wouldn't know it if she was—and that's the point!

Michael Michael Kors Embroidered Crepe Shorts, $135; Rag & Bone Holten Printed Silk Shorts, $149; Prabal Gurung Silk Chiffon Shorts, $237; H&M Shorts With Tie Belt, $29.99

When you want to avoid swamp legs: It's hot or humid or both. You're sitting on a chair. You get up and you can feel the sweat dripping down your legs. We've all experienced that green-house effect before. You can't really avoid the heat but you can air things out below with shorts with perforated, lace or sheer detailing. The ventilation helps!

H&M Satin Shorts, $29.99; Drome Perforated Shorts, $262.62; Alexander Wang Perforated Shorts, $691.30; Topshop High-Waisted Lace Trim Shorts, $45

When the thigh struggle is real: Whatever your size, you may have hips or thighs that make shorts uncomfortable to live in. In this case, it's all about proportions. A-line silhouettes are your friends. A high waist will cinch in your waist above the hips, and pieces that are mid-thigh or longer and roomier on bottom will make your thighs look slimmer. Read: no chafing!

Paul & Joe Cotton-Silk High-Waisted Shorts, $237; Noon by Noor Clematis Culoote Shorts, $223; Zimmermann Anais floral-print cotton and silk-blend voile shorts, $350; Rag & Bone Boyfriend Short, $119

When you want to create curves: The best way to fake a shapelier silhouette is to create dimension. Opt for more structured shorts or a pair with pleating, peplum or draping details, which won't just create volume below but it'll draw the eyes as well.

Red Valentino Twill Shorts, $295; Satoko Ozawa Pleated Shorts, $615; L'Agence Black Check Pleated Shorts, $230; ATM Blue and White Stripe Pleated Boyfriend Shorts, $195

When you want to stretch it out: If you have a long torso, opt for a high waist or a thick waistband to shorten your upper half. If you have a short torso, go for a low-rise pair, which will give you a few more inches up top. As Taylor Swift proves, shorts can never be too short to wear heels!

Jill Stuart Sky Chambray Belted Shorts, $224; Topshop Boucle Striped High-Waisted Shorts, $20; H&M Striped Shorts, $15; Apiece Apart Vino Thatch Jacquard Veneta Short Shorts, $176

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