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!
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!
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!
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.
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!