Not every woman over 40 feels comfortable in shorts, and that’s perfectly o.k. But if you want to wear them, there’s no rule or reason you can’t. Here’s how to pull off shorts at 40, 50 and beyond
1. The Right Length
Determining the best length is always tricky. How short is too short when you’re middle-aged or more? It really depends on a few things, such as your figure, where you plan to wear your shorts and your confidence level. There are three basic lengths of shorts:
Short – If your legs are toned, you’ll have no problem looking great in a pair of short shorts. Aim for an inseam that is at minimum, 4″ or longer. Anything shorter will look skimpy and unflattering on a grown-up gal.
These short navy & white striped shorts I’m wearing (above), have a 4.5-inch inseam. They’re short, but totally appropriate and would look nice at a backyard BBQ, a trip to the beach, etc. I’m wearing them with a sleeveless blouse to upscale the look.
Medium – If you don’t want to reveal too much leg, but you also don’t want to wear shorts that go right down to your knees, then choose a medium length short.
Medium length shorts have a 5-10″ inseam and end a few inches above the knee. This white pair of shorts, above, has a 7″ inseam and a roll-up hem so you can adjust your shorts to find the perfect length where you feel comfortable.
Long – Classic Bermuda shorts that end at the top of the knee are a great choice if your legs are not as firm as they used to be, or you need a pair of shorts that are a little more formal. Bermuda shorts have an inseam of about 11 inches.
Tip: If you’re still unsure about what length to wear, try this trick. Lay your arms down by your sides. Where do your fingertips end? That’s usually a comfortable minimum length for wearing shorts for most women.
2. Make Sure your Shorts are not Too Tight
Tight shorts, especially in the thighs, are aging and all too common. If you have side pockets, they should not flare out.
3. Buy Quality Shorts
Even a relaxed, casual pair of cotton shorts should look classy and fit well. You can never go wrong with crisp, tailored shorts which look classic and chic. Soft, silky shorts can also look classy on the right figure.
As for jean shorts…
- A dark wash jean is dressier and more slimming.
- Chambray is modern but looks more relaxed.
- Stay away from short, faded, distressed or frayed cut off jean shorts ( Daisy Dukes).
4. Avoid Wearing Skimpy Tops with Your Shorts
You want to look classy, not trashy. If you are showing off a lot of leg, then it’s best to stay a little more covered up above the waist. A skimpy top and short shorts start to look tacky over 40, unless you are in the privacy of your own backyard.
5. Wear Chic Accessories with Your Shorts
Shorts and rubber flip-flops + not much else, looks plain and junior. Add fab jewelry, a great tote, cute sandals, and you’ve got a grown-up ensemble.
The bottom line is shorts for women over 40 look great when you put a little effort and thought into your overall look! For more ideas on how to wear shorts check these tips for Cute and Classy Ways to Style Shorts.