Not all middle-aged women are 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 and feel good about it.
1. Choose a Flattering Length
How short is too short when you’re middle-aged or more? Determining the best length of shorts to wear is always tricky. It basically boils down to three things – your figure, where you plan to wear your shorts, and your confidence level. The three most popular lengths are:
- Short Shorts
These are easiest to wear when your legs are very toned. Aim for short shorts with an inseam that is minimum, 4″ -5″. 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 definitely on the short side, but they work. They would look nice at a backyard BBQ, a trip to the beach, on a boat. I’m wearing them with a sleeveless button-up blouse, rather than just a t-shirt, to upscale the look.
- Medium Length Shorts
This is one of the most popular lengths of shorts for women over 40. When you don’t want to reveal too much leg, but you also don’t want to wear Bermuda or walking shorts, then choose a medium length short.
Medium length shorts have a 5-10″ inseam and end a few inches above the knee. This pair of navy nautical-inspired shorts wide the side pocket buttons has a 5″ inch inseam.
- Long Shorts
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 usually have an inseam of about 11 inches. These are a good choice for women over 50, who feel more comfortable with lots of leg coverage.
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. Don’t Wear Tight Shorts
Tight shorts, especially in the thighs, are aging and all too common. If you have side pockets, they lie flat. If they flare out, your shorts are too tight.
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 that look classic and chic. These high waist shorts with the tie are trendy at the moment. Soft, silky shorts can also look classy on the right figure.
As for denim shorts for women…
- 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 for women ( Daisy Dukes).
4. Don’t Wear 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. Balance it out.
5. Wear Fabulous 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 that 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.
Rock a great pair of shorts from Amazon.
Who has a great selection of shorts right now?
TALBOTS – They have tons! Lots of Bermudas but shorter ones too
NORSTROM -An excellent modern selection
CHICOS – A colorful selection of long and shorter