Love Brooklyn’s and Runcarla’s tips about “formal/structured shorts” or “city shorts.” I used to have a couple pairs of very short, very structured shorts in fancy dark fabrics with sheen— like taffeta. I wore them with tights and boots, or tights and heels, and felt it looked like a miniskirt. They were great for concerts or evening events.

Chewyspaghetti - that is a good point about looking at kibbe style for the type of shorts to suit me.

Rachy - a collared shirt would definitely provide a Preppy element and may be fun for me to explore.

JAileen - you have a great collection and I agree, when the weather is so hot, shorts are a very good solution and there is no need to apologise.

Angie - thank you - wow, that blogger looks fabulous in her denim jeans - the lucky thing, she has great legs.

Mirjana - thank you for the vote of confidence.

Suz - you make a very good point. Whilst culturally in Australia shorts are worn, they were rarely worn by my own Mother and only to the beach or poolside. Your post has made me reflect upon why I hesitate to wear shorts and there are three reasons:
1. I have never worn them much
2. I have a preference for modest and covered clothing
3. I have healthy legs which are fine for a woman of my age, but not a part of my body I have any desire to attract attention to.

LisaP - you make a good point about your Mum and what it is like to come from a sporty family.

Janet - yes, you can count me in on that Club too - I often see pictures of Anna dello Russo at age 59 rocking a mini skirt and think good on her because she has amazing legs.

Sal - I want to see what shorts you intend to wear this summer!

UmmLila - we have to put you in the 'great legs' Club along with LisaP and Annagybe. Your tip on wearing camisoles and tank tops is a great idea and I will look to wear those too as the weather heats up.

Carla - with your sporty figure you were made to wear shorts or all lengths. I love the idea of a dressy shorts suit for you.

Shevia - My Grandmother was similar, and I imagine NEVER, ever wore shorts herself.

Brooklyn - I love where you are going with those picks. Very pretty shorts and have a similar vibe to your flowing skirts.

Jessikams - dressy shorts could be fun for me and are something that I will look out for.

If a collared shirt, then I vote stand up collar.

Shorts aren’t always appropriate, but when they are, legs are always appropriate. Makes me sad to think that some avoid the cool comfort of shorts because their legs aren’t “worth showing off”. I guess not everyone wants to be a revolutionary, but how will the idea that you have to have a certain body type ever change if no one steps out in shorts with a normal, happy, healthy body that doesn’t follow those sizes/proportion guidelines? Bijou, you’ve got great legs anyway, but even if you didn’t, I’d say go for the shorts in that weather.

Living in the same city as you, I'm watching this thread with interest!

I find shorts very difficult and I wonder if you relate to to my reasons. My teenage daughters live in them out of school in summer and as you've said, they are very commonly worn in out city. My challenges are
1. Finding something that will fit both thighs and waist
2. Finding legs that won't rub against each other and bunch up in the inner legs.

I also have the challenge of very short legs that happen to be one of the bigger part of me.

I have only one decent pair and they are 10+ years old. Pinstripe, tailored, very low waist so less of a fit problem and non crushable.

But new ones have been on my shopping list for a few years now.

As to what to wear with them, my favourite look on others is a floaty woven top - something like this (just picked from an image search, I don't have it)

Fashintern - thank you - you are wise to remind me to be thankful for the healthy legs that I have. I have edited my comment above to reflect that.

Anne - I have bought the denim shorts in my Finds and will report back on them once the heat of summer arrives. I bought them online in a 70% off sale. I have tried the shorts on and they fit well, sitting a bit below my waist, very much like jeans and I don't expect that my legs will rub against each other in them. As they are relatively fitted, they are unlikely to bunch up, but are not pretty in themselves and need a feminine support act to feel true to my style. Have you seen Brooklyn's finds some of which are from Witchery and look beautiful?
I hear you on your teens in shorts and how gorgeous they look, that carefree look is just stunning and a real celebration of youthful beauty. However, that does not mean that we can't rock shorts in our our way and perhaps it is important, in terms of role modelling to our children, that we do.

I'm late here, but your finds look fab so I say go for it! Like many posters, I wear shorts with a woven top (usually a button down) and usually clogs or clog sandals. I hope you will post some of your shorts outfits--I'm sure you will bring the print-mixing glamour :)!

A disappointing 2020 shorts summer got me thinking a lot about this, Bijou. I like Bermudas--nothing else these days--which made me go down the rabbit hole of "why?"

Turns out shorts for me are much like other bottoms for a long-waisted hour glass: must be high-waisted; must be forgiving around the hips and thighs; must taper to control volume on the bottom; must hit the knee at a flattering place. Belts match bottoms, not tops.

Top proportions are the same as other outfit favorites, too: cropped or tucked...but not welted like my winter sweaters. Like Janet said, I need "breezy" in the summer: sleeveless fluid fabrics or linen for boxy crops or tucked blouses that do not cling. I do like long sleeves with shorts in the fall. I'll be pairing with a few coordinating blazers in the fall, too.

Complements are in belts, footwear (closed & open toe), bags, and especially big earrings!

Talbots had great Bermudas this season--so much so, I bought five pairs at full price (yes, moi! I did not want another 2020!) I'm usually between sizes and went up for comfort (waistband still only just hits my navel). I know forum members and Angie might have preferred the smaller size, but I'm delighted with the fit with a good belt. Plenty are on sale on the website. 2021 was an excellent shorts season!

Bijou - I have the denim shorts and black shorts below. The denim are super practical for the beach and casual days at home. The black are smarter but the legs can ride up a bit - I think it is the very textured fabric that sort of grabs.

I intend to cut my white jeans off once spring arrives. I will do so cautiously but thinking mid thigh.

I LOVE the floral witchery shorts Brooklyn posted above but they are not online at Witchery here.

Like Anne, I find shorts a harder fit than pants or skirts or dresses. Definitely more trial and error involved to get a great pair for me!!

Jonesy - clogs or clog sandals is a great way to balance shorts and also give them an injection of current style.

Column - thank you for your style suggestions and what works for you and how you add style through your tops and complements. Thinking about my shape is definitely worth it to get the right cut of shorts. I am thrilled to hear that 2021 was a good year for shorts for you. You are so wise, now that you have found your perfect shorts, to duplicate.

Sal - my denim shorts will act in a similar way to yours. I too am a super easy to fit dress and skirt girl - shorts and pants are WAY harder for me too. I think it is because my figure is hourglass / pear and so fitting the lower half of my body is always harder than my top. I really love the tropical camo print shorts, they are a great fit and I love the colour. It is a pretty camo. I thought the denim shorts would be the standout - but once I tried them on, the camo is my favourite. Of course, being a print they are less versatile than the plain shorts, but I am glad that I took the plunge and bought them.

I got too small for my 2019 shorts which were pretty much a placeholder anyway. So I donated them early this year and bought 2 new pairs. One was mainly for my walks and has big pockets, sold out now, was the same as this black pic but in a pretty cornflower blue. I don’t think they do much for me but the purpose is to increase fitness. Linen/viscose.
The second pair are better, smarter, longer,on/near my knees, linen, and I will wear with my Witchery animal T-shirt and nice gold sandals and *might* even tuck in! They might even be suitable to be seen socially!
I have tended to not be seen in shorts much due to vanity about my legs looking pale and with prominent veins. I try to accept my body but sometimes don’t manage that too well. Thus the almost to the knee white linen will likely have me feeling more covered but still hopefully cool.
( I wore the blue ones 11 times and the white ones 18 times after buying them in early Feb. I assume from these numbers that I must have been doing walks in the white ones also, which do have pockets but the pockets- for water bottle, phone and asthma inhaler- are smaller).

This post has 3 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.

Jenni - thank you for your thoughtful response. I really like your white shorts, they look dressy and will be gorgeous on you with with Witchery top.

I know what you mean about pale legs showing up those pesky spider veins. I really envy my DH and DS with their lovely olive complexions, they look perpetually sunkissed year round. I find a moisturiser with a touch of self tanning lotion (I use Dove's Summer Glow - which is fool proof as it has only a little bit of self tanning and so does not go all streaky) helps to take the luminous edge off my very pale legs at the beginning of summer.

I haven't worn my shorts this summer because of my ongoing problem with the right knee - supportive knee sleeve would be too visible ( midi skirts as the solution ). Before that I did sleeveless tops with collared shirts worn open as toppers ( rolled sleeves ).
Any tops in silky fabric like rayon ( or actual silk ) made me feel better dressed than tee shirts when worn with shorts.
I have denim shorts in slightly shorter length than bermuda style that I intend to wear again when on vacation. Super short shorts in linen or cut off denim maybe going to someone else since I'm starting to feel too shy for them .
Your style is always so pretty, feminine and just lovely - can't see you having any trouble making a nice summer outfit with the pieces you have posted! I'll wait for the pictures - you are on the right track as everyone said already.

I used to wear bermuda shorts like the JAG shorts Janet showed. Have several pairs, but they're in a box someplace in the attic and I never got them out this or last summer. I also used to wear a lot of tech fabric shorts on a regular basis, but now am only wearing them to hike. My sister and I have recently and definitively agreed that our legs are just NOT our best feature at our ages - shape-wise, veins-wise, etc! Must be why I've leaned much more toward the midi length cross-back dresses and ripskirts this summer.

I love shorts, and especially like seeing them dressed up occasionally. Lots of great suggestions here!

I don't know that I'll be any help, Bijou, and you've gotten a lot of great ideas. But for what it's worth, I love shorts, and I wear them for appropriate activities from April/May into October/November.

Perhaps it's the climate, since my mother (ladylike and modest) always wore shorts in the summer, and even had plenty of smart casual shorts sets in the late 80s/early 90s. It's been a while since I've seen my grandmother in them, but she definitely wore them at her house when I was younger. So I've never grown up with a stigma about them, except for obvious places they, and other things, aren't appropriate.

I am picky about the fit. Mine are all denim and get worn in pretty quickly. Not tight in the crotch, and definitely not tight in the thigh. My thighs are not small, so shorter inseams tend to go with flared leg styles. The sweet spot is about 5"; anything longer is cut like a stovepipe and emphasizes my thighs, in addition to being horribly uncomfortable (hot and tight and restricting).

Right now I have three pair (two sizes) all in the same kind, a random brand and cut I found at Kohl's two years ago. They must have been a fluke, since I tried to get more but they were totally sold out in other stores and online. The fronts are non-stretch denim and the backs stretch! Very unusual, but perfect for me.

I almost always pair them with graphic t-shirts. I've got quite a few, they're easy to wash when I sweat in them (which I will), they're fun, and they have the right balance of shoulder fit, waist definition, and length to go untucked. Blousey blouses just aren't a good look with short flared shorts (at least not on me). I've got half a dozen pair of sandals, and sometimes basic white lace-up Keds.

I'll wear this sort of thing for all kinds of errands and shopping, choir rehearsal, Bible study, casual visits, and projects or laying around at home. Just my basic uniform that's always comfortable. (The biggest consideration is if I'll be somewhere with high air conditioning for an extended period of time!)

I had a similar question as our summer started here. I came to the realization that a top other than a tee--just as you suggest--was the key to feeling a bit more put-together in a shorts outfit. When it gets super-hot I found I prefer a simple linen or cotton dress to shorts and a top.

May I ask a tangental question? Some sports are best suited for specific body types—gymnastics for short people, basketball if you’re tall, jockeys are light weight. Other sports are known for the way they shape athletes’ bodies: swimmers have broad shoulders (& chests if they swim breaststroke) and bubblebutts, soccer players have big thighs… What do people who do martial arts look like? I truly have no clue, beyond Bruce Lee. During competition you’re covered up by loose clothing, but underneath it, is there a typical body type?

Slim Cat - I think you are right that I will prefer wearing my shorts with blouses rather than a t-shirt in summer.

Laurie - wearing shorts to exercise makes sense even if you don't want to wear shorts for day to day activities. The ripskirt is a great casual alternative to shorts.

Ginger - thank you for your detailed response. I am sure you look fabulous in your shorts. Making sure the tops balance the shorts is a good idea. I will have to play in my closet to see what works.

Firecracker - you definitely came upon a winning formula. I have been very inspired by your shorts outfits from this summer.

Fashintern - it is an interesting question and I don't think there is a typical body type. Different styles of martial arts suit different people and even in the same style, you see a range of body types. The best people at karate have good co-ordination, strength and flexibility.