Dear Fraidy-Cat, Do You Suffer From FOS (Fear Of Shorts)? Help Is At Hand
On any given day "at the office" (aka Sandpiper Clothiers in Naples), I help a good 30 women find the ideal shorts for their body type. I've seen it all and I've helped it all.
And now with spring bearing down on us, and temperatures already creeping up, just about each and every one of you will be looking to round-out your shorts wardrobes.
If that scares the bejesus out of you, let me step in and offer a little assistance.
4 Steps To
1. Determine beforehand whether you're short- or long-waisted. According to the World Wide Interweb, this is the easiest way to ascertain that: Stand up straight, and if you can fit two full hand-widths between the bottom of your bust and your natural waist (i.e., the slimmest part of your stomach), you're average. If your hand-widths extend below the slimmest part, you're short-waisted. If they don't quite reach the slimmest part, you're long-waisted.
2. Allot real time for shopping. At the very least, you'll need 30 minutes. If you're a Picky Petunia, give yourself a longer window.
3. Check your rear-view. Make sure to get a 360-degree view of the back of your legs. Any glance of dangling derriere is vulgar. And at certain chi-chi resorts around the state, you may even be asked to cover up or change.
4. On the other hand, don't go for major length. Too long, and they look like cropped pants. The longest shorts in your wardrobe should still be at least 2 inches above your knees - or wherever your thigh is thinnest. That's the most flattering length, end of story. It kills me when I see older women looking for long shorts in the men’s section because they want to cover their knees. It’s like they've given up. Don't give up. Ever.
If you’re near a Lilly Pulitzer store, they offer the most comprehensive range of lengths (3” - 10”) and sizes in cute prints and bold solid colors. Expect to spend $88 and up, but you will leave with something perfect for your body type.
Inch By Inch:
Super Specific Thoughts
3” - Even if you're a young whippersnapper, this is a length reserved only for the exceptionally toned. Unfortunately, it's available in abundance, despite the fact that it’s not flattering unless your legs are perfection: no jelly, no veins, tight tiny buns. If you can rock it - try Bella Dahl, a hip Hollywood mom favorite. (Think the exceptionally chic Kate Bosworth, Beyoncé, Chrissy Teigen.) When opting for a 3-incher, pay close attention to what you're wearing on top. Proportion is key: anything too long makes it look as though you're wearing nada on the bottom, a frequent sight among younger women wearing over-sized jerseys.
And if you can pull off a 3” short, consider cute printed rompers from Lilly and Bella Dahl. They're very short, but on the right woman, sexy without being vulgar.
5” - If I could only buy one pair for daily wear, it would be Southern Tide's Caroline short. It looks short on the hanger but hits the thigh in the right place for many women, no matter your age. The fabrication is stretchy, keeping it in place all day so you’re never tugging at the waist or pulling it down. Gorgeous colors to boot.
7-10” - These are perfect for staying cool while hiding your jiggly bits. In addition to Lilly, try JCrew and Saint James, a classic French brand shown here - on that adorbs young lassie with the bangs. Chic, non? Saint James offers cool linens and cottons at slimming - not matronly - lengths.
Still feeling a little "shorts shy"? Try a skort. Gretchen Scott's are darling - not too long or short, in playful prints. Lilly also offers cute skorts in solids and prints, but be forewarned: they're a little on the short side.