Finding the Most Flattering Shorts to Camouflage Problem Areas

Summer fashion calls for fewer layers and showing more skin, and shorts are definitely one of the most popular and essential summer staples that everyone love to pull off. If you are shying away from the staple only because you think you don’t have a body to flaunt it, think again and start getting a leg up with the right style of shorts for your shape. Whether you’ve got short or long legs, a tummy, or wide hips, or bottom heavy, yes, you can still wear these flattering cuts in short, medium, and long styles.

Everybody has their own body shape, whether you’re naturally skinny or you were born big-boned, or even if you have some ‘problem’ area you just can’t seem to shift, there’s always a way to fashion with shorts. The great thing about shorts is that they can be dressed up or down depending on how you style the look. Here are some tips and styles to show off your shape in shorts.

If You Have a Tummy

Shorts for Round TummyWhat to look for: A generous fit through the middle to keep you comfortable and a wide waistband to help hold you in and keep your stomach looking flat. You could also look for a roomy cut through the waist for more interest. Just minimize pockets, pleats and gathers near the waist which only magnifies this “problem” area. Or wear skinny belt to create curve around the area

Shorts for Round BellyDepending on the person, you could either choose a mid- or low-rise cut because sometimes high waistbands emphasize the very area you are trying to mask, or you could as well go with high-waisted cut to avoid a “muffin top”. Just make sure to pick a cut that nips your waistline, making it slimmer and more defined.

Shorts Outfits for Round Belly Shorts Outfits for Round TummyWhat to pair them with: A flowy Empire-waist top or top with a long shirttails and rounded hems to camouflage the tummy. Choose simple tailored jackets that nip in at your waist or belted jackets to give the illusion of a smaller waist and this will trim in your tummy area.

If You Have Curve or Wide Hips

Shorts for Curvy HipsWhat to look for: High-waisted shorts with body-skimming (not tight) cut that creates a straight (not tapered) line from the widest part of the hips down to the hems are your best friend to emphasize that dainty just-below-the-ribcage area and downplay thighs. Don’t forget to keep the shorts sleek with simple details, prints, and colors.

Shorts for Wide HipsTo accommodate full thighs, choose a style with a longer inseam and slightly wider legs. Make sure everything is fit – not too tight, ride up or gather in the place where your hip meets your thigh – nothing looks worse than ill-fitting shorts. Shorts should lay smooth and flat. Or, you could also avoid pockets that line up with the side seams. These tend to pop open and emphasize the hips and thighs.

Shorts Outfits for Curvy Hips Shorts Outfits for Wide HipsWhat to pair them with: A slim-fit top or a button-down with a skinny belt. Or go with an eye-catching embellished blouse or a statement-making necklace to bring all eyes to your top half.

If You Have Full Thighs

Shorts for Big ThighsWhat to look for: Women with this “problem” usually look for the safest shorts which is a trim in slim-cut Bermudas that cover their quads. But for more flattering look, it’s better to stay away from figure-hugging shorts and look for wide-leg shorts that hit mid-thigh. Make sure your shorts aren’t too big that only adds bulk, and minimize pleats, bulky back pockets, or side pockets that could create “wings” or give a bubble butt.

As for waist and height, depending on the person and cut of the shorts, a low waist saves you from the frump factor, while some people with full thighs and round tummy could also try high-waisted shorts to avoid a “muffin top”.

Shorts for Full ThighsMoreover, longer shorts can actually have the opposite effect and draw more attention to the thighs, so better to choose shorts that hit at mid-thigh. The Boyfriend style or those structured, tailored shorts are really flattering as it sits low on the hip and is cut loose. This style can also be dressed up or dressed down with, and are definitely your go-to style.

Shorts Outfits for Big Thighs Shorts Outfits for Full ThighsWhat to pair them with: A slim-fit top or a button-down with a skinny belt. Or go with an eye-catching embellished blouse or a statement-making necklace to bring all eyes to your top half.

If You Have Skinny Legs

Shorts for Skinny LegsWhat to look for: Low rise styles are flattering on women with long, skinny legs, but if your legs are shorts, better to opt for high waist shorts for adding more height to the legs. Find shorts that fit you well – the best fit is typically neither tight, nor baggy – and the shorter you go, the better it will be. You don’t need a pair of shorts that could pass for panties, but by showcasing your thighs a little bit more, your legs will look a bit fuller.

Not to mention, styles with cuffs or turn ups can work well on your figure, because they create a visual horizontal break, while slim-fitting Bermuda in brightly color and prints could be your best option if you want to go for longer style.

Shorts for Thin LegsWith long or thin legs you are free to indulge in shorts that feature decoration or detailing. If you want to create visual volume on your thin legs, do it with shorts that have bright, large patterns or details to attract attention and do a lot to fill up spaces. Although women with petite figure are told to avoid wearing brightly patterned clothes, but especially for shorts, brightly big patterns are perfect for petite shape since these patterns do a lot to overwhelm small areas. Balance the patterns with elegant mix-and-match such as simple tops in solid and neutral shade.

Shorts Outfits for Skinny Legs Shorts Outfits for Thin LegsWhat to pair them with: Depending on the shape of your upper body, basically you can go with any type of tops. Make sure your tops best suited to your figure.

If You Have Short Legs

Shorts for Short LegsWhat to look for: Shorter legs means you can wear shorter inseams. In fact, the tinier the cut, the taller you’ll seem. Just pick a pair with a five-inch (or so) inseam to play up your legs then add heels for the illusion of height. Shorts with vertical details such as piping, pleats and vertical rows of buttons could also create a strong vertical line and make your lower body look longer.

Shorts for Short LegYou basically can wear all different types of shorts, including high waist shorts that trick the eye into believing your legs start at a higher point than they actually do. While Bermuda and boyfriend shorts are an excellent choice if you don’t like the thought of showing off your thighs. They fall above the knee but are longer than mini shorts and look more dressy-casual than denim shorts. Not to mention, shorts in a similar color to your skin such as beige and tan help elongate your legs without chopping it up like contrasting black and dark blue.

Shorts Outfits for Short Legs Shorts Outfits for Short LegWhat to pair them with: If you really want to make your body look visually taller and leaner, heels can make any legs look instantly longer, but make sure you opt for the right style and height for your personal style as well for the shape and thickness of your legs, while shoes in skin-tone colors such as brown, cream, tan and beige can also create longer legs. Don’t forget to pair your shorts with best fitting top and never give up on such a classic and versatile wardrobe staple. Last but not least, see article “Fashion Tips and Style If You are a Petite Woman” to know more ideas and tips about petite figure fashion tips

If You Have Muscular Calves

Shorts for Muscular CalvesWhat to look for: Shorts that make your legs look longer and leaner. Pay attention to small details of your shorts, and opt for pieces that not visually “chop up” your body. For example, shorts that come with contrasting colors such as cuffed denim shorts in different shades or horizontal fade creases. Just like shorts for short legs, for women with stubby-looking legs, their goal is to find shorts with vertical details.   Shorts for Athletic CalvesShorter shorts are best on shorter legs as well as those with muscular legs. Meaning the more skin showing, the better, because longer hems tend to empower your height. Better to avoid shorts that are below-the knee or anything that hits the widest part or the top of your calves since they tend to bring attention to your wide calves and make you look shorter. Opt for high waist shorts, Bermuda or boyfriend shorts, or shorts in a similar color to your skinShorts Outfits for Athletic Calves Shorts Outfits for Muscular CalvesWhat to pair them with: Shoes in similar skin color can be your best option to create visually leaner legs. Or you can also match your shoes with the color of your shorts. For colder months, tights or stockings are excellent to make your legs warm and disguise your muscular legs.

If you want to opt for heels to add height, choose your heels wisely. The right style for your short and wider-looking legs would be shoes with a little bit of a platform sole and/or sturdy heels. A thicker stacked heel, wedge or platform shoe balances out heavy legs, while skinny stilettos create too much contrast and exaggerate huge calves. Ankle straps shorten your legs unless they’re shaped as a ‘T’ – think T-straps.

Finally, for more ideas and tips on short fashion, take a look at these articles below
How to Wear Shorts best for Your Body Type
15 Shorts Ideas Great for Spring and Summer 2014
What to Wear with Shorts on Different Occasions
Various Cute Short Outfit Ideas for All Seasons

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4 comments on «Finding the Most Flattering Shorts to Camouflage Problem Areas»

  1. meg white says:

    Would you please cite the brand/link/polyvore so I can shop your boards above? Great picks. The items I am hoping to purchase are

    The black shoes here:

    White Shorts:
    Navy Shorts:



    1. dee-nee says:

      Hi Megan,

      You can purchase:
      The black shoes at Shopbop
      White shorts at Old Navy
      and about the Navy Shorts, I’m really sorry that I made mistake with the picture. It’s not plus size (my bad for not checking the product earlier) … It’s shorts from 3.1 Phillip Lim
      here are three alternatives I found in plus size with similar designs :
      Pleated Scuba Knit Shorts
      Dreamy Linen-Blend Shorts
      Alice & You Tailored Short

      Thanks much Megan
      Have a great day 🙂

  2. grace says:

    hi! do you have the link to the white and light blue loose shorts (under the full thighs category), the the pink cutout shorts (under the muscular calves), the white cutout and yellow cutout shorts (under short legs), any pleated shorts, and the navy blue shorts with the orange shirt. this website has helped me so much because im not fat, i just have full, muscular, and short legs. thank you so much!!!!!

    1. dee-nee says:

      Hi Grace,

      These are links you can check for the shorts :

      1. I forgot where I found the white shorts (under full thighs category), but I’m pretty sure it’s plus size, so maybe you can check these

      2 The light blue shorts (under full thighs category) is Mint Coloured Skort by Miss Selfridge

      3. The pink cutout shorts (under the muscular calves) is Laser Cut Chiffon Culotte Shorts by Style Moi

      4. While the white cutout ones (under short legs) are basically just like many lace shorts out there, you can check here or here (for similar product) – I’m sorry but I cann’t find the same shorts like in the picture

      5. The yellow cutout shorts (under short legs) are High-rise pleated lace shorts from Moschino (but it’s already sold out)

      6. And the navy blue shorts (that paired with the orange shirt) are Quilted Trouser Shorts from 3.1 Phillip Lim

      I think those are all I can find for you, I hope it helps :))

      Thank you so much for your comment Grace :))
      Wish you a wonderful day

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