How to Find Perfect Shorts

Finding flattering shorts is usually a stressful task for most of us. Not only do you expose more skin than you're used to the rest of the year, certain fits and styles just don't work. Want to know how to find the perfect pair? There are fabulous options depending on your body type, says style expert Bobbi Schwartz. Here, she tells us how to find the best shorts for you.

Q: What would you choose as the best fit for women with pear-shaped bodies, straight "boyish" figures, and plus-size women?

A: Pear-shaped: A wider leg city short with or without a cuff.

"Boyish" figure: Shorter shorts depending on your age and cellulite. The new short with a cuff if you're younger. If you're in your 40's, try shorts with cuffs north of the middle of your thigh. If you're in your 50's, I'd recommend five inches above the knee with or without a cuff (always depending on the condition of the legs).

Plus-size: A pair of culottes (knee-length shorts cut to resemble a skirt) that hits slightly above the knee. 

Q: Can different body types wear print shorts like plaid or stripes?

A: No! I would recommend them for slender, longer body shapes.

Q: Should plus-size women stick with basic colors like black, khaki and denim, or would shorts in, say, pink or white work for them, too?

A: No. However, this choice does come down to simple, chic taste. If you have a pink bottom and wear a simple solid top or T-shirt that fits nicely (as in, not tight) and it's flattering, I'd say go for it. 

Q: Is there a universally flattering fit of shorts that will look great on all body types?

A: If there is one, it would be the city short ... but even that could look off on some (based on height, weight and proportion). A slender person, for example, could wear a tight city short, whereas a pear shape would want a fuller leg.

Q: Are specific fabrics a better choice for certain body shapes?

A: Not really. I would recommend solids for older and plus-size women.

Q: For women who prefer their shorts to be extra small, how short is too short?

A: If you look fabulous and are under 30, go for it! But, please keep your behind covered. 

Q: Is there a certain pair of shorts which work better for women who are shorter? How about taller women?

A: Again, age and leg condition are a big factor. If you are short, a city short is still good. You just need to see your tailor, stand in front of the mirror, and keep inching up until you arrive at the best place.

If you are 50 or older, shorts that are about three inches above your knee are ideal. If you are in your 40's (or younger) and in great shape, a shorter short with or without cuffs, or a shorter version of the city short would be great.

If you are tall, a longer city short (no matter your age). If you're between 20 and 40, and in good shape, a slightly higher than mid-thigh cuff or no cuff at all should look wonderful.

Q: For women who remain skeptical about wearing shorts, is there another good option for the spring and summer months?

A: Absolutely! Skirts are huge right now, as well as Capris and other versions of cropped pants. Dresses can be fabulous, too.

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