As a lover of all weather that borders uncomfortably and/or dangerously hot, coupled with being a resident of Miami, I am evolving into a denim shorts connoisseur. Although it’s been a steep learning curve, involving erasing years of bad shorts shopping habits, I do feel like I have picked up some useful tips along the way. I learned that I first needed to change my old mindset, which was “the tighter, the lower, the better.” I am now acutely aware that I was wrong. God, I was so damn wrong…
Size. It’s been said before but I’m here to say it again, sizing in general can be very misleading. Personally, I use labeled sizing as a mere suggestion, and when figuring out what to try on, I have a range of about 4 sizes. Just as heels & sneakers fit your feet different, the same concept applies to shorts, pants, skirts, etc. Being 4’11” & petite I am always on the low end of the size chart so I understand the challenges of finding the elusive “perfect fit.” So please don’t try on “your size” & get discouraged that they don’t “fit” you. Buy for the way they look on your body, not the number [this obviously applies to all clothing].
Thighs. Whether you have a lot or a little, the way your denim shorts fit on your thighs can be a game changer. This is very sad to admit, but I only just recently learned this valuable life lesson. Even if you a have gazelle-like physique, shorts digging into your thighs like a rubber band wrapped around a water balloon is going to do your gams zero justice. So make sure they are grazing your legs & not putting them in a choke hold. Another feature I look for is an angled cut or cuff where my inseam is the longest point & gradually gets shorter towards the outer seam. When you don’t have a straight line cutting off your leg it really creates a slimming effect. The brand One Teaspoon has mastered this look & they are some of my favorite shorts.
Rise. I prefer my shorts to be a mid or high rise, but whatever you wear make sure they are hitting you in a flattering area. Given I was #blessed with love handles, I have left my ultra low rise shorts where they belong… in the past. High rise will always make your legs longer & in my world that’s the ultimate goal. If you find that you just cannot give up the low rise, I recommend you try buying them looser. I would rather size up & wear a belt to have the all around more flattering look.
Wash. I LOVE distressed shorts. I can’t get enough & will never give them up… not ever. But I am pretty particular about how they are distressed. I want them to look like they survived the apocalypse, but in an organic way. I avoid really harsh whiskering & distressing that is too uniform. I also love heavy thick denim that keeps its shape when cuffed or folded.
A few of my all time favorites are listed below & if I couldn’t find the exact link then I tried to find a similar style. I think shorts are best purchased in store when you’re able to try them on but the ‘Sincerely Jules – Riley Cutoffs in White’ I bought straight from her website are perfect and fit like a glove. A word to the wise, however: If ordering online, check sizing suggestions & if in doubt you can always pull out the tape measure & size them up to a pair of your tried & trues that you already own.
If buying denim shorts has ever made you want to rip your hair out, then use this upcoming season as an opportunity to adopt some new habits. I had to do the same thing a few years ago & I’m so thankful I did. You never know what styles you may fall in love with, so change things up a little.
XX – Rachael
In the same order as pictured…
One Teaspoon – Bandits in Husk – my exact ones are Free People but these Bandits are a Free People exclusive by One Teaspoon, they are at the same price point and almost identical style.
Sincerely Jules – Riley Denim Cutoff in White – also linked this same pair in black below.
Levis 501 Slash Cutoff Short – Urban Outfitters – on sale right now!