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Your guide to stylish shorts for women over 40. Don't worry, I've got you covered...literally :)

Posted on May 19 2017

 Is it just me or are short lengths getting out of hand? A 2-inch inseam...really?!?! What's the point of the shorts at that length? You might as well just wear your undies around town and call it a day. Your pretty undies though, ya know, the ones you save for special occasions (you know what I'm talking about). I may be old-fashioned and showing my age and conservative style here, but even for the young ladies, a 2-inch inseam is a bit much...well really not enough.

 I am not a huge fan of shorts in general.  Summer is right around the corner and people fall into two categories; those who love shorts and those who hate them. I fall in the later group. I don't hate shorts, but I really don't like them either. I would rather wear a cute summer dress any day of the week. The reason I don't like shorts is that  I have such a hard time finding shorts that are an appropriate length and flattering on me. I'm 46 years old and don't want my bootie hanging out, and at 5'9, that's not an easy task to find shorts that cover my assets. On the other hand, I don't want "mom" shorts that are so ridiculously long I might as well wear pants.

If you don't know where to shop, finding shorts that you are comfortable in and flattering to your figure can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

The perfect length for shorts will be different for everyone depending on your body type. For shorts to be the most flattering, you want them to hit right below the flashy part of your leg (mid thigh). That length will accentuate the natural thinning of the leg. No matter what size you are, the leg will naturally thin a bit mid thigh. If your shorts are shorter than that, you are accentuating the larger part of your leg, any longer and you risk making your legs look stumpy. 

My sweet spot for an inseam is 5 inches. At that length, shorts hit me exactly at the right point on my leg. I am accentuating the natural thinning of my legs, and I am avoiding the dreaded sausage stuffed in its casing scenario where your upper thigh is bulging out of the shorts. If that is happening, not only are your shorts too short, they are too tight too. These are my favorite brands and places to shop for shorts:

  • Banana Republic - The Ryan Fit
  • Old Navy has a nice feature where you can select the inseam length under the category section when shopping online. 
  • Tomy Hilfiger & Ralph Lauren design great shorts for women. I buy those brands at Marshalls or TJ Max 

These Sailor shorts from Banana Republic are my favorite this season. They align with my preppy style and can be dressed up or dressed down. I created a casual yet stylish look with these shorts while shopping in the Cabo markets on my family vacation during Spring Break.  

Kuhfs | Womens fashion accessory boutique | blog post | shorts for women  Kuhfs | Womens fashion accessory boutique | blog post | shorts for women

I, of course, found a fun bar to stop and have a cold one.  

  Link to short: Banana Republic Ryan-Fit Chambray Sailor Shorts

These red Tommy Hilfiger shorts are great. They are made well, versatile, and when purchased from Marshalls, they're a steal. 

Now, I will admit these shorts are from last season, and when I went to put them on for this photo shoot, they were a bit tighter than I remember. I have yet to shed my Winter hibernation weight. I put a lot of faith in the front button of these shorts, hoping it wouldn't pop off and hit my sister in the face ( she is my photographer) taking her eye out. It's natural to gain a little weight over the Winter, especially in the Midwest where we pretty much eat and drink to get through to Spring. I'm not going to beat myself up about the few extra pounds. Life goes on.  

I dressed these shorts up by pairing them with our new Mini Crossbody Wristlet in Apple Red, our Payton Spike Necklace, our Willow Teardrop Earrings and my wedge heels from DSW ( I am obsessed with these shoes! ).  

 Kuhfs | womens fashion accessory boutique | Shorts for women | Summer fashion for women

Dressed down here with flats and our new Hobo bag ( coming soon to the website). 

Kuhfs | womens fashion accessory boutique | Shorts for women | Summer fashion for women

Kuhfs blog post \ Shorts for women | womens fashion accessory boutique  Kuhfs | womens fashion accessory boutique | Shorts for women | Summer fashion for women
Tommy Hilfiger shorts from Marshalls. I have these in navy too. 

If you are looking for a fun summer short that is a bit dressier, look no further. These Ryan Fit Frayed shorts from BR are the boom. They are cute, colorful, well made and on trend with the frayed detail. I again dressed these shorts up ( for my walk in the alley, cause that's what I do when I get dressed up ) with our new Mini Crossbody Wristlet in Apple Red and my wedge heels from DSW.    

Kuhfs Women's fashion accessory boutique \ purses for women \ shorts for women blog 

Kuhfs Women's fashion accessory boutique \ purses for women \ shorts for women blog

Kuhfs Women's fashion accessory boutique \ purses for women \ shorts for women blog

Kuhfs Women's fashion accessory boutique \ purses for women \ shorts for women blog
Banana Republic Ryan - Fit Frayed Shorts
Banana Republic Riley-Fit Pleated Ruffle Shirt - ON SALE NOW!  

A few other tips to help you find and style the perfect shorts this Summer.

  • Stay out of the youth department. I will shop there once in awhile just to see if there is anything new and trendy, but this is not the place to shop for shorts if you are of a certain age. 
  • Proper fit will go a long way in making sure you look great in shorts. They should fit comfortably around your waist and thighs.
  • Side zip shorts are slimming and will eliminate the bulk from a front button and zipper giving a smoother more flattering look. 
  • If you are petite, you can get away with shorter shorts. A shorter short will give the illusion of a longer leg.  
  • If you have narrower hips pocket detail or pleating is okay for you because it will give you some added volume right where you need it. I never open the stitched pockets on my shorts. I don't need any extra width from the pocket gaping open. 
  • Select a darker color and non-clingy fabric. Those two suggestions alone will assure a more flattering look. 

You need to check this out! Here is an excellent website I found that allows you to shop for not only shorts but pants and other apparel by the inseam length. SAY WHAT??? Yep, just select the inseam you are comfortable with, and this site will pull up tons of options for you. It doesn't get any easier than that. 



Happy short shopping. Let me know if you have a favorite brand or place to shop for shorts. 


Amy Olson

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1 comment

  • Gina D from Texas : May 19, 2017

    Love this post! Great information. Unfortunately I’m one of those who hate shorts. My legs seem fat all the way down – especially my knees. :-( And Im way too pale – and have NO luck with self tanners that don’t make me look orange. Sigh….
    But I might try these pointers to see if I have any luck. Otherwise it’s ankle length pants and skirts for me.

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