Best shorts for your shape

Summer fashion inevitably means showing more skin — and for many of us, this is a scary prospect! Shorts are often on the agenda, but it’s hard to know which styles work with our body types.

Woman wearing shorts

Just in time for seasonal shopping, we take care of the legwork: See what our experts have to say.


“If you are petite, go for shorter shorts that elongate your legs — the more leg you show, the longer your legs look,” says Carlota Espinosa, HauteLook‘s fashion expert. Alternatively, longer shorts actually make your legs look shorter.


This curvy shape can go one of two ways: Balance your body by not going too narrow in the leg, or go super-skinny and wear with heels for major impact, says Nancy LeWinter, editorial director of

Leg shy

“If you don’t love your legs but still want to keep cool, I suggest wearing knee length shorts. They can be very figure flattering,” says Espinosa. Knee-length shorts are a great choice when you want to hide your flaws and stay cool in warm weather.

Heavy thighs

If you have heavier upper thighs, your best bet is a classic short, says Lisa McLatchie, of Also known as a walking short, this mid-length style has about a 7-inch inseam and is the most universally flattering style. Make sure they are structured and straight from the thigh down. Avoid anything with visual interest, such as cargo pockets, pleats and embellishments — they only add more volume to the area.


“If you have curves, go for a looser pair that is not as form fitting. Stay away from prints,” shares Espinosa.

Pear or rounded

A relaxed fit is best, and the length depends on your legs. Add a longer top or one that flares out a bit to balance body shape, says LeWinter.

Long and lean

If you have very long and thin legs, you’ll want to look for a roll-up or cuffed hem style short. They help break up the long line of your legs and create curves at the same time, says McLatchie.

Get tons more style advice in our guide to dressing for your body type>>


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