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How to wear shorts: Plus-size edition

Summer is in full swing with the hottest weeks still to come. But there’s only so much a girl can take off to keep cool. It’s even harder for plus-size girls. How much skin is too much? What do you do if you hate your…[insert body part here]?  

Denim shorts
plus-size style

Don’t be afraid
to show
some leg

Summer is in full swing with the hottest weeks still to come. But there’s only so much a girl can take off to keep cool. It’s even harder for plus-size girls. How much skin is too much? What do you do if you hate your… [insert body part here]?

I’m a big believer in not letting your insecurities hold you back. In the past, I would suffer all summer in long jeans because I felt self-conscious in shorts. However, I live where it can hit 115+ degrees, and one day, I decided to stop hiding in pants all summer just to keep my legs from seeing the light of day. All of that time I was being self-conscious for nothing. Keep cool this summer and check out these great shorts styles.

Important things to consider when picking shorts:


Length (inseam) 

Helen Bermuda Shorts, NYDJ (Macy's, $78)

Your school dress code didn’t steer you wrong. Place your arms at your sides. Where your fingertips hit on your thigh, your shorts probably shouldn’t be much shorter. On that note, the more leg you show, the longer your legs look. I personally prefer Bermuda shorts, which are on the longer side. Bermuda shorts walk a thin line of being too long and making you appear shorter. Don’t let them hit below the bottom of your kneecap.

Helen Bermuda Shorts, NYDJ (Macy’s, $78)


Width of leg

Cuffed Denim Shorts, Lane Bryant (Lane Bryant, $45)

If you are a pear shape with thicker thighs, shorts that are too fitted will accentuate your thighs. Select a pair that fits the widest part of your thigh and goes straight down from there. If you have the slim legs that come with an apple shape, a wider leg can balance a larger upper half, and create curves. The detail of a cuff can also help create curves!

Cuffed Denim Shorts, Lane Bryant (Lane Bryant, $45)



Welt Pocket Shorts, jpc (jcpenny, $30)

It is especially important when you’re plus sized to put importance on the fabric and construction of your clothes — even shorts. A thicker, sturdier fabric will camouflage lumps and bumps and will retain the garment’s shape throughout the day. Flimsy cuts and fabrics will wrinkle and look sloppy after wearing them for several hours. A thicker fabric will also allow you to wear light colored shorts without appearing see-through.

Welt Pocket Shorts, jcp (JCPenney, $30)


Pocket placement

Rhinestone Utility Shorts, INC International Concepts (Macy's, $60)

Pockets can either be your best friend or worst enemy depending on placement. A cargo pocket-inspired short will add width — great for those of you who are an apple shape who want to create curves and add width to your lower half, not so much for those of us with a pear-shaped body.

Rhinestone Utility Shorts, INC International Concepts (Macy’s, $60)

If you aren’t ready to jump into this style, slowly wade in by trying capris, available in several lengths. Still feeling insecure? Remember, you are your harshest critic.

More summer styling tips

The ultimate summer accessories roundup
Best shorts for your shape
Dresses for summer: Plus-size edition

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