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Tips for Finding the Best Denim Shorts for Your Body

GRLFRND DENIM SHORTS
How to Shop for Denim Shorts

Wearing: Swimsuit | Denim Shorts (size down) c/o | Hat | | Earrings | similar Straw Tote

In chatting with you ladies over DMs and email — it seems one fear is very common… fear of denim shorts.  I for one can live in a great pair of cutoffs, although, it’s definitely not a piece of cake finding the best fit for your body.  It’s a bit of trial and error, knowing what works for your body type, and sometimes… it actually takes wearing them a few times before they are a home run.  But, I will say — once you find the perfect pair, you won’t want to take them off.  Like your favorite pair of jeans… you’ll find yourself reaching for them if they are just right.

In my opinion, the number one rule to start with when shopping for any sort of denim is to forget about trends and work with your body type.  It’s always better to accentuate what you’ve got and minimize any problem areas so you’re comfortable and confident rocking your denim!

If you’re curvy.  Welcome to the club!  You’ll want to show off that waist!  High-waisted mom jeans are your absolute best friend, and luckily — they are all the rage right now.  The trick to getting the shorts to actually fit your waist and not buckle up at the top is to size down.  High waisted styles KNOW they are supposed to fit your waist, so don’t go with your typical jean size (unless those are high-waisted as well).  These styles tend to be smaller at the waist and will taper out for your hips, butt, and legs.  Also, look for the hem of the shorts to hit at the thinnest part of your thigh — it will help give the illusion of slimmer legs.

If you have short legs.  Stay away from longer hems for the love of God.  You’re lucky enough to be able to embrace all of those short shorts… so take full advantage!  Look for shorter hemlines when looking at the sizing details, and unless you have a much longer torso, try to avoid super high-waisted styles, and look for the rise to hit right at your hip bone.

If you’re boy-ish figured.  The goal is to give you the illusion of curves, so while most of us will have to avoid frills, boxy fits, and volume detailing (like pockets and extra fabric), you can totally rock those!  You can also afford to go with wider boyfriend shorts.  And, for even more curves, try tucking in your top — it will help define your waist!

If you’re apple shaped.  You’ll want the focus to be on your legs.  Cuffed styles in a darker wash will totally draw your eye there — and you should be free to play around with different lengths (whatever makes you comfortable)!  Just make sure to wear a top that hits below the hips — a flowy style should help accentuate your legs, too!

If you’re tall.  While a lot of clothing items look amazing on tall women, denim shorts can definitely be tricky.  You definitely want to avoid anything with a short inseam — otherwise, you’ll probably feel like you’re wearing next to nothing with those long stems out.  You’re really in luck, because the Burmuda shorts trend is back and bigger than it has been in a while.  The longer hemlines won’t swallow you whole (like they can with shorter legs), and you’ll be able to feel comfortably covered, while still feel stylish.

Free People Stripe Tee
Splendid Floral Kimono

Wearing: Vintage Cutoff Shorts (size down)

When it comes to shopping for denim shorts, there are a few tips and tricks I learned along the way!

  1. If you’re shopping for a high-waisted style, always make sure to size down.  High-waist styles are sizing from your WAIST, not your hips, so sometimes I will have to size down 1-2 sizes to get the top of the shorts to fit on my waist.
  2. If the denim shorts don’t have a lot of stretch to begin with, keep that in mind when trying them on.  They might be snug at first, but with a few wears, will likely stretch and start forming to your body.  I don’t know how many times I’ve ordered a pair of non-stretch denim, think they’re too snug, so I go up a size, and then they end up stretching out completely and are unwearable without a wash every time.
  3. However, a little snug does not mean TOO SMALL.  Nothing should be hanging over OR hanging out.  I’ve had my days of short shorts with my cheeks hanging out and that ship HAS SAILED (my mom is not-so-secretly breathing a sigh of relief).  Sometimes TOO SMALL is just TOO SMALL.  TOO SHORT is just TOO SHORT.  If you’ve tried a few sizes and nothing is working, try a different style!  Not all styles work on all bodies!
  4. Try to look for a wash style similar to your favorite pair of jeans.  This way, a lot of your clothing items will go with your new shorts.  If you’re favorite pair of jeans are a medium wash, don’t go with a pair of shorts in a much darker wash.  They will be harder to style and you won’t feel like yourself!
  5. Don’t forget about colored jeans!  Some people just naturally gravitate towards a pair of great black denim.  If those are your favorite pair of jeans, grab a pair of denim shorts in a black wash!  They’re actually super versatile and can be styled so chic!
  6. There is nothing a little self tanner can’t fix!  A good self tanner can hide a lot of stem flaws — head here to see my favorites and some tips on applying correctly!  A little (faux) color on your legs can make them feel longer, slimmer, hide cellulite and darker veins, and give you an overall healthy glow to help you rock your new shorts!

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