Casual Alternatives to Shorts

I personally love wearing shorts, but they aren’t always appropriate for the occasion, and I totally understand that not every woman feels comfortable baring so much leg. Fortunately, there are lots of great casual alternatives to shorts!

Casual Alternatives to Shorts

#1. Dresses

Dresses are the easiest option because they’re one and done. Midi dresses are trending this season, but maxi dresses and above-the-knee dresses are still very much on trend.

Lighter fabrics and flowy styles may be cooler, but I tend to gravitate to t-shirt dresses and more fitted styles because they’re more flattering on me.

A few weeks ago, I styled this t-shirt dress with wedge sandals, but it can also be dressed down with flats.

Paige t-shirt dress (S) // Tory Burch sandals (8) // YSL sunnies (budget option) // YSL crossbody (option) // earrings // bracelet

#2. Crop Jeans or Pants

Crop jeans and pants are a great solution for ladies who want more leg coverage. This may not always be your first choice, especially if you live in a warmer climate, but light-weight fabrics can be practical for summertime on mild days and cool evenings.

White crop jeans are my go-to for summer when I don’t want to wear shorts; they look crisp and clean paired with bright colors, pastels, or neutrals.

Mother Insider (28) // Roan + Ryan tee // Sam Edelman sandals // Rebecca Minkoff bag // Gucci sunnies

And these Paige cargo joggers are another great casual alternative to shorts; they’re lighter than denim, and the cargo styling keeps them casual.

Casual Alternatives to Shorts: Cargo Joggers

Paige Mayslie cargo joggers // Boden tee // Tory Burch Miller sandals // Everlane tote // Maui Jim sunnies

#3. Wide-Leg & Palazzo Pants

Wide-leg pants coming in strong this spring, and they’re usually made of a thinner fabrics that are cooler than jeans and chinos. Unfortunately, this can be a hard silhouette to style, especially for certain body types… a.k.a. mine. But if they work for you, they’re a great casual alternative to shorts.

Wide-leg crop pants look best with close-fitting tops that stop at the waist or high hip, or they will need to be tucked in.

Madewell Linen-Blend Pull-On Pants

#4. Skirts & Skorts

Skirts are a great option for women looking for casual alternatives to shorts in warm weather because they’re just as cool as shorts. I love the Sundry Saturday Skirt, made out of a soft and stretchy sweatshirt fabric.

Sundry Saturday Skirt // Michael Stars muscle tank // P448 sneakers

Skorts are another good shorts alternative, and they provide more coverage to allow for ease of movement. This Athleta Soho skort is back this year, and it comes in a bunch of colors. It’s so comfortable and cute on.

Casual Alternatives to Shorts: Skirts or Skorts

Athleta Soho skort // Madewell tank // Sam Edelman sandals // rag & bone sunnies

#5. Jumpsuits & Rompers

Jumpsuits and rompers have been trending for a few seasons, and there are a lot of casual options this year. If you can get past the bathroom situation, these are a really nice option. I was thrilled to see this Zella jumpsuit back this season. I love how casual it is.

Zella jumpsuit (S) // Sam Edelman sandals (7.5) // straw totes

I hope that was helpful! What are your favorite alternatives to shorts?

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13 thoughts on “Casual Alternatives to Shorts

  1. I have to tell you the funniest thing…I was reading your graphic tee and for a split second I thought it said “GLUTEN TAG”. Bwahahaha! Great alternatives…I’m not a big shorts person. XO

  2. I’m also not a shorts person…I just bought a nice pair of white ones while shopping on vacation (we were in the States from Canada so had some stores to shop at that we don’t have available here) so we will see how that works out this summer lol. Its casual dresses and skorts for me. I love skorts – the ease and comfort of shorts without showing the workings of my upper legs which are one of the major problem areas for me. There are so many skort options now – not all athletic type ones.
    Hope you are feeling well – that type of surgery is certainly one I should entertain – but I’m way too chicken!

  3. My problem area is my upper thighs; over the last few years they’ve gotten crepey and saggy…TMI, I know! So I wear shorts with an inseam of at least 5 inches. I decided to try dresses and skirts around 5 yrs ago and found that I love them! I do wear a light shapewear bike short thing like the one you’ve shown, Jo-Lynne. To all of you ladies I say, try something on that you think you won’t like–you may be surprised!

    And I am happy that you’re healing well, Jo-Lynne! 😃

  4. I wear cropped pants, chinos, skorts, or casual dresses on the warmest days.I left shorts behind in my 50s. My legs are not toned enough to show that much skin.

  5. Hi, great post. I wish skorts were available in slightly longer lengths, ie just above knee rather than mid-thigh.

    1. Keep looking – they are out there. I almost exclusively wear skorts instead of shorts and have quite a few that are just about my knee. I’m in Canada so can’t really offer advice of where (although I did just try some at Belk in the USA while travelling that were great). Stay away from atheletic type ones to get longer lengths. Talbots is another place I have purchased longer ones. Good Luck 🙂

  6. Lots of good advice on the skorts, as I usually find them too short, but someone said to stay away from the athletic ones. I wish I liked shorts but don’t feel comfortable with my upper thighs, so I feel more comfortable in casual dresses or skirts above the knee. I’ve got to get out there in a store to try on some. If you run across anymore casual dress ideas, please post. So many out there now are ruffled or midi. I’m like you….prefer t shirt style. I might order an Old Navy one to try.

  7. Thanks for this! I have that same Zella jumpsuit from my Trunk club. If you had to put something over it for warmth, what would you recommend? Maybe a lightweight hoodie?

  8. Nancy, some manufacturers offer a “tall” version of skorts, and I’ve found those work better for me even though I am only 5’4”. Sometimes the extra inch or two is all I need to feel more comfortable. Athleta used to offer their skorts in a “tall” version, although I haven’t checked in a while.

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