Shorts are tricky once you’re past a certain age, but in some regions of the country they’re pretty much a necessity. Even though I love to wear jeans all year round, there are plenty of times during the summer when it’s just too hot, plus I’m not a huge fan of dresses so shorts are a must for me. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat so I’ve rounded up some of the best shorts for moms that are out there right now.
First let’s discuss what to look for in a pair of shorts. Shorts can go really wrong when they don’t fit well. One of my best tips is to pay attention to the leg opening. Ideally you want your shorts to follow the line of the leg without being too tight. If they’re too wide, you’ll look frumpy, but you also don’t want them to be too tight through the hips and rear (check both the front an back views.) Sometimes you have to size up. I wear a size 6 in most pants and jeans but I often wear an size 8 in shorts.
You also want to determine the inseam length that is right for you. This is usually a range, not an exact measurement. The style of shoe you’re wearing and the style and length of your top will help dictate what length of shorts looks best. Typically shorts are short (3½” – 4″ inseam), mid-length (5″-7″) or Bermuda (9″-11″). Most women look best in mid-length shorts.
I actually prefer a 3½” or 4″ inseam on my shorts, but I don’t mind 5″ or 6″ if I wear them with shoes that are neutral and/or have a low vamp. (The higher the vamp on your shoe, the shorter your leg will look, so sometimes you have to compensate by shortening your shorts or skirt.)
I don’t usually wear Bermuda length shorts. I feel like they look best on women who are tall and long-limbed and I’m only 5’5″, but denim Bermuda shorts with a rolled hem can be cute. The twill ones seem to be harder to pull off. These from White House Black Market are 9″ which I find more flattering than the 10″ or 11″ Bermudas that are more common. For size reference, I did stick with the size 6 in these because they stretch quite a bit.
Another tip: neutral shoes tend to look best with longer shorts because they elongate the line of the leg and keep you from looking stumpy in the longer shorts.
Ultimately, you have to wear what feels most comfortable to you. Some women really don’t like their legs or they’re very modest so they prefer longer shorts. Others like to keep the shorts shorter, and that’s fine too, as long as you don’t have any bootie hanging out. There is a line that must be drawn, ladies. No one wants to see that (at any age, but much less on us over-40 types! LOL!)
Finally, always, ALWAYS look at the rear view.
SO many shorts I’ve tried look fine from the front, but when I take a look at the rear view, they go right back on the rack. Pocket placement is important as well as the general shape they create. If they make me look wider than I am, they go back too. If they show a panty line or look like they’re creating a wedgie, they’re a no-go as well. Seamless underwear are your best bet for avoiding the last two issues.
Okay, so here are my favorite summer shorts right now. I realize most of these are on the shorter side of the shorts spectrum, so I’ve tried to give some longer alternatives throughout.
Best Shorts for Moms, Summer 2017
My current favorites are these AG Hailey in White Restored with the 3½” inseam. (The Hailey comes in other washes as well.) I’ve had these for several years so I’m glad they still sell them! The fit is fantastic, and they hold up great. Unfortunately, they’re pricey, but they often go on sale.
For size reference, I wear 28 in AG jeans but I have a 29 in these shorts. There’s more of this look in this post.
Another nice pair of shorts that is less expensive and still fits great is the Kut from the Kloth Gidget denim shorts. These have a frayed hem and a 4″ inseam, and they’re available in other denim washes and colors as well. You can see me wearing them here. (I clearly have a thing for blue tops with white shorts!) I have these in the size 6, for reference. There’s more of this look in this post.
For an even more affordable style, I found these Mossimo Mid Rise Midi Shorts at Target at the recommendation of another blogger. These also have a 4″ inseam. (And yes that’s another blue shirt. I really need to expand my horizons!) I did size up to the 8 in these, and they’re perfect. You can see more of this look in this post.
Mossimo Mid Rise Midi Shorts (sold out; see all chino shorts at Target)
For a slightly longer length, these Loft denim Bermuda roll shorts have a 6½” inseam and the trendy raw flip cuff. I really like the length of these for women who are trying to find a happy medium between short shorts and Bermuda shorts. (I have NO idea why they call these Bermudas, but anyway.)
Often shorts this length are too wide for me, but the leg opening on these is perfect. If you have smaller thighs, you might really like these. You can see me wearing them here, and I have more info on this outfit in this post. (For size reference, I’m wearing a size 6. These stretch some, so I stuck with my usual pants size.)
I personally like this raw flip cuff better than the double-roll cuff. I feel like it looks more modern. I also prefer it to the frayed hem because those are super casual and sort of remind me of Daisy Duke, haha! I still wear the frayed hem shorts, but my favorite look right now in denim shorts is the raw flip cuff.
Loft also has some shorter raw flip cuff shorts that you may like if you prefer the 3½” inseam. I have the AG Hailey in this same style.
Moving on to twill shorts… I don’t have as much luck with these as I do with denim. I find that they are often too wide in the leg opening, and the rear pockets usually don’t do me any favors (I prefer the external back pocket that is sew on as with most jeans shorts) but sometimes you want something a little bit nicer.
In years past, I had good luck with the Old Navy Pixie Shorts with the 3½” inseam. I haven’t tried them yet this year to see if they changed their styling at all. They’re a little wider than I prefer through the thigh, but the rear view is pretty decent for this style of short. They also come in a 5″ inseam and a 7″ inseam as well, although I find those to be way too wide for me personally. For size reference, I have these in the 8.
One other style I’ve liked a lot for the past several years is the Ann Taylor City Shorts. I have them in 3 colors. These have a 3½” inseam (for a 5″ inseam, check out the Ann Taylor Mid Shorts.) These are really nice quality and thicker than the Old Navy shorts. I have the size 8. This picture is from a few years ago, and wow, my hair has grown!
Finally, the Coastal Stretch Shorts at White House Black Market are really nice, but again with the leg opening… it’s also a little too wide. Maybe I should look into having some of my shorts altered. Has anyone tried that? These have a 5″ inseam and are really nice quality. They work great with heels or with flats, and I have them in an 8. You can see them both ways in this post.
And that’s all I’ve got!
Do you have any favorite shorts to recommend? Let us what they are and why you like them in the comments!
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