Choosing The Right Shorts For You Body Type

Men's short shorts can be a great option for a comfortable, relaxed fit on hot summer days. Shorts, like pants, come in a huge variety of lengths, styles, and fits, but unlike the latter—where most men can judge the appropriate length based on their height—shorts are a bit more convoluted.

As a general rule, shorts should never, under any circumstance, extend below the knee. 

Why? It’s incredibly unflattering. When shorts extend past the knee, they visually cut your leg length in half, dwarfing your overall appearance.

As with any item of clothing, the fit should always accentuate the body in a complementary manner. Wearing ill-fitting shorts—or any unflattering garment for that matter—is quite literally doing the exact opposite of this. 

Details to Look For:

  • Tailored Fit: Shorts should be fitted (not tight) and lovingly hug your butt and thighs. To test this, put on shorts and gently pinch the material that’s around your thigh. If you can pinch 1 inch of material, they’re perfect. Any more, they’re too loose; any less, they’re too tight.

  • Flat Front: Although pleats work wonderfully on trousers, shorts don’t have the same weight and drape necessary to position pleats correctly. Opt for a sleek, universally flattering flat front.

  • Tapered Leg Opening: The hem width should taper and define the thigh. Remember: tapered doesn’t mean tight. There should still be ample room at the hem to move and sit comfortably.

  • 2”- 4” Above Knee: In general, a 6” to 9” inseam are optimal lengths for most men. This length situates the hem around 1”- 4” inches above the knee (depending on your height).

Details to Be Aware Of:

  • Skinny Fit: A tailored, slim fit does NOT mean skin tight. Skinny fit shorts will throw off the balance of your lower half by overly defining your thighs, butt, and waist.  A tailored fit will minimise your less desirable areas while defining your best assets.

  • Oversized: Unless you’re going for a rapper look circa 2005, avoid oversized shorts at all costs. Most of the time, these types of shorts aren’t truly even shorts; they’re culottes!

  • Elastic Waistbands: Elastic waistbands hug where they may, giving no control to the wearer. Not all shorts with elastic waistbands are terrible, but they’re more volatile in terms of flattery. When in doubt, go for a standard buttoned waist.

  • Too Many Details: The design principle, KISS (keep it simple, stupid), says it all. Avoid details like huge cargo pockets, flap pockets, or any other detail that adds unnecessary protrusion. 

Here are some tips for choosing the right style of short shorts for different body types:

  • For athletic body types: If you have a muscular, athletic body type, you can choose a pair of short shorts that are fitted and tailored to show off your muscles.
  • For slim body types: If you have a slim body type, you can choose a pair of loose-fitting short shorts to add some volume and fullness to your legs. Opt for shorts with a looser fit and a longer length to create a balanced, proportionate look.
  • For curvy body types: If you have a curvy body type, choose a pair of short shorts that are fitted and tailored to flatter your curves. Opt for shorts with a higher rise to provide more coverage and support, and choose a shorter length to show off your legs.
  • For plus-size body types: If you have a plus-size body type, you can choose a pair of shorts that are comfortable and supportive. Opt for shorts with a higher rise and a looser fit to provide more coverage and comfort, and choose a longer length to balance out your proportions.

    By choosing the right fit and length, you can find a pair of shorts that will flatter your body and help you to feel comfortable and confident.