Friday, May 17, 2013


It was a sweltering 92 degrees yesterday (but thankfully not too humid yet), and I was outside riding scooters with my son in the driveway.  I was wearing a trusty summer dress because I had just returned from his preschool graduation ceremony.  The situation really called for shorts, but I was too lazy to change--a decision I now regret because I have to take the dress to the cleaners.

Anyway, it all had me thinking about the topic of shorts.  How short can they be?  Do you have to stop wearing them when you get to a certain age?  Are they appropriate for anything besides riding scooters in the driveway?  I don't have a definitive answer for you, but I will give you some of my thoughts on the matter.

I own these shorts from Loft.

Let's start with length.  I like shorts.  I think my legs look pretty good for a woman nearing 40.  Last summer, I frequently wore 4-5" shorts with cute tops/jackets and sandals, and it all looked lovely and pulled together--I think.  But this year, since the weather has warmed up, I'm feeling less confident wearing the same shorts.  It all looks fine as I stand up straight, posing in front of the mirror, but I imagine the sight is different when I bend over to pick up toys.  And the thighs have a way of looking, ahem, different while seated.   Stacy London, of What Not To Wear fame, has said that 7-9" shorts are totally appropriate for women over 40.  Maybe I'll start the transition now and see how it goes.

Bermuda Shorts
1. Loft  /  2. Vince Camuto / 3. Vince / 4. Ann Taylor

Now, on to the question of whether or not shorts are appropriate for anything besides outside play.  I can actually be more definitive here: YES!  I have clients who want to wear cut off chinos from 1998 when they're running around town.  I have other clients who think wearing shorts of any kind is way too casual for lunch with friends.  There is a happy medium, illustrated below.

Image from

Images from The Sartorialist

So, what do you think?  Shorts -- yes or no?  Length?  Does age have anything to do with it?

Do you need help figuring out how to incorporate shorts into your wardrobe?  I would love to help you make all of these ideas part of your everyday routine.  If you want to know more about my personal styling services in Richmond, VA, I would love to hear from you.  Let's connect!

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