how to wear shorts

it’s been an exceptionally cool spring here in Athens.  so, there hasn’t been too many opportunities to wear shorts.  wear shorts you ask? yes ma’am.  i indeed love to wear shorts on a hot summer day.  shorts can be a controversial topic for women of a certain age, but i have been and continue to be an advocate for them.  so much so that not wearing shorts make my #2 style rule every woman should break. 

today, i’ve rounded up some of my favorite outfits involving shorts over the past few years.  there’s a lot of different ways you can style them and here are just a few ideas.  

with a linen popover

today’s outfit is all about color! punchy, tropical splashes of blue, green, orange and yellow. perfect for spring and summer. i don’t know about you but wearing bright colors and bold prints really brightens my mood and lifts my spirits. it’s hard to feel bad or sad when mother nature’s clouds part and the sun shines warm and bright. 

this linen popover is from J. Crew and like most, if not all, of their prints, this top could boldly go with so many other items in my closet…i’m thinking khaki chinos or white denim. i love to wear shorts when the weather warms up, but they aren’t for you, cropped pants would be a great option. J. Crew has so many that would be perfect with this popover top.  i’ve made sure to link what i’m wearing, as well as some additional similars that will brighten your day. 

i kept my slide sandals neutral light pink suede today, so the focus is my top and shorts. [read the post…]

popover shirtshorts (7″) | shorts (10″) | similar sandals 

 

with a matching cabana blazer

i’ve decided on a shorts suit. a striped cabana blazer with matching shorts. while this ensemble looks fantastic when worn as a suit. each item will mix and match perfectly with my summer wardrobe. the loose fit of the blazer is perfect for those warm Georgia temps that have already arrived. i popped on a gorgeous bamboo tee called dawn draper from Southcott Threads.  [read the post…]

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears striped shorts, striped blazer, white tee, nude block heels

similar shorts | similar tee | similar blazer 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears striped shorts, striped blazer, white tee, nude block heels

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears striped shorts, striped blazer, white tee, nude block heels

 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears striped shorts, striped blazer, white tee, nude block heels

with a military inspired jean jacket

bermuda shorts are a must-have for spring and summer. and beach vacations. this pair is from Talbots. the length hits just above the knee which is perfect. i’m wearing black shorts, but they are available in nine colors.

another classic essential for the coming months is a striped tee. this red striped tee is from Ralph Lauren. it sports a graphic logo. and what goes well with shorts and a tee? why a comfy pair of tennis shoes. this pair is from Ann Taylor that i’ve been wearing non-stop since they arrived at my doorstep.  [read entire post…]

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a military inspired denim jacket, red stripe tee, black bermuda shorts, and white tennis shoes

similar shorts | similar tee | similar jacket 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a military inspired denim jacket, red stripe tee, black bermuda shorts, and white tennis shoes

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a military inspired denim jacket, red stripe tee, black bermuda shorts, and white tennis shoes

 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a military inspired denim jacket, red stripe tee, black bermuda shorts, and white tennis shoes

with a classic summer blazer

if you are looking for one classic summer blazer that will serve you well this white linen blazer fits the bill. dress it up with a tweed dress and kitten heels. or dress it down with drawstring shorts, split neck top, and seersucker sandals. of course, white goes with everything. but this little number comes in island turquoise and flax.

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a classic summer blazer, drawstring shorts, seersucker sandals, and striped linen top

similar shorts | similar top | classic blazer

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a classic summer blazer, drawstring shorts, seersucker sandals, and striped linen top

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a classic summer blazer, drawstring shorts, seersucker sandals, and striped linen top

 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a classic summer blazer, drawstring shorts, seersucker sandals, and striped linen top

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40 Comments

  1. Jacki wrote:

    You certainly wear them well but no thanks, for this gal at least. No offense to those who like the look of shorts but I decided about 10 years ago that I don’t like them on pretty much anyone, other than kids and teenage girls. I prefer knee or just below-knee linen shift style dresses, flowing cotton skirts or capris to keep me cool in the heat and have worn all three as I walked around Italy in the heat wave of last summer.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • style is always personal preference so if shorts don’t work for you there are other options. but we’ve also been conditioned to think we can’t pull them off after a certain age. and that’s a darn shame because true style is ageless and there’s no such thing as age appropriate.
      what a bunch of bunk!

      Posted 4.30.20
  2. Susan wrote:

    Hi Beth…My legs are the last good feature left on my body! I occasionally wear shorts, but prefer a skort. I would love if you would style skorts as your OOTD it is definitely a different look than shorts.

    Thank you for you blog, I read it everyday!

    Posted 4.30.20
    • thanks so much for the suggestion.

      Posted 4.30.20
  3. Chris wrote:

    Cute outfits Beth and they look adorable on you, but in every case I think a pair of crops or capris would look better on most women. To my mind shorts should be reserved for sport, vacation, and at home wear once you hit the age when you start wondering if you should wear them. If you never wonder – hey enjoy and wear away!

    Posted 4.30.20
    • well, i would disagree about shorts. there’s no age limit when it comes to style, including shorts. thank goodness.
      it’s too bad that we’ve been conditioned to think we don’t look good in them. but to each their own.

      Posted 4.30.20
  4. Arna wrote:

    I cannot wait to start wearing shorts! It has been a cool, damp spring here in New Hampshire.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • shorts are a sure sign of summer which is one reason i love them so. that and m mother wore shorts her entire life. well into her eighties.

      Posted 4.30.20
  5. Mary wrote:

    Hi Beth , I love your blog and find inspiration from each post . I love shorts too but always 9 or 10 in inseam . You are tall and I think your shorts were a little too short .. li like a colorful flat with a dressshort

    Posted 4.30.20
    • we’ll have to agree to disagree mary. this is one of those style instances where you do you and I’ll do me.

      Posted 4.30.20
  6. Sylvia Espinoza wrote:

    Beth, you’re blessed with lovely legs. Were I, too, would enjoy wearing shorts. In my case, no can do. Appreciate all the suggestions for how to wear them, though, for all the Style sisters who can pull them off like you do!~

    Posted 4.30.20
    • that’s awfully sweet of you to say, sylvia. but i think our generation has been brainwashed with only wearing items that flatter our figures. i would miss the opportunity to wear so many things if i adhered to that sort of thinking. personally, i think any woman of any age can pull off shorts. but thee again, style is personal. vive le difference!

      Posted 4.30.20
  7. Lindsey A wrote:

    I don’t generally wear shorts, preferring dresses. I find they “wedge up” between my legs, which might just be the fit. But I do have a few pairs and am trying to wear them more. I’m torn on the shorts with long sleeve tops look – I like it, but from a practical point of view, feel like if it is hot enough for shorts, it is too hot for long sleeves for me! Which is ironic, because I’ll wear pants with sleeveless tops! But now I’m rambling. Clearly I need to just think about this more and experiment!

    Posted 4.30.20
    • i think it’s a good exercise to think outside of our style box. go ahead and experiment. and above all have fun.

      Posted 4.30.20
  8. All such cool and fun shorts outfits. Like. Like. I did have one question. Thinking about how you’ve just had knee replacement surgery, do you think you’ll be wearing shorts as much? I had one knee replaced in 2001 and the other in 2006. Both left significant scars which have faded with time, but still there. I’m hesitant to wear shorts or above the knee hemlines. Wondering how you’re wrapping your head around the new reality.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • i will totally wear shorts even with a scar. our imperfections are an important aspect of who we are. but i have to say my orthopedic surgeon did a fantastic job so i don’t think I’ll have much of a scar.

      Posted 4.30.20
      • Lindsey Akin wrote:

        I always say that our scars help tell our story!

        Posted 4.30.20
  9. Belinda wrote:

    I agree with many of the comments here – and I am anything BUT an “archaic thinker”. I’m 60 and think knee length shorts look great, IF your legs are your best asset. Otherwise everyone wins with the capri length! Let’s face it, there ARE some styles that are simply put: “age appropriate”. They make mid drift tops in my size too, but that doesn’t mean I/women of a “certain age” should run out and purchase one simply because they “can”. That, would not be- by definition, “classic style”.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • i beg to disagree but then i think the blog post speaks for itself. our generation was taught to only wear what’s slimming or flattering. and that’s not what style is all about. fashion should be fun. even classic style. in my book there is no such thing as age appropriate. who wrote those rules to begin with? and what authority do they have? what’s the cutoff age? 40? 50? 55? it’s time we kick those rules to the curb for good.

      Posted 4.30.20
  10. Karen in Texas wrote:

    Beth, I agree with you, that it is all about your style. Knee length shorts or pedal pushers are more stylish looking than capris, IMHO. Capri pants usually hit in the middle of the calf which is not flattering or stylish on anyone. Cropped pants, cut just above the ankle, are a nice option too.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • there are so many options available to us in the 21st century. can i hear an amen? style is always about personal preferences but we have to be careful not to place our fashion don’t on another woman’s fashion do.

      Posted 4.30.20
  11. Karen Landis wrote:

    Of course my legs don’t look like they did when I was 23, but this lady gets HOT! I don’t forget to shave, I exfoliate, I mix self-tanner with bronzer, sparkle lotion and sunscreen then rub and smooth my legs well. I say “Who cares!” while putting my cute well thought out shorts outfit on with a 1 to 2-inch heel and smile as I head out the door! Thanks for wearing shorts to Beth! And Happy, Happy Spring!

    Posted 4.30.20
    • couldn’t agree more, karen! who wants to avoid shorts come a hot, sweltering day? not i, said the little red hen.

      Posted 4.30.20
  12. Suzanne Smith wrote:

    Cute looks. You know, I was pretty sure that post-TKR surgery, I’d never wear shorts again, and I have already proven that to be not true! I have worn them when I go walking already quite a bit this season. It feels so good, and my knee scars are at the point where they’re not really noticeable unless you were up close and looking really carefully at my knees. And even if they did show I’m a firm believer that: “A scar simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you!”

    Posted 4.30.20
    • people are already asking if i’ll wear short skirts or shorts with my scar. and i’m with you sue. yes! and my orthopedic surgeon did such a great job that i can hardly see me scar three weeks post-op. agree with your philosophy of scars. take care!

      Posted 4.30.20
  13. MaryLynne wrote:

    Thinking about shorts, I’m reminded of a tour of Edinboro Scotland. Some women in their seventies were wearing shorts. A woman came up to them and said in a very thick scottish accent “Don’t you have a mirror a t’home? I say let your mirror not your age or the current fashion be your guide. My mirror tells me that my swollen scarred knees are not for public display. Also Europeans dress in the city. Only American tourists would wear shorts.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • i always crack up at how divisive the simple subject of shorts is. anytime i publish a post on shorts i holler “batten down the hatches.”
      if you don’t feel comfortable wearing shorts than by all means don’t wear them. but i will say that women worldwide wear shorts. yes, even Europeans. and they also wear jeans and sneakers.

      Posted 4.30.20
  14. Ginny wrote:

    No, I do not wear shorts. I haven’t wore shorts for years. I love the crop pant and that’s my go to when it gets warm.
    My favorite look that you showed today were the black shorts. They were a bit longer and a more trim fit.
    Once again, this just seems to be a confidence in your style issue. I am not confident in shorts so they do not fit my style. Maybe in a round about way I’m saying that they aren’t age appropriate for me anymore, the same as a tube top or 6 inch heels.
    At this point in my life, I know what makes me confident and that’s what I want to project.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • style is always about personal preference. although i don’t think anyone is wearing tube tops these days or six inch heels. but if you don’t like shorts then you don’t like shorts. period.

      Posted 4.30.20
  15. Linda H wrote:

    I love the bold floral top with the spicy orange shorts! I can imagine being able to wear that ensemble into September, as we say good-bye to another summer.
    Thank you for the fashion inspiration!

    Posted 4.30.20
    • i love the vibrant shades of that popover along with the shorts! perfect all summer long.

      Posted 4.30.20
  16. Iris Speed wrote:

    These pics must have been made before your knee surgery. Or you have some good scar cover. I’ve had both knees replaced and don’t go out of the house in shorts. Also don’t wear skirts or dresses that are above the knee. Yea, it’s really limited my choices.

    Posted 4.30.20
    • yes, if you take a look at my hair you’ll see that this post is a compilation of previous post. but you better believer i will be wearing shorts (and heels) after my knee replacement. i would never allow a scar to stop me from wearing what i want.

      Posted 4.30.20
  17. Janet Reading wrote:

    HI Beth,
    Thank you for your upbeat blog during this trying time. It is a fun interlude each morning! And I am so glad you shared your knee surgery with your online friends and that you have recovered so well..and with grace. Now, about the shorts controversy: I am 69 years old and do wear shorts in the summer, BUT, proportion and length is key—just above my knee and slim through the leg are my rules for looking chic and stylish, in my opinion. Your outfits with the black shorts fill the bill!

    Posted 4.30.20
    • thanks for stopping by, janet! good for you for giving shorts a try no matter the length.

      Posted 4.30.20
  18. Marilyn wrote:

    I wear shorts. Period. I dress them up and dress them casually. My legs get tan and I love the way they look when wearing shorts.
    I broke my femur bone in half 10 years ago while going over a jump on my horse. As a result, I have a nice big conversation starting scar on my leg. Did I stop wearing a bathing suit? No! Sure as shooting, nothing is going to stop me from being attractive and comfortable!! (I’ll be 70 in Sept. )

    Posted 4.30.20
    • you have the right attitude marily! touche about the bathing suite. my mother wore shorts well into her eighties. not only did she love to wear them when it was hotter than hades outside she looked fantastic even if her legs weren’t as firm as they were in her twenties.

      Posted 4.30.20
  19. Mary Frances wrote:

    90 degrees predicted next week, so shorts time is coming soon. I definitely wear shorts when I’ll be outside, like a softball or baseball game. Some people blast the a/c so cold that I need more clothes inside. I’ll be happier with my shorts after my legs get a bit of color, but would not stop wearing them because of my age. The appearance of my legs would carry more weight. If I were not comfortable exposing my legs, I would not wear them, but nothing to do with my age. I don’t wear sleeveless because of the skin on my upper arms (no flabby muscles, just stretched out skin) nor have I ever been a fan of armpits. But we need to wear what we are comfortable and confitdent wearing, no numbers involved.

    Posted 4.30.20
  20. Janet McCaw wrote:

    My legs have varicose veins. My husband thinks I look great in tights and shorts. What is your opinion?

    Posted 5.9.20
  21. Lynnda Dunn wrote:

    Good morning Beth,
    I just watched your video about five rules a woman over fifty should break. Well, it made my day! I am eighty two and break every rule. Not once has anyone told me to dress my age instead most comments are complimentary. And best of all most people think I am younger than my age.

    Posted 5.13.20

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