Shorts are a hot, but beware wrong style, length

dpaJuly 9, 2014 

— Shorts are an essential part of every hot-weather wardrobe and practically every woman can find a pair that suits her style. Right now shorts with polka dots and floral patterns made with light colors and materials are in fashion, according to style consultant Katharina Starlay.

A popular alternative is sporty shorts or even military style shorts. "The blue-denim shorts that were so short you could see the pocket dangling out have gotten longer. A few are so long they cover the knee," she says.

Not every woman should wear shorts. Hot pants are for young, slender women with long legs, according to personal shopper Maria Hans. "They look great with sneakers or sandals." Hot pants are not the only type of shorts that can be a bad mistake on the wrong body. "Bermuda shorts are basically more figure-friendly, but depending on the cut, they can make the bottom look quite large."

Length plays a major role in deciding the right pair of shorts to wear. "It's a little like the discussion over knee-length skirts," says Starlay. The question is whether above or below the knee suits you better. "You won't do yourself any favours with a hemline just above a large knee. That will only make it look even bigger." Starlay has a useful guideline to help decide: "No matter what the fashion is, the hemline should always be positioned at the point where the leg has a nice, narrow point. With some people that's over the knee, with others it's below." Hans says the new shorts designs are best combined with sporty, laid-back looks.

Zarnic takes another view of shorts. "Shorts can look very feminine and smart and we've been seeing that on the catwalks in the form of shorts combined with blouses." That looks especially great when the shorts are made from high quality material. "Many of the new models have a raised waistline and that creates a very feminine figure."

Starlay has made a conscious decision to go for a clash of styles with shorts. "If your denim shorts look worn, or have a fringed hem, then I would combine them with expensive pumps or sandals." Expensive shorts, on the other hand, look good matched with orthopedic shoes, which have become a fashion trend. "Big pullovers that end at the hips don't look good with knee-length shorts in my eyes," adds Starlay. That tends to optically divide the body into three equal parts: the upper body with the pullover, the middle with the shorts and the lower part with the calves. This can make your body look squat and bulky. Tight shirts and tops suit those shorts better. "A cool-looking top suits very short shorts ... as long as you have great legs."

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