6 Tips for Wearing Shorts If You're Over 60, Experts Say
You'll be cool and confident when rocking your cutoffs this summer.
If summer is your favorite season, chances are you already have your warm-weather wardrobe out of storage and ready to wear. But as we get older, we sometimes don't want to show as much skin—and shorts are one summer staple that present a particular challenge. You want to be comfortable in the summer heat, but you don't want shorts riding up or accentuating anything you don't want accentuated. Thankfully, stylists say hope is not lost when it comes to wearing shorts over 60. You just need to keep a few key things in mind.
"Conventional thinking has us believe that the older we get, the more covered up we must be," Elizabeth Kosich, certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, tells Best Life. "In some cases, yes. But in others, no—not true! After 60, many women's best asset is still their legs, which means it's never too late to flaunt them. Luckily, shorts are chic at any age, can be dressed up or dressed down, and are a lifesaving wardrobe staple in warm weather."
As Kosich says, shorts can be an integral part of your wardrobe no matter how old you are. So, if you want to feel comfortable and confident when rocking yours this summer, read on for stylists' six main tips.
READ THIS NEXT: 7 Ways to Dress Classy Over 60, Stylists Say.
Try a high-waisted option.
Going for a high-waisted pair of shorts can be intimidating if you've never tried them before, but you might want to give them a chance.
"A higher-rise short creates an elongated illusion for the wearer," Tara West, fashion stylist, lifestyle blogger, and podcast co-host, says. "I love a paper-bag style waist with a cinch belt to add shape to your silhouette; this waistline also elevates a simple pair of shorts, giving them more versatility and character."
Kosich also recommends high-waisted shorts for those over 60, as they can really complement your figure.
"High-waisted shorts are instantly flattering because they divide the body into thirds—the ideal outfit proportions," she says. "They also nip in the waist which accentuates curves if you have them, or adds them if you don't."
Like West, she recommends staying on-trend with paper-bag style shorts, or a double-belted waistline style.
"Put both styles on your radar and consider pairing with a white crisp shirt (sleeves rolled up), a statement arm cuff, and ballerina flats to keep the look chic and easy," Kosich says.
Consider the length.
Just as important as the waistline is the length of your shorts. How long or how short you go is entirely up to you, but you can't really go wrong with a classic Bermuda style, according to Brigid Stasen, elite stylist at Bridge Your Style.
"Clients over 60 prefer mid-length shorts for casual or everyday wear, which would hit just above the knee," West adds. "A mid-length chino short or finished hem denim short looks easy and effortless with a linen button-down or a lightweight sweater like a cotton or Pointelle-style cardigan and a sheer or silky cami."
If you do want something a bit shorter, West recommends pairing with some black opaque tights (if weather permits).
"But I would caution this approach and save it for a shorts suit with a matching blazer or jacket or for a black tie look that consists of more premium fabrics like wool, silk, leather, or crepe—and in a tailored fit," she says.
Accentuate your legs.
As Kosich says, your legs may be one of your best features, so why not show them off?
"When well styled, shorts can make your legs appear longer and your height taller," she says. "Try vertical striped shorts to create a line that elongates, or sharply creased shorts that lengthen the silhouette."
When it comes to footwear, she recommends sandals that are close to or match your skin color. "Notice how neutralizing the foot acts as a leg-extender," she shares.
Stylists also say that a monochromatic look with shorts can be really chic—and you don't have to be afraid of denim on denim. (No, really!)
"Matched sets are both smart and stylish, so consider a matching shirt and short to keep it monochromatic, minimalist, and modern," Kosich says. "Slouchy, airy linen is a chic summer look so try a classic linen shirt with rolled sleeves and a half-tuck at the waist, drawstring shorts, leather flip-flops, and a statement necklace."
She also calls the Canadian tuxedo "timeless," suggesting that you pair denim shorts with a denim top, a statement belt, and driving moccasins.
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Don't dismiss a tailored option.
West also recommends going for a tailored or textured pair of shorts at this age.
"If you're over 60, you probably want less of a playful look and more of a refined, stylish feel," she notes. "I love a tailored pair of shorts with details like gold buttons, sewn cuffs, slant pockets, wide belt loops, or sharp pleats."
You can also go for something classy and elegant like brocade, jacquard, linen, or textured tweed.
"These distinct fabrics look elegant and pair beautifully with a silk blouse and heels or casually with a tee, cardigan, and flat sandals," West says.
Dress for the occasion.
Another beautiful thing about shorts is that they aren't limited to casual events.
"Shorts are a great option for hot spring and summer days. They can be dressed up or down—an endless staple for easy outfit combinations," Stasen says.
If you need to level up your look for a more formal soirée, Kosich recommends "adding some swank."
"Pair with a blazer and a white, crisp shirt for a traditional spin, but pop the collar and push blazer sleeves up to the elbow," she recommends. "Or style with a tunic, statement earrings, and bejeweled sandals for an evening look that adds pizzazz."
On the flip side, you can keep your shorts casual. Kosich suggests classic shorts with a t-shirt, denim jacket, and statement sneakers.
"Or channel French girl chic with a half-tucked linen shirt, espadrilles, and a basket purse," she adds. "Mais oui!"