A Short Guide to Making Shorts Look Good

In this edition of Help Me Dress Myself, a stylist provides pointers on how to wear shorts without looking like an overgrown 12-year-old.

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Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’re looking at how to actually look good in a pair of shorts—that way, you don’t have to wear pants while sweating your butt off this summer.

Step #1: Pick a Style

Not all shorts are created equal, according to Parvis. “Jean shorts look like Daisy Dukes; Bermuda shorts should be saved for tropical vacations; and baggy cargo shorts shrink your legs,” she explains. Chino shorts and flat-front shorts—that is, those with belt loops, a zipper, a button and no pleats—however, are just right, as they won’t draw any unwanted attention to your stomach. This is a major plus if you’re a bigger dude.

Step #2: Find Your Fit

Arguably more important than any other aspect of shorts is the fit—too large and you’ll look like a toddler, too small and you’ll end up showing off way more of yourself than the rest of the world bargained for. “Shorts should fit like pants would―close to your body and with a slight taper,” Rayne explains, adding that the bottom of the shorts should sit an inch or two above your knee. Remember: Too much thigh won’t fly.

Step #3: Keep it Simple

Instead of trying to make a statement with a bright-colored pair of shorts, Parvis suggests sticking to solid colors and avoiding overly busy patterns. “Anything too bright or tropical will lead people to think you’re wearing a bathing suit,” she says, which is a look best saved for the pool.

Step #4: Plan Your Outfit

If you’re going for a more sophisticated look than shorts, a T-shirt and sneakers (and a hoodie if it’s chilly), Rayne recommends a tucked in button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a slim brown belt and light-colored dress shoes [keep in mind, however, that dress shoes and shorts are a tough look to pull off] or white slip-on sneakers with low-cut socks. That way, you can bare your legs at a summertime gathering without feeling underdressed.

Now get out there and remind the world just how beautiful a guy’s legs can be—apprehensive short-wearers everywhere are counting on you.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.