Who wears short shorts? (Of the high-waisted variety)

(H&M, £12.99)

Shorts. We can’t really describe them as a “fashion trend” because, well, can YOU remember a summer without shorts?

(Actually, if you live in the UK, you don’t need to answer that. We can remember summers when it snowed, so you can probably remember ones when there was absolutely no need for shorts, can’t you?)

Yes, shorts pop up every summer, whether they be cut-off Daisy Dukes, tailored Bermudas or anything in between. Now that people like to wear them with tights, they also pop up in winter, too, but the shorts we’re talking about here are the 2011 summer variety, which come with high waists and very short inseams. Like these:

(Short shorts by Karen Millen, £85)

Now, many women fear the short shorts. And with good reason, too.

Reasons to fear short shorts:

1. They’re short.
Well, duh! It’s pretty easy to understand why the very, er, shortness, of short shorts would be offputting to some people: both those who wear them and those who have to look at people wearing them. Short clothes are, by their nature, revealing. Short shorts are particularly revealing, because they, quite literally, let it all hang out. (Or they do if you’re not wearing them right. More on that in a moment.) And that’s just not good, is it?

2. They don’t flatter the thighs.
As with so many things (see also midi skirts, ankle strap shoes) drawing a line right acrosss the widest part of the body – or the widest part of a limb, in this case – draws the eye right to it and can make it look bigger than it actually is. We’re going to take a wild guess you don’t want that, right?

3. They’re SHORT SHORTS. They’re only for models and teenagers, right?
Well, no, not necessarily. Read on…

Short shorts by River Island, £26,99

Why short shorts might be easier to pull off than you think:

OK, so most shorts of this description aren’t easy to wear at all, we’ll give you that. The high waisted versions which are popping up everywhere right now are actually easier to pull off than most, though, and here’s why:

1. The high waist hides a multitude of sins.
Not only will it help define your waist in a way that low-riders just don’t, the extra coverage over the stomach and hips goes some way towards making up for the lack of coverage on the legs. Think of it the same way you would the Hips or Boobs rule: you’re exposing a lot of leg, so you don’t want to ALSO be exposing a lot of stomach.

(Short shorts by Tara Starlet, £48)

2. The wider leg cut can actually flatter the thighs
Yes, it’s true. Shorts with a narrow leg-opening will cling to the thighs and, in the worst-case scenario, squeeze them a bit, creating that unfortunate sausage leg effect. A wide leg, however, can make your thighs look a little smaller in comparison.

3. They can make your legs look longer
As with our old friend, the mini skirt, a shorter hem = longer legs. Or that’s the theory, anyway.

(High-waisted short shorts by Elizabeth and James)

When all’s said and done, though, the fact remains: this isn’t a look for everyone, and it’s one that has to be approached with caution. What do you think of it? Will you be getting out the high-waisted short shorts this summer, or do you think this one’s better left alone?

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