If shorts are on your “do not wear list,” you are not alone. Over the years, requests for alternatives to shorts begin to flood my inbox starting in early May.
I don’t mind wearing shorts. For me, they are a practical, sporty option for long, hot days jumping between working at home and raising three kids. But lately, as they have been getting shorter, and I’ve been getting older, they are not always my first choice.
So today, I thought it would be helpful to highlight options to wear if you don’t wear shorts.
The good news is (1) there are a lot of options to choose from, (2) they are all more polished than a pair of shorts, and (3) in this season of staying closet to home, you’ll look and feel pulled together without even trying.
Plus, all the items below are on amazing sales with fabulous size options!
What to Wear When You Don’t Wear Shorts
Maxi dresses come in all kinds of styles, from stretchy cotton to linen blend. They can be cut slim or full, and work on a casual day at the beach to a sun-filled small outdoor wedding.
What’s nice about a maxi is that you have plenty of room to breath and because you are wearing a dress you look chic and pulled together.
This cheerful tiered maxi from J.Crew Factory takes no effort to wear. It’s available in sizes 00 – 20.
I own and love this red maxi from LOFT. I wear it with a strapless bra and have no issues (remember I have an 18 month old so comfort for me is key). LOFT is doing an amazing job with sizes. This dress is available in regular, petite, plus AND tall. Also in black.
Finally, if you would like something a little more finished, and with a proper sleeve, this floral print from Banana Republic is gorgeous. It’s available in regular, tall and petite sizes up to a size 20.
Old Navy, $24 | H&M
If covering up your legs is your end goal than linen pants are a fantastic alternative. Yes, they wrinkle, so if the wrinkles bother you don’t wear them.
For a full length, wide leg option, look no further than Old Navy. Available in six colors, in regular, tall and petite sizes, these are an easy, light weight option. Wear them with a simple tee shirt and flat sandals.
I’m also a big fan of these slim lined ankle pants by H&M. I wear them casually with a cotton top and have also dressed them up with a silky tank and wedges. Sizes are more limited.
Tee Shirt Dress
If you don’t mind showing some leg, a tee shirt dress is ideal.
You can wear with sneakers, sandals, or flip flops. They almost always come in cotton or a cotton blend, so they travel and wash well. Pay attention to their length because, like a tee shirt, they may shrink a little bit. It’s always better to have it run long at first.
Add a baseball hat and a crossbody bag for a busy summer day with or take on vacation for a casual day of sightseeing.
These are the definition of “throw on and go.”
The options above are all similar. Amazon’s brand, Daily Ritual, makes a simple dress, in a ton of colors, up to a size XXL. I always order two sizes from Amazon since they tend to be all over the scale.
Everlane is the most polished of the three, with a seam at the waist detail that really changes the whole look and gives just enough shape. The color options are also the most sophisticated.
Finally, Old Navy has regular, petite and tall options up to a size XXL here. I don’t like the prints offered, but the solids and stripe are all winners. Plus size here.
Ankle Pants or Skorts
Skorts are rising again in popularity and I am here for it. If you like the idea of shorts, but wish for a little more coverage, try out a skort. They’re cute, preppy, and still look sporty.
An ankle pant is a more formal option, that you can wear casually or to the office, especially if you live in a cooler climate. Pair them with an open shoe and a sleeveless, lightweight top.
These pixie pants from Old Navy are a cotton blend with a little stretch. They are available in regular, petite and tall up to size 20 in an array of fun summer colors and year round neutrals.
Finally, by now, we all know my opinion on capris. I skip over them as a category because they have been over-designed and mangled to the point that they are unflattering. They have too many pockets, are often over-embellished, and they hit you at the worst possible place on your leg.
Any of the options listed above are a practical alternative to shorts and capris.
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