Shorts are great for so many occasion. They can be worn as casual summer date outfits or beach vacation outfits, but you must know how to wear them for your body type! Women’s bodies are all unique and beautiful in their own way and should never be shamed for being different. It’s summertime and there is no time for feeling uncomfortable about our bodies. With the temperatures rising the amount of clothing we wear usually goes down, but for full-figured women, summer can cause more anxiety than excitement. The truth is, many women do not know which plus size shorts are flattering for their body type and end up avoiding them altogether. No matter size you are, whether your shape is curvy and voluptuous or flat and boxy, there are plus size summer shorts out there that will look great on everyone. The trick is finding what works for you and making it your own!
Body Type 101
Most of us are already pretty familiar with the fruit-like comparison we have been given based on the characteristics of our body. While we most certainly are not as basic as a piece of fruit, starting with these generalizations can be helpful when determining your body type, especially if you are not sure exactly what yours is.
The task of dressing for your body type — pear or hourglass, for example — requires a slightly different approach when it comes to styling from the plus-size department. Depending on your height and weight you can actually be a blend of two shapes. Way to make things more confusing right? But this is why trying on clothes when shopping is so important! There is truly no way to know what something is going to look and feel like on your body until you try it on, so rule #1 when shopping for plus size summer shorts, make sure to try them on!
The Hourglass shape is probably the most coveted shapes of them all due to it being what most would consider a well-balanced, proportionate body type for women. Think va-va-voom Jessica Rabbit with her red dress and lips as beautifully full as her breasts and hips. The Hourglass woman's hips and bust are full, and her waist is naturally slimmer and along with the Pear Shape, this is one of the most common plus-size body types.
Common Characteristics of the Hourglass Shape:
- Large chest
- Narrowly defined waist
- Round full bottom
No matter how ample you are in these areas personally, your goal is to find clothes that fit and flatter your curves. Hourglass shapes tend to look great in classic cuts and styles, as this has historically been the ideal body shape for women, which Marilyn Monroe made famous back in her day. However, fuller-figured women were not typically seen in this era, making women’s plus size shorts all but nonexistent which makes shopping for plus size outfits for hot weather difficult. But today, that has all changed! With the fashion industry evolving in direct response to the way women’s bodies have also been evolving. As the size and shape of women has been changing over the years, there has been a noticeable outpouring of fashionable options for shorts that are plus size.
For the Hourglass shape, in particular, your figure can get lost if you don’t choose the right fit. Choose a pair of shorts that are more structured and on the tailored side to show off your classic shape. Some great options for an Hourglass woman are styles that come in at the waist and either flow out over the hips or are slim and hug those beautiful hips and thighs. Try a style that has a tie at the waist and comes in a cloth fabric that can be easily loosened and tightened as you please. The Hourglass figure can get away with a lot more than they think, although finding the most flattering options may just take slightly more time to locate.
Now moving onto a body type that is almost in direct contrast to the Hourglass Shape we just went over. Introducing The Rectangle, which is a shape many women have, but may not be aware that they fall into this category. The rectangle is a shape that is typically more narrow vertically and is considered a “straight body type” as there are no clearly defined curves. To put it simply, there is no distinction between the woman's bust, waist, and hips as you move your eyes downward from the top to the bottom half of the body.
Common characteristics of a Rectangle Shape:
- Undefined waist
- Same size bust and hips
- A little boxy and boyish
Women with this body type should look for women's plus size clothing that will give the appearance of having a much curvier shape. To create more dimension along the body and give off the illusion of a fuller silhouette, try to look for plus size summer shorts that are not as form-fitting and pair them with similar fitting tops. Avoid tight shorts or bottoms as they will only reveal the lack of curves your figure has to offer. Shorts that cling to the shape of your body will actually be doing a better job of showcasing the narrow lines of your shape. So to avoid this, try shorts that come in a loose fitting denim fabric or a skort that is a-line and will flow away from the body to create a naturally curvier look. You can also try your plus size summer shorts with a belt to define a waist that may not necessarily be there and to also add a hint of your personal style by incorporating a fun accessory.
The overall goal for The Rectangle is to not look boxy. A few benefits for women that have a Rectangle Shape, is that by having this type of proportion on a woman's body, women are able to go for bolder prints, asymmetrical cuts, heavier fabrics, and wider options that most full-figured women are not able to pull off. So if you have been down on yourself for being a Rectangle, know that there is hope in sight and more options out there than you realized. You might have to be a little more creative when it comes to finding pieces and accessories that will help play into this shapely illusion, but if you're willing to give it a try, you will be a short-sporting beauty all Summer long!
You are the apple of my eye and here are a few reasons why! Similar to the name itself, the Apple-Shaped body type takes on the distinct look of this fruit with the widest measurement in the middle of the body. A woman with this body type typically is more proportioned throughout her shoulders, hips, and legs which tend to be much slimmer than the mid-section. Some apple shapes are also referred to as diamond or oval shapes. Cue Rihanna singing “Shine bright like a diamond…”, but we digress!
Common Characteristics of the Apple Shape:
- Slim legs
- Large chest
- Most weight is carried in the tummy or top half of the body
For most Apple Shapes, creating or defining a waist is key. Because most of the weight is being carried in the upper part of the body, it’s important to try and create the illusion of an Hourglass Shape with your clothes and accessories. And since Apple Shapes have slim legs, shorts are the perfect way to show off your narrow hips and slender legs this Summer, while also drawing attention away from your full tummy. Another great trick if you still are not feeling completely comfortable is to pair your shorts with a cute pair of wedges that will also help to add definition to your legs and give the appearance of looking more toned. So, it’s time to pop on those plus size shorts, put the spotlight on those legs and let the world see how confident you can be in your own body!
Next, we have The Pear! Pear Shapes are considered to be one of the most common body shapes on women today. Although, some Pear Shapes can also look dangerously close to that of an Hourglass, so you might actually be a slight blend of both. A few popular celebrities that definitely know how to dress for their body type are: Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Michelle Obama and Tyra Banks just to name a few Pear Shaped ladies. These women are not “rail thin” nor would we ever want them to be!
What we admire most about these women is that while they must surely have their own hang-ups about the way their body looks sometimes, instead of wallowing in a pool of pity and self-loathing they have decided to embrace the body they were given. Women that try to force themselves into a style of women’s clothing that was just not designed to flatter their figure will end up looking more like a hot mess rather and less like a chic, fashion-forward woman. Plus-size women need to remember that they can still keep up with the latest trends, they just might have to tweak the rules a bit.
Common Characteristics of the Pear Shape:
- Wide hips
- Thick thighs and legs
- Small defined waist
- Narrow Shoulders
If you’re a Pear, your focus is going to be on balancing out your upper body with your lower half. Often Pear Shapes have a hard time finding bottoms that fit their ample hips and small waist, so a tailor should be on your speed dial, even for shorts! Many people often think of tailors only being used for altering the fancier, more formal items in their wardrobe, but when it comes to getting the right fit, you should use the same consideration with all of your clothes, even the most casual.
Look for a pair of shorts that sit higher on the waist and come in a fabric that is more generous around the hips and thighs. Also, while you’re shopping, be sure to keep your eyes open for similar styles that provide support and stretch around your largest measurements. As we mentioned earlier for the Rectangle Shape, belts are a great way to add definition. A belt can help you show off your small waist and draw attention away from other areas you want to minimalize. Pear Shapes can try a pair of bermudas or a style that hits slightly mid-thigh which will showcase your beautiful, full shape. You can also balance the fuller bottom with a fitted cute plus size summer top or one that has more frills in order to draw attention upward.
The terms apple, pear, busty, and hourglass have been in the public consciousness for a while now, but lately, we are seeing some other shapes emerge. While not the most common or notably heard of, the Carrot Shape has come into our lexicon as more and more women are beginning to shop in the plus-size category. It’s no secret that society has given women these impossible beauty standards to live up to, but with the emergence of so many different body types, the fashion industry can no longer ignore the need for more ways to categorize these women.
Common Characteristics of the Carrot Shape:
- Wider Shoulders
- Slimmer Legs
Similar to The Rectangle, Carrot Shapes tend to have more of a straight, athletic build. They tend to be wider on top and have broader shoulders, but very slim legs. This body type can actually come as a result of the activities we partake in and if we are predominately using our upper bodies in a physical manner. So, when it comes to plus size shorts, go for a style that gives you the illusion of hips and thicker thighs, which help balance out the fullness on top. Cargo shorts or a pair of plus size summer shorts that have added details, which most women would tend to stay away from for fear that they might actually look bigger, this is not something the Carrot Shape has to worry about. By adding more details at the bottom, like extra pockets, fun embellishments or embroideries, will help distract from the broadness on top and give more attention to your outfit as a whole.