Shorts For Short Legs: Top Tips On How To Wear Them

Shorts For Short Legs: Top Tips On How To Wear Them

Shorts can be a little intimidating if you've got shorter legs, so here are our top tips on how to choose and style a pair that will flatter your leg length.

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Now that we've entered summer, the days are getting longer, the trees are starting to blossom and everyone's legs are starting to creep out of their jeans. If your legs are on the shorter side then it can be quite difficult to find a pair of shorts that won't make it look like you've got short stumpy legs. There are a few things that you can do when choosing and styling your shorts that will allow you to get your calves out without feeling self-conscious.

Here at The Idle Man, we love a good pair of shorts when the weather decides to eventually turn warmer. So we thought we'd give you a little help on styling them out this season, so if you've skipped a leg day or two, then it's probably best to get yourself into the gym so you can show off your pins with pride.

Choosing the Shorts


When it comes to colour, your best bet is something similar to your skin tone. This creates the illusion that your stumpy legs are longer than they actually are, instead of chopping them in half like a contrasting colour would. Chino shorts come in a whole range of tones, making them a go-to option if you're looking for something close to your skin tone. Don't go too crazy and whack out a colour chart though, because if you get something that perfectly matches your skin you will end up looking like you're going commando.

man in shorts street style



How short is too short? Now being a man in short shorts, you face a lot of challenges. Just above the knee length shorts are the ideal fit if you're looking to lengthen your legs. If you go for some men's below the knee shorts, you'll create the illusion of even shorter legs; if you go for something too short, you risk drawing unwanted attention to your problem area. Men's short length shorts are significantly easier to pull off in height isn't on your side.

Knee length shorts if rolled up are a classic fit which can be easily worked into any man's wardrobe. A simple denim pair take minimal effort to style and can be dressed up with an Oxford shirt, or down with a pair of trainers, depending on the formality of the occasion.


If a pair of plain shorts is a tad on the boring side for you, then you can step things up a notch with a patterned pair. You can get as eccentric as you like, as long as the pattern is somewhat linear. Unfortunately camo and paisley won't serve you well if you're looking to lengthen your legs, but there's still a lot of options; such as this deck print pair.  As always with patterned bottoms, it's best to pair them with something a little simpler on top to avoid clashing prints.

printed swim shorts summer style



A slim-fitting pair of shorts is the best option if you want your legs to look long and lean. If you opt for something too baggy, then you will drown your legs out altogether and something too tight can easily be unflattering. Most chino and denim above-the-knee shorts come in a slim fit, so there is plenty of choices out there. These classic options can also be styled to suit almost any occasion, making them the perfect staple for your Spring wardrobe.

mens green t shirt black shorts black and white trainers


How to Style them


Now shoes for short men are a hard thing to get right. Another golden (or slightly sand-coloured) rule for lengthening the legs is to choose a shoe that's also similar to your skin tone. Anything too brightly coloured will basically chop your feet off altogether, and if you go for some form of high-top then you can kiss goodbye to your ankles, too.

Low-top trainers are perfect for everyday wear and casual occasions; a pair of Converse will be durable, practical and comfortable. If you want something a little more summery and with a hint of sophistication, woven slip-ons are a great in-between shoe. They give you the comfort of a trainer but can be worn in more formal situations from which your Converse are banned. If you want to really dress your shorts up, then loafers are going to be your go-to shoe. They are the King of sophisticated Summer

If you want to really dress your shorts up, then loafers are going to be your go-to shoe. They are the King of sophisticated Summer footwear and a sure-fire way to bring some class to any outfit (with the exception of your short leg tracksuit bottoms, they definitely won't be any help there).

mens shorts street style black polo shirt for men
PHOTO CREDIT: All That I Covet


Colour Scheme

If you can keep your top and bottom halves colour coordinated, then you're going to greatly improve your chances of looking long and lean all over. That doesn't mean that you have to go completely monotone; keeping things coordinated basically just means keeping it simple. If you've opted for a darker shade of shorts, then a basic grey hoodie is a perfect match for casual day-wear. If you want something a bit sharper, then a logo tee can help inject some high-end fashion into your look.

Shorts For Short Legs

  • Colour - we'd recommend neutral colours like stone and blue to give you some options
  • Length - no below the knee, it'll only highlight how short your legs are
  • Pattern - a fresh geometric pattern on your shorts will make a statement and draw attention away from your small legs
  • Fit - skinny or slim definitely, baggy shorts will look silly if you're below 5'8
  • Shoes - we'd recommend low top shoes to make your outfit look sleek

mens jeans shorts vans outfit

On That Note

It's time to welcome shorts back with open arms. If you follow these few simple rules then you'll have no trouble picking out a new pair to wear this Summer, or dusting off your old ones and styling them in a new way. Whether it's just a casual kick-about in the park with your mates or a formal lunch date with someone that you're trying to impress, there is now no excuse to keep your legs hidden away.


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