My Favorite Denim Shorts Over 40
One of the most common questions I get around the spring and summer is about whether or not women over 40 can wear denim shorts. Well, the short answer is…”yes, you absolutely can wear them.” I am definitely on Team Denim Shorts! And before you dismiss them for you because of any number of reasons/insecurities, please read through my essential styling tips below…for finding the perfect pair of jean shorts at any age! You might just change your mind. Plus, I’m sharing my all-time favorite pairs I wear on repeat each summer…
Find more do’s and don’ts for wearing shorts over 40 and how to feel confident wearing shorts here.
How To Find The Perfect Denim Shorts
Check The Rise
The shorts above have an 11” rise, so they’re very high-waisted, which can be quite flattering (when they don’t highlight the lower tummy – fit is key). 9” to 12” inches is considered high rise. I prefer high-waist shorts because they make my legs look longer!
Check The Inseam
I usually like to wear shorts with an inseam between 3” and 5”. 3 inches is pretty short, but if you are petite like me, you can get away with it. If you are taller (think 5’7″+) I would consider 5″ or longer.
With denim shorts, it’s best to size up one size. You don’t want anything too tight in the waist creating a muffin top.
Think About Fit & Fabric
Give yourself some breathing room in the leg area (sizing up helps here). If the leg holes are a bit wider, it will make your thighs look smaller! Sometimes jean shorts have a sort of triangle shape where the legs bell out slightly. That’s the most flattering and slimming style. If the fit is too tight around the legs, they are not the right shorts, send them back and try again.
“Moon River. Hey doc, you ever serve time?” Anyone know that quote?? 😉 For REAL, when you put on the shorts, turn around in the mirror and bend over. I would also drop something and pick it up off the ground. If you can see your bum in that process (either at top or bottom), they are not the right fit. This is likely due to both rise and inseam.
How short is too short?? When in doubt, you can try the fingertip test. Put your arms down by your sides. If your shorts are WAY shorter than the end of your fingertips, you might want to opt for a longer inseam. If they are close or even below the fingertips, you are good! Longer arms? Be sure to add that into your calculation here. And, remember this is just a guideline. You do not have to adhere to this rule.
Find my three favorite pairs of denim shorts below…
All-time favorite pair…(drumroll please) Moussy Vintage jean shorts! (I also LOVE their jeans.) I’ve had this pair for about three years and…I love them! They’re comfortable but the denim is stiff enough to make you feel secure. The length (3” inseam) and high rise (11”) are great. And I love the distressing and raw hem. They also have plenty of room around the leg so that they have that looser-looking fit! Moussy has different styles of denim shorts but I’m wearing the Packard style…I haven’t tried the Chester, Wheatfield, or Walworth styles yet. (Sizing note: if you are long from waist to crotch, this is NOT the right style or pair for you.)
Shop more by Moussy Vintage here.
#2 | Agolde Jean Shorts
These were my go-to denim shorts before I found the Moussy Vintage shorts…but don’t get me wrong, I definitely still wear these shorts each summer too! This brand, Agolde, is a line by the same designer as 7 For All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity…both amazing denim brands! Agolde is known for its trendy jeans and amazing denim shorts. These shorts give me a 90s vibe I love, but with a twist. I love the minimal distressing, raw hem, and high waist.
These are not your average high waist shorts…they have a 12” rise! So you feel very secure and tucked in. The inseam is 3.25” so they’re not too short and completely cover your bum. The shorts I’m wearing are the Dee Shorts but unfortunately, the exact wash is sold out since I bought these so long ago! If you like a darker wash, go with this pair. if you like a lighter wash, go with this pair.
More AGOLDE shorts here.
After wearing my Agolde Dee shorts and Moussy Packard shorts for years, I decided it was time to try a new pair of denim shorts this year…the Agolde Parker Long Loose Vintage Shorts. You probably noticed something a little different about these shorts…they don’t have a raw hem! I love that this year’s version of the Parker shorts has an uncut hem that makes them feel a little more polished than a raw hem. They have an 11” rise and 4” inseam so you still feel secure in the tummy area and covered in the bum area. The whiskering and fading is minimal and there’s no distressing…something I know many of you prefer! I’m wearing the wash “Occurrence” that’s the perfect medium wash. But they also come in a dark wash, light wash, and white.
Bonus | Agolde White Jean Shorts
If you already have a pair of traditional blue denim shorts, it might be time to add a pair of white denim shorts to your summer wardrobe! In the photo above, I’m wearing the Parker Long shorts in white (called “Panna Cotta”). These have an 11” rise, an almost 5” inseam, and they’re no see-through at all…a must if you’re going to wear white shorts or jeans! The fabric in the pockets is also super lightweight so you don’t get that weird bulking and bunching around your hips.
Shop more denim shorts here.
Have you found a pair of denim shorts you love?? Don’t keep that to yourself! Please share in the comments below!
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