How to Wear Denim Shorts at ANY Age and Look AMAZING! Everything You *Need* To Know

& 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! Whether you think they’re too short, you don’t like your legs, or you just don’t know how to style them…it’s completely up to you! I am on Team Denim Shorts! And before you dismiss them, I have a few tips for finding the perfect pair of age-appropriate jean shorts that won’t make you feel like you’re dressing like your teenage daughter!

Find more do’s and don’ts for wearing shorts over 40 here.


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How To Find The Perfect Denim Shorts

  • Check The Rise – The shorts above have an 11” rise, so they’re very high-waisted, which is quite flattering. Anywhere from 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 wouldn’t go shorter than 5″.
  • Size Up 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! Denim is traditionally more structured which helps with hiding lumps and bumps. If the fit is tight around the legs, they are not the right shorts, send them back and try again.
  • Bend Over – “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, they are not the right fit. This is likely due to the rise.
  • Fingertip Test – 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 two favorite pairs of denim shorts below…

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SHORTS | MORE SIZES | MORE SIZES

I LOVE Moussy Vintage jeans and have quite a few pairs. So when I saw that they had denim shorts, I knew I had to try them! 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 (10”) 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!

Shop more by Moussy Vintage here.

Age Appropriate Denim Shorts, Fashion blogger over 40 Erin Busbee of BusbeeStyle.com wearing AGOLDE denim shorts and a black tee and panama hat at Lake Powell, age appropriate denim shortsAge Appropriate Denim Shorts, Fashion blogger over 40 Erin Busbee of BusbeeStyle.com wearing AGOLDE denim shorts and a black tee with white Superga sneakers at Lake Powell, age appropriate denim shorts

SHORTS

These were my go-to denim shorts last summer and I will definitely keep wearing them this summer! This brand, Agolde, is a line by the same designer as 7 For All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity…both amazing denim brands! 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 12.25” rise! So you feel very secure and tucked in. The inseam is 4” so they’re not too short and completely cover your bum. The shorts I’m wearing are the Dee Shorts but our editor, Susan also loves the Parker Long Shorts if you want to check those out too!

More AGOLDE shorts here.
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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