For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Can I wear shorts over 40? • Beige, Black and Brown Summer Outfit

Shorts over 40 • Beige Black Brown • Fake Fabulous

Can you wear shorts over 40?
I'll let you decide that one!

I've been having a look online to see what the fashion world is saying about shorts "at a certain age".

{Ugh...That phrase makes me shudder!}

There are many short-wearing recommendations out there.
Loads on Pinterest.
Plenty of blogposts.
Even great YouTube videos.

Some I admire.
Some not so much.

I've notice one thing that is a little annoying.
Many of the "Tips and Tricks" for over-40 styling seem completely age-irrelevant.

Surely it's how you feel about your legs... or more importantly the back of your thighs!... that matters most?
This is just as important at 16 as it is at 60.

I want to share a secret with you...
Shorts over 40 • Beige Black Brown • Fake Fabulous

When I was younger (for as long as I can remember and up until about the age of 30) I HATED my legs.
Seriously, I despised them.

This came from being teased by my dad about my legs looking like "Sparrow's Shanks" or "knotty cottons".
I'm sure he thought he was being funny but words do hurt, especially when they come from important people in your life.
I don't remember my mum ever telling him off for it either.

For many years I thought my legs were ugly.

The irony of this is that when I was younger they looked 10X better than they do now, but I didn't EVER show them.

If I wore shorts (I or a skirt) I had to wear layers of thick tights (sometimes 3 or 4 pairs... seriously) AND big boots.
Sad really.

At 30 I realised something....

My Legs are amazing!

Not because they look amazing.
(They're okay... I don't hate them anymore at least.)
I could write list of flaws.
I won't, because it's not healthy to focus on flaws but I'm well aware of my leg issues.

They're amazing because they've not only served me well for 46 years BUT they've also lugged my children around for a total of 27 months.
They allow me to walk with my friends, catching up and chatting.
Run around with Jake (our dog).
And do other fun activities I enjoy.

I'm grateful for them now.
Very grateful.

AND... I've learned a very important life lesson.
Always tell your children how beautiful and amazing they are!

Shorts over 40 • Beige Black Brown • Fake Fabulous

Anyway, enough of my pity party.
Back to the issue here.
Can we wear shorts over 40?

I think you know the answer to this one, don't you?

Of course you can!
If you like shorts then wear them.

Getting them right is surprisingly easy too.

{I'll share my "rules" in a minute.}

Styling shorts can seem like a daunting prospect.
No-one wants to look frumpy and dumpy, or like mutton dresses as lamb.

The problem is that many of the so-called "youthful" looks involve a big blow-out, over-tanned legs, a Balmain blazer, uncomfortable heels, a designer emblazoned bag and a Gucci belt.

They're also often on people who look like they're models (or were models in a previous life).
Not very helpful for us mere mortals!

Personally, I think that the over-done look is more ageing than just wearing boring denim cut-offs a plain tee!
{BTW... I love the look of denim cut-offs and a tee and wear them often}

I think all of those designer labels crammed together, and precise styling, looks tacky.
For me, this is because the outfit looks too try-hard.

{Just my opinion of course, Feel free to disagree!}

In my eyes, the people who rock the shorts look best are the people that keep things real.
They may not have legs like Kate Moss BUT they have their own style.
They stay true to themselves.

My 'How to Wear Shorts over 40' RULES (that aren't really rules at all):

1. Forget that they're shorts!

What on earth do I mean by that?

Think of your shorts not as shorts but as super-cropped trousers.
Style them as you would a pair of crops, or culottes.
Think of them as your cool companion.
Your companion that is there to make your day more comfortable.

They're not your leg's enemy... they're your comfort's friend!

2. Check the length.

Ignore the rules when it comes to length.
Wear what YOU like.
You know your own legs.
You know where the squishy inner thigh bulge ends (cover that up).
You know that you don't want to drawn attention to your knees 
{All knees are more about that HERE... I'm even wearing the same pair of shorts!}

You know where your slimmest part is.

Don't fall into the trap of going too long in order to 'cover things up'.
You're not fooling anyone with those long shorts!]
Shorts end just above the knee can draw attention straight towards them.
PLUS... they chop your legs in half.

If you really feel uncomfortable about showing any thigh at all then maybe shorts are not for you?
Avoid Bermudas (especially tight denim ones) if your thighs are bigger.
Maybe a pair of floaty culottes (or even a skirt) would work better?

Sometimes shorts are not the answer.

3. Check the width.

Tight shorts can look great on some people.
However, keeping shorts loose is a slightly safer bet!
Plenty of room for your bum, hips and thighs is essential, especially if there are a few saggy bits or lumpy bits.

If you struggle to find things to fit properly buy a bigger size and get the waistband taken in to fit neatly.
Fabric flowing over you legs is so much more flattering than pulling and puckering, regardless of your size!

4. Check your rear view.

This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT STEP.
Your backside is going to be viewed many more times than your front.
You don't want bad things happening back there!

Whether you're buying new shorts or digging out shorts you already own, make sure you check yourself.
Walk about in your shorts... do they bunch up at the inner thigh or ride up your legs?

Check your backside in a mirror.
Bend down and touch your toes.
{Yes, really!}

Can you see what you had for breakfast?
Step away from that pair!

The perfect shorts allow your legs to fall freely from under them without digging in or clinging.
If you're constantly pulling at them (or readjusting) then they're not right for you.

It might take work to find the perfect pair.
If you don't think it's worth it then don't feel you have to wear shorts.

A linen or cotton midi skirt or even a denim skirt can looks just as summery, fresh and fun.

Don't sweat it!

Let me know what you think!
Are shorts for you?

What style do you prefer?

Also, how do you feel about YOUR legs?

I'd love to know!

Shorts over 40 • Beige Black Brown • Fake Fabulous

MORE SHORTS OUTFITS you might enjoy:

SHORTS: Topshop (years and years old... AND charity shopped too!)
BLACK CAMI TOP: Asda (old)
BRACELETS: Various old/borrowed/vintage bits.
BAG: Asos
JACKET: Ancient Topshop... from the 90s!
NECKLACE: very old too.
GLASSES: Ted Baker
SHOES: Topshop (secondhand from eBay)
LIPSTICK: Mac Viva la diva.


  1. Hi Samantha, that's a great outfit! I adore the stripy jacket and your necklace pulls the whole look together beautifully.
    As regards shorts, I'm a bit wary also because of family "teasing". On a visual level, I know my legs are fab but a little niggle inside me just won't let me enjoy wearing them. You've made a hugely important point about commenting on our kids 'appearance. I try always to find something to compliment in my daughters' ensembles. Given that I have two teenagers at the moment, it can be tricky.....
    Thanks for a brilliant post.

    1. It is tricky!
      Hahahaha yes indeed.
      My two youngest are 15 and 13 and their fashion choices are.... How can I say this.... Not my taste? πŸ˜‚
      However, I try to remember how I felt at that age and appreciate where they're coming from. I can conceded that a top is nice... Nice for them... πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜‡
      Please try and get some shorts on your body.
      I bet your legs are amazing and even if you have niggles no one else will notice or care.
      It took me 30 years to realise that!
      Get some shorts on as soon as you can and feel liberated!

  2. love the shorts on you! and yes you have amazing legs! i just posted an upcycle for a poof sleeve blouse and the only pairing that made sense was a pair of army green, high waisted gloria vanderbilt denim shorts....i vacillated between whether i could wear shorts at my age....and what i lack in color (i don't tan at all anymore!) i make up in shape--i have nice legs too ; ) i hope you can check out my legs too! (normally i don't post links--but since you mentioned legs, i had to share!)

    1. Wow!
      You're amazingly talented transforming that dress into such a modern looking top.
      Perfectly paired with shorts and legs for days too!!
      Thank you so much for sharing Eva. X

    2. I love this outfit, the pieces, the colours. Is the jacket linen? You look really fabulous, and your advice is spot on as always. I wear shorts in summer. I live in a hot seaside town so people even wear bikini's on the main street (not me, ha-ha). I do prefer shorts to a mini-skirt, though not too short. Lise

    3. I'm not sure what it's made of Lise... It feels like silk or linen but it's so old and doesn't have a care label. I've had it for over 20 years and it gets worn every summer! 😍
      I'm pleased to hear that you enjoy wearing shorts too.... Although bikinis seem a little excessive πŸ˜….... I think they'd be fatalities if that happened here... Hypothermia!! Xxx

  3. I too hated my legs for years - I was very skinny and called ‘chicken legs’ in high school. I didn’t wear short dresses or shorts until I hit 30 and realised that if I am comfortable with my legs it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. So at 40, I am all about shorts now. I just lament those summers spent boiling in jeans and long pants for no good reason...

  4. woww, love your outfit and how cool you look in these shorts, so brilliantly accessorized!, summery and elegant!. These earthy colors look so fab on you!
    Totally agree that it's better to consider shorts just as trousers and pick whatever style you usually wear, highwaisted or not, loose or tight.
    I've never been a huge fan of shorts but have worn a lot of mini skirts in my 20's and 30's (they were trendy! and I considered my legs as a strong point!)
    Nowadays I have varicose veins and stuff, so don't show my legs anymore, but I'm glad that I showed them when younger!


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