How Do I Choose the Best plus Size Shorts?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus
Woman posing
Woman posing

When choosing the best plus size shorts, keep not only your overall body type in mind, but especially your legs. If your legs are one of your best features, you may want to pick shorter shorts. If, on the other hand, you have thicker thighs, choose a style that ends somewhere below their widest part, while also skimming over any bulges. For a plus size figure, it's usually best to select solid colored or smaller pattered shorts. Cotton, spandex and denim can be great fabrics for plus size shorts.

Cotton shorts are typically both cool and comfortable to wear. This fabric also tends to drape well on fuller figures by offering some thickness for coverage over bulges, yet also being thin enough to hang in a flattering way. Pick shorts in cotton materials that skim rather than cling to your body.

Denim plus size shorts with spandex added for stretchiness can be extremely comfortable as well as attractive. You may want to choose both lighter and darker shades to give you two different looks likely to go with all of your casual warm weather tops. Capri-length denim shorts, such as those that are rolled up at about knee level in a flat, cuffed style, can be an especially fun and flattering look on many plus size figures.

If you have shorter legs in comparison with the proportion of your body, a knee length capri style in plus size shorts is likely to be your best choice. If your legs are longer, you could pick a longer or shorter style. Shorter shorts are usually better to take the eye up from heavy calves or ankles. Rather than just light or dark denim shorts with spandex added for flattering stretch, consider khaki looks. If you pick a shade of beige, taupe, tan or brown that is similar to your skin tone, the color can blend in with that of your legs to give them a visually longer look.

Darker and jewel toned colored shorts can be slimming to fuller figures as well. For patterned plus size shorts, try to pick smaller prints rather than large ones. "Skort" shorts that have the look of a skirt in the front can look cute in small designs as well as help disguise heavy thighs. Choosing one of the colors in the pattern to wear for a top can create a coordinated shorts outfit as well as give you both color and pattern.

Discussion Comments


@KoiwiGal - I really hate the way my inner thighs rub together as well. It makes it hard to wear a skirt without worrying about a rash.

Which is why, even though I think my thighs are too heavy to wear anything above the knee, I do suggest that you buy a pair of thin cotton shorts, even if you wouldn't normally wear them.

I find a light pair of plus size shorts for women worn under a skirt is more comfortable and usually less obvious than wearing boxer shorts (which often hang wrong for the purpose).

And it completely prevents the problem of chafed thighs.

Laugh all you want, but it can be a serious pain in the backside and this is a good solution.


One thing you might want to consider, particularly when buying jean shorts, is the lining on the inner thigh.

I find that my jeans wear out relatively quickly, because the fabric rubs together there.

This is pretty annoying, as you can become quite attached to a decent pair of jeans. So, I suggest looking for shorts with reinforcement at this spot so it doesn't happen so quickly.

Or, alternatively, you could sew a patch in there yourself, either before it starts to wear, or after.

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