Learn about the different types of shorts that you can add to your wardrobe. Shorts might not be for everyone, but they’re comfortable, especially during summer days. They’re made of various materials, and you can pair them with several accessories, tops, and footwear. Nowadays, you can find several styles that can give you a casual, smart casual, and formal look both during the day and night.
Types of Shorts for Women
There is a multitude of shorts that you can choose from, and they commonly differ in length, initial use, and style.
Types of Shorts According to Style
The 13 most popular and common types of shorts for women based on style are:
- Paper Bag
Also known as trouser, walking, or dress shorts, Bermuda shorts fall about one to three inches above the knees and have a baggy style and hand-sewn hem, uncuffed or cuffed. Thus, they’re comfortable and airy and perfect for hiding thick thighs.
These types of shorts are usually perfect for casual and semi-casual styles. Depending on the fabric material used and the right tops and shoes, you can slay an office and smart casual look with these shorts. They’re available in several colors, as well as flat and pleated versions.
Paper bag shorts look baggy or dressy and have a smaller waist area and extra fabric to give them a cinched paper bag look when you put a belt on. Some paper bag shorts have an in-built belt to give them a natural, flattering, chic silhouette.
Shorts with stripes, tribal prints, geometric patterns, polka dots, flowers, fake animal skin print, and the like fall in this category. These types of shorts are among the most versatile since you can easily pair them with several tops and footwear and use them for multiple occasions.
These types of shorts fall above your knees and have vertical pleats that run from the waist to the end. Thus, they create a fuller-thigh illusion that makes them perfect for slim-figured women or those with thin thighs. They’re usually available in pastel shades that add to their chic and stylish looks.
These shorts have unique, scalloped or curved edges that give them a fun, girly, cute style. You can even create your scalloped shorts as long as you have basic sewing and fabric-cutting skills.
These baggy and loose types of shorts are great for casual and semi-casual styles. They may or may not have waistbands but usually have buttons and zippers. Most boyfriend shorts are made of denim material. As for their length, they usually reach the thighs. Although they’re female shorts, they’re almost always distressed and over-sized to stand up to their name. Thus, these shorts will make you look like you’re wearing your boyfriend’s shorts.
This pair of shorts has a length that either ends above or exactly at the knees. You can find plain or printed Jamaican shorts, as well as made of different materials.
Another pair of shorts perfect for walking, chino is made of comfortable material, such as cotton, and has a zipper closure in the front. It has a mid to long length and comes in various colors and designs. Most chino shorts also have diagonal, weaved patterns for more style and class.
Famous in the ‘70s and ‘80s and making a comeback in the fashion industry, wrap or wrap-around shorts are available in multiple materials, colors, designs, and styles. Instead of buttons or zippers, these types of shorts have a thin strap or drawstring to open and close these shorts. They look like skirts that give them a chic style.
Combining functionality and style, skorts are types of skirts with stitched-in shorts underneath. They’re perfect for windy days, as well as for women who don’t feel comfortable wearing skirts because of the possibility of exposing their rear. They’re comfortable, look like wrap shorts, and can be worn casually, as sportswear, and at dressy events.
Low-rise shorts are available in several lengths, colors, styles, and fabric materials. The waist falls a few inches below your waistline. They’re usually form-fitting, so they highlight your figure perfectly.
These types of shorts are great for making your legs look longer. Since the waist falls a few inches above your waist, they’re also perfect for tucking in your belly.
Rugged and edgy, these are actually trousers, jeans, or any type of pants made into shorts by cutting out the legs. They usually have a length that is a few inches above the knees or higher.
For a more stylish look, the edges look unfinished and sometimes even have threads hanging. As such, you can make them yourself. All you have to do is look for an old, but not too old that would already need patches, pants.
Then measure the length that you desire and cut off the excess using scissors, a cutter, or a blade. The cut doesn’t need to be straight. You can add embellishments, such as sequins and studs if you want to.
Types of Shorts Based on Initial Use
Some types of shorts weren't initially designed for fashion but certain activities. Some of the most famous ones are:
- Cycling or Bike
Cycling or Bike
As the name implies, bike or cycling shorts have features that make riding a bicycle more comfortable. These shorts are made of different materials and styles, including:
- Road Cycling
Usually crafted with a combination of spandex and nylon, these cycling shorts are tight-fitting and don’t have pockets. Some have inbuilt chamois or padding on the butt area. These types of shorts differ in durability, so choose wisely.
- Mountain Bike
On the contrary, mountain bike shorts have about two to three pockets and baggy designs. Material-wise, it’s usually a combination of spandex, polyester, and nylon.
With that said, people nowadays wear these types of shorts not just for cycling but as everyday bottoms by pairing them with long tops, blazers, and more. Additionally, some of them are made of types of denim.
Athletic Types of Shorts
As the name implies, you usually wear these types of shorts when playing sports and working out at the gym. They have a loose fit and are usually made of breathable cotton jersey or nylon. Another kind is those crafted with spandex or a combination of nylon and spandex and made for volleyball. They’re short and tight for a better range of motion.
With a design initially meant as a military uniform and for males, cargo or combat shorts for women have a loose fit and multiple large pockets. Thanks to their size, these types of pockets can accommodate your wallets, keys, phones, and other items. As such, they’re also great for hiking and camping, although you can wear them as everyday shorts. The material these types of shorts are made of is khaki. Color-wise, they’re available in brown, khaki, olive green, and camo.
Board shorts for women look quite similar to men’s swimming trunks minus the inner lining but with the added drawstring and longer length. These shorts are usually available in neon colors, floral prints, and other great designs.
Although considered as undies or underwear, these shorts can also be fashionable when worn correctly.
Aptly named, you can slip-in or wear these shorts under your pants, skirt, dress, or another pair of shorts. They’re made of stretchable, soft, silky, lightweight material, so they fit well against your waist and legs for a perfect silhouette.
Having a similar look as slip shorts with the added lace at the edges, these are more feminine-looking and can be worn as lingerie. Of course, they’re longer than common lingerie. That said, you can wear lace shorts under any bottoms, but you can also wear them as is with long tops or blazers, especially during summer because they’re breathable.
Booty shorts have very short lengths and low waists, so they’re often considered underwear. Although commonly worn under bottoms, they’re also perfect for swimming and summer parties or outings.
These types of shorts are a little longer than booty shorts and have high waists, usually three inches above the waist.
If you’re not into wearing boy and booty shorts, as well as bikinis and swimsuits, beach shorts are the perfect swimming attires. They’re made of lightweight and thin materials and usually are loose on the thigh for better comfort.
Other Types of Shorts
Shorts usually fall at your thighs, but some types of shorts are a little longer, and the most common ones are:
- Pedal Pusher
From the name itself, these types of shorts end exactly at your knees. Depending on the color, design, and material, you can wear knee-length shorts during dressy, semi-formal, and casual events. They’re also perfect for picnics and other daily activities.
You can consider knee-huggers as a type of knee-length shorts because they have the same length. In contrast, though, these have drawstrings at the hems to tighten them and hug the knees.
A little longer than knee-lengths and knee-huggers, pedal pushers are stylish pairs that you can wear casually and formally. They’re usually made of twill or denim materials.
Types of Shorts - In Conclusion
Shorts are comfortable bottoms that you can wear for walking, working out, swimming, sports and even special occasions. Differences depend on the fabric material used in constructing them as well as the color, and style. Most types of shorts, especially mid-length ones, are versatile and great for all body types, so make sure you add them to your wardrobe.