How To Wear Shorts When You Are Over 50 or 60 +

Summer is fast approaching. And with the warmer weather comes that lighter wardrobe.  I’m a fan of simple, easy, non-complicated clothing during these warm months.

Simple shifts, maxi dresses, white jeans and a fitted Tee are the perfect choices.

And then there are shorts—or the “short” as so many fashun experts call this particular piece of clothing.

Shorts. They look great on children, models, young women who haven’t yet become familiar with cellulite or with mud-flaps for thighs, and British schoolboys.

boys in shorts

Schoolboys in shorts always look adorable. In fact, my mother had my brothers in short pants until they attended grammar school.  My own sons wore shorts until they attended school as well……..

Angus young in shorts

..and then there’s Angus Young of AC/DC who never stopped wearing shorts!

Shorts are poo-pooed in the workplace unless you are working at a concession stand at the beach or pool.

They ride up your thighs as you walk.


Hickory Dickory Dock. The shorts ran up the cock….and other places! Not a good look for men and women and incredibly uncomfortable.

They are generally ill-fitting.

some people shouldn't wear them at all 2

Quite possibly the most ill-fitting pair of shorts ever!

They shout “TOURIST”.


WTF is she wearing anyway? Shorts that are way too long or pants that are way too short?  Have some respect and represent our country in a more stylish way when touring! 

And forget about wearing them if you are older!

Old lady booty shorts

This older woman has the right idea but the wrong shorts. No booty shorts on any woman over 29!

Or not?


Shorts 2

I’m rocking my new favorite shorts!!  Madras Plaid. I’m in Old Preppy Heaven!!!

Yes. You can  wear shorts if you are over that certain age. You just have to know how to wear them. It also helps to know your body.  Oh—and it helps to prepare your legs.

Take a good look at yourself.  If your legs are a bit on the—well, pale and pasty side, it is quite good to do a bit of self-tanning.  Trust me. My legs are so naturally fish-belly white and with the blue veins showing through, it’s not the most attractive visual.

But before the self-tan, lather up those legs and shave them. From that hairy big toe to the thighed burns. Yes. That’s right! If you don’t have time or are intimidated by the waxing—shave every hair you can.

Shave and moisturize

No need to spend a fortune on shaving cream. The cheap stuff works just fine. The purpose is to get rid of the hair without cutting yourself.   Original Scent Jergens is a great moisturizer for your legs. Don’t forget to exfoliate while in the bath or shower!

Exfoliate your legs to give a smooth canvas—then apply a moisturizer.

Wait about 15 minutes then apply the self tanner.  If you are in a hurry, apply a quick drying fake bake. If you have the time, Jergens moisturizing Natural Glow is still the best choice IMHO!

fake tan

I used Rodan & Fields Foaming Sunless Tan today. I’m not thrilled with this because a few coats are needed to get the right color. In addition, this dries the bejeezus out of your skin. But–it dries very quickly.

I’m lazy and don’t work out. I also eat too much.  Therefore I am not going to go into that place of short-shorts.  Hey. If you are older and have incredibly toned legs and no crepey skin or flabby thighs. More power to you. Strut your stuff, sister!


Some People should nt wear them at all 1

We will not go here. NOBODY should go here! Not now. Not ever. Never!

However, a great number of us need more thigh coverage.  The length of Bermuda Shorts is a perfect length.  But there’s also the fit.  You want a more fitted pair of shorts and not a baggy pair.

The second I laid my eyes on these J. Crew Sunday Slim Short (that’s J. Crew for ya—it’s a “short”!) in Madras plaid, I had to make them mine.  Don’t be deceived by the “slim”—this is a great fitting pair of shorts that’ll flatter any body shape.  The Size 10 fit me very well and I’m hoping that Crew makes these shorts in other patterns. These shorts are 100 percent cotton. I will only wash them in cold water and air dry!

Madras shorts lets get preppy

For a very casual Saturday Out and About type of look, I love these shorts with a pair of Bass Weejuns and a navy tee shirt.

This is also a wonderful pair of shorts for us women 50 and 60+ because they are lightweight and offer comfort in the heat of the summer!

If you want to go a bit shorter and more casual, there are plenty of choices available.

Enough of my blabbing. Come along as I put together various outfits. And no. You do NOT need a stronger pair of eye glasses. My lack of focus is spot on today!

madras shorts heels bag

For a dressy look, I put together a navy schoolboy blazer from J. Crew, a white Ann Taylor shirt, my Madras shorts and on my feet Ivanka Trump (I may not care for her dad, but boy, are her shoes great!) metallic shoes and my red Longchamp leather Le Pliage Cuir bag.  This is a good shorts look for the older woman!

Madras shorts blazer out of focus

Same look, but out-of-focus and more casual with Repetto flats and a nude Nat & Nin bag.

Detail on the shorts ensemble.  Faux pearls from J. Crew and red lips from Ulta’s Matte Lip Cream in “Passionate”. Over that a clear gloss!

Next up is a shorter pair from Loft that I bought last year. These are also a size 10 and are 100 percent cotton. I have washed them repeatedly in cold water and air dried with no shrinkage. These have to be ironed, however.

Yellow shorts dressed up

Again, another dressier look, nice for a luncheon out or dinner. J. Crew Schoolboy blazer is worn over a J. Crew Factory chambray popover shirt. Gap belt.  Another pair of Ivanka Trump heels in navy.  Maybe if her dad becomes president (LOL), she can be Secretary of the State of Shoes!

yellow shorts denim jacket

Same shorts. More casual. Old Navy Fitted T under Kut From The Kloth denim jacket. Dig the Dr. Scholl’s on my feet! They aren’t as good as the old school Scholl’s but they are comfy. My fake tan is a bit on the too-light side!

yellow shorts 2

Same shorts with a sleeveless shell. The shell is fantastic and was purchased at Ann Taylor factory quite some time ago. It is a blend of cotton, nylon and spandex and has a great fit! I’m also wearing a Lilly Pulitzer murfee scarf that I purchased many years ago at the Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale.

Yellow shorts scarf detail

Detail!  The murfee scarf goes well with the outfit and offers a bit of warmth against blasting air conditioning in the summer!  

shorts 026

Detail!   I really like the proportion of the heel to the shorts here.  You CAN get away with a kitten heel and a shorter pair of shorts.  It’s all about proportion!

Next up is a pair of light blue shorts I picked up last year as well from Uniqlo. This pair is 100 percent cotton and even though they are a size 10, the fit is a bit more snug–therefore a longer shirt is needed.

Blue Uniqlo AT factory shirt scarf

This pair of Uniqlo shorts is worn with the sleeveless shell I got from Ann Taylor Factory. I’m wearing a Lilly for Target scarf.  This is a good outfit for a summer baby shower or a barbecue. I would NOT wear these shorts touring around on vacation because they have a tendency to ride up while walking. The last thing I want to do is to keep tugging at my shorts!

Next up is my pair of “old faithful” shorts. These were purchased at J. Crew Factory about four years ago. I have to tell you, I’ve worn these more than any other pair I own.  I LOVE the fit. Because they are a heavier denim, they stay put. These are 99% cotton and 1% spandex and that one percent makes these shorts perfect!

White Shorts Tory Burch tunic

I’m wearing this with my Tory Burch tunic.  The navy and white tunic is 96% cotton and 4% spandex and I love the fit. My only gripe is that I have to roll the sleeves up because they are too long. This tunic is a size 10 and was purchased online at 70% off the original price.  I love this look–it’s an easy and flattering one…..

My fat ass back view of white shorts tory burch tunic…and from the back, the view looks fine. My ass is not thin. Look at my legs. They are not thin either. I’m meaty. I’m old. But I’ll still wear the shorts! A well- fitted tunic works wonders!

Detail Tory Burch tunic

More detail on the tunic. Quite honestly, I think Burch’s clothing is way overpriced, but her sales are incredible. The original price was  $295.00. I paid less than $49.00.

white shorts stripped shirt from uniglo tropeziennes

I’m getting my “St. Tropez” look on! This is a great casual and vacation look.  The top is from a couple of years back from Uniqlo.  The cotton IS a bit on the heavy side but it’s a great shirt for those cool or rainy summer days!  On my feet are my Rondini Tropeziennes sandals which get more comfortable by the year!

stripes and tropeziennes

Detail! Stripes are nice!  Who cares if you are a bit wide in the middle?  The fit of this shirt is what counts and it is slightly fitted so that the shirt isn’t boxy looking!

White shorts yellow and navy stripped shirt

The white shorts with different color stripes. This time with a bright yellow and navy boat neck top from Target. At $12.00 this was a great bargain! The shirt is a cotton/spandex blend and is a nice length–covering any “top o’the muffin” to ya!

Yellow navy stripped shirt neck detail boat and reinforced

Detail!  There is a bit of extra fabric for reinforcement on the boat neck. This is genius because the shirt stays put and that elusive bra strap will stay hidden!

White Shorts orange trapeze scarf

This look is  casual and kind of boho in an orange trapeze top from last year. Old Navy. This is a GREAT hot & humid shirt to pair with the shorts because it is so light and airy. I’ve also paired this with Oona’s infinity scarf that she left behind. 

Detail. Lightweight scarf

Will Oona get her scarf back?  BAD MOM ALERT–I don’t think so!

White shorts, Peter pan collar Shirt, Sam edelman full view

Last look.  The white shorts worn with a light and airy navy Peter Pan collared shirt from Loft. I think this is about 6 years old.  On my feet are the ever-comfortable Sam Edelman Felicia ballet flats in navy.  This is also a great vacation look. You can walk around all day in these shoes and not be sore.  The shorts won’t ride up and the shirt is so light. You won’t be sweaty and stinky!

White shorts PETER PAN COLLAR shirt sam edelman felicias

Detail!  Who doesn’t love a proper Peter Pan collar?  It gives a nice lady like look to the wearing of the shorts! 

There are tons of ways to rock shorts–especially at an older age!  Don’t let theexperts” dictate what you should wear. The key is proper fit and proportion.  We also need to hide less-than-stellar changes in our bodies and show off our assets!

Shorts may not be an article of clothing I wear every day during the summer. I love dresses. But, there are the times when I do wear shorts. And when I do, I take fit and proportion into consideration.

Older women–liberate yourselves! Wear the shorts!  But shave your legs first!

In honor of shorts–even ones that may be a tad too short, here’s a strut down memory Lane. The Royal Teens with “Short Shorts” 1957! XOXOXOX

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Beauty for Older Women, Fashion, Fashion for older women, Looking cool at any age, Shit Old Ladies Wear and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to How To Wear Shorts When You Are Over 50 or 60 +

  1. suzyjbarker says:

    Looking good Catherine I’m a big fan of shorts myself and agree that they can be worn by older ladies with care and good matching with the right tops. I’m pasty, really pasty (I’m an original ginger tbh) – and struggle to find a fake tan that doesn’t bring me out in a rash. Pale legs is my problem.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Suzy!
      Right? Age should not be a deterrent in wearing clothing. I’ve read all the articles stating women over a “certain” age shouldn’t wear shorts, bikinis, short skirts. WHY??? Again, youth based! Did you try the TanTowel brand of self tanner? They are moist towelettes and you just rub them over your lets. I love them and they are fantastic for travel!!! XOXOXOXO!!

  2. Leslie Preston says:

    Thank you for this! I still struggle with the fake tan on my gray/white skin. I was having a tan sprayed on when we were in CA, and that was the easiest. Now, in UT, I haven’t ventured out to see about spray tans. Incidentally, some over-60s have beautiful, non-cellulite legs! Shout out to my sister-in-law and her sisters! I loved this post, and may look for some shorts, but I’ll have to find the tan first. And then there are my white, flapping arms….. But, it’s okay!!!!

  3. Catherine says:

    Oh. Leslie. I don’t even care about the arms! It’s all about the legs! And I envy women like your sister-in-law and her sisters. I’m glad that we don’t have a problem with field mice because if we did, they would be gnawing on my thighs at night. The cellulite is like cottage cheese! LOL! Glad you enjoyed the post! XOXOXO!!!

  4. You rock those madras GF…Oh Hell…you rock it all!!!!! Looking good there Sista!!! 😘😘😘

  5. Alok Singhal says:

    Seems some have no idea of what a short is all about. You got it perfect though.

    My wife has been going crazy about shorts these days!

  6. spearfruit says:

    Oh Catherine – those legs! Hey, you look great in your shorts – you rock! Have a great week dear! 🙂

  7. Cathe, you look so cool in those sexy shorts! I’m a fan! 🙂

  8. Miss Bougie says:

    Love this post! Although I have been blinded by some of your photos. Lol! I recognise the too short trousers and too long short on many tourists in Paris. Mainly, *whispers*, Americans.
    Thank you so much for all the good advice. I actually only wear shorts in the garden and Bermuda style when we travel to hot countries. All the photos of our trips to the National Parks in the western USA have me sporting those. I think I would have died otherwise. I don’t like skirts; they either make me look matronly or are uncomfortable. In Paris I do wear Capri pants (also called corsaire) just below knee length.
    Love your Saint Trop’ look! Love your white shorts, too. Very classy.

    • Catherine says:

      Lol. B–I have been tempted to approach many American and German tourists whilst in Paris to BEG them to dress a bit better. And it isn’t expensive to do so either. I’ll be wearing my St. Trop’ look next month. I’ll be seeing you……….XOXOXOXXO!!!

  9. Penny says:

    You look amazing in your shorts and can’t see any cellulite at all!

    Now the thing is in the UK the climate is such that we don’t really wear them out and about and definitely not in a city. I have some shorts though and they’re for gardening in. Anyway, about 6 weeks ago when I was in the middle of all those winter bugs I felt so low I booked another cruise!!! In the Caribbean, no less. Sooooo, I’ve decided to have a full-body spray tan (a first) as my legs are fine in black tights, just about OK in tan tights but actually exposing them in the bare flesh is such an ordeal for me as they’re i) stick thin, ii) pale and pasty and iii) covered in those blue/purple spider veins. But you look great in shorts and whatever you’ve done to them re: fake tan, really works! So you’re my role model xxxxxx

    P.S. I’ve already bought a bright red pair of shorts and put them away for the winter cruise!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Penny. I’m gonna be getting a full-on spray tan within the next few weeks. And making it last with my various self-tanners! Trust me, I have tons of cellulite but the crappy quality of my iPhone’s camera kind of hides it. It looks like I won’t be wearing shorts anytime soon because it’s rained here since Sunday with no end in sight. *sigh* that Northeast weather! XOXOXOXO!!!

  10. Rosemary Eychenne says:

    Interesting topic here, Catherine. First of all, well done for all the outfits you took time to get together for us. They are all lovely and give us plenty of scope to root through our wardrobe, as you do, to find the right mix. You look great in all of them. This also reminds me of another of your posts from a couple of months back which I thoroughly enjoyed concerning long skirts for the summer. I had just arrived on your blog and came across this post which I found very inspiring.I had long ago forgotten long skirts and suddenly you made the whole thing highly desirable to wear !
    Anyway, sorry, I do seem to rattle on a bit but just to say that I find your blog extremely inspiring. Thank you.
    PS have taken on board the idea ‘shorts with low heels and long skirts with flats ‘. See, I got your message :).

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Rosemary! I’m so happy that you find this blog inspiring! Comments like yours definitely keep me going. But it’s true. Proportion is everything. Flats with long dresses, heels with shorts…all can be done! LOL–it’s almost bathing suit time. You know what THAT means!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  11. I only wear shorts very occasionally. I can’t even remember the last time. The guy with the denim shorts didn’t do anything to encourage me to go back to them any time soon. 🙂

  12. Bernadette says:

    Catherine, You are rocking all those short fashion shots. And thanks for all the tips on where to buy the fashions. Just one question, where do I buy the legs?????

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Bernadette! LOL. The legs–they are meaty–try the beef section of the grocery store! Hahahahaha. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post! XOXOXOXO!!!

  13. paula silva says:

    what about the wrinkled knees?

    Paula Leal da Silva

    Date: Tue, 3 May 2016 19:25:59 +0000 To:

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Paula. What about them? Who cares? My knees are wrinkled and it isn’t stopping me and shouldn’t stop anyone! They are a part of our being! XOXOXO!!!

  14. Gradmama2011 says:

    I even wear shorts in the winter…I’m old, I wear what I want. You 60-ish kids — go for it.
    Relax…I don’t go traveling in shorts…in fact I’m not allowed out of the house. 🙂

  15. mareymercy says:

    I’m a skinny bitch, but I do not have good legs – just never have. They get me from place to place so I can’t complain, but I have short legs with a looooong torso, plus dry skin, plus loads of spider-vein clusters (made the mistake of trying to laser them away and they just turned into blotches), blotchy tone…meh. Just never like me ol’ legs, so I have almost never worn shorts in my life! But I love those plaid madras ones so much I may have to give them a whirl. It is beyond rare for me to show any skin above my knees but hey, if the outfit is well put-together and anyone chooses to pick out my spider veins to fixate on, well, they’re a douche anyway. 😉

    • Catherine says:

      LOL! Marey. You are lucky to be a skinny bitch! I’m telling you–fake tan and those spidey veins will be covered! I would love to see you in those J. Crew shorts dearie! XOXOXO!!!

  16. mareymercy says:

    Oh and PS as someone who has always wistfully admired gals with good gams – you got ’em! Nice legs on ya!

  17. junedesilva says:

    Another great & inspiring post … And funny too! I think you look absolutely amazing in those white shorts. I do believe in wearing whatever you like but l must admit it’s a while since I wore shorts. Probably got something to with the U.K. weather. Anyway, when I get home – currently in France – I’m on a mission to find some shorts that look as good as yours! XX

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June! Thanks!! I’m glad you like the post–and my white shorts. How long are you in France for???? Lucky you! Oh..and the weather here in the Northeast of the States…it’s almost a week of rain and it isn’t ending! XOXOXOX!!!

      • junedesilva says:

        We’re in France for a month – very lucky I know! Hoping to find a house here. Wish us luck & I hope the rain stops soon. Xx

  18. Bridget says:

    Hello – I just found your blog and I’m so glad I did!

    BTW, I just ordered a pair of those J.Crew shorts for myself. Fingers crossed they fit and look OK.

    • Catherine says:

      Bridget! You HAVE to let me know how those shorts fit!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THEM AND SO WILL YOU! I’m so happy! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  19. calensariel says:

    I loved this post, though I only wear shorts around the house no matter HOW freakin’ hot it is. But I can’t quite get my head around the shorts with a scarf. That’s like an oxymoron, isn’t it? 😉

  20. julietC says:

    Fabulous post as always, you look great in shorts. And the photos you find of other people – brilliant (and by the way, maybe Oona needs a replacement scarf of some pattern or other – that one definitely suits you), now it is officially spring maybe I might shave the legs and hunt the fake tan…

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. Oh. Oona is NOT getting that scarf back. She didn’t miss it for over a year so it’s mommy’s now! (Yes. Bad Mommy lives!). Please. I haven’t shaved the legs in over three days………………”XOXOXO”XO!!!

  21. Kathleen cake says:

    Well done for your advice about wearing shorts..I admire anyone for wearing what they like (I’m 55 and will be wearing my bikini on the beach this summer.)Hope you font mind me saying but your white shorts need to be the next size up! Too tight around the front is not a good look, but heh, I’m British. Mrs Cake

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Kathleen! Yeah–I wrote that post a year ago and have since lost weight and am ´ow in a smaller size. Although after two weeks of eating everything in sight here and drinking enough Rosé to turn me into a human vineyard, upon my return back to the States, I’ll be dieting again. My appetite will also b lost as I return to trumpland –ugh !!💗💗💗💗💗

      • Kathleen cake says:

        I know what its like to have too much appetite, then no appetite. My life is a mixture of steriods (increased appetite) and chemo (no appetite). My next lot of chemo is next Monday. It’s up and down having cancer.. on my good day. I will be wearing my shorts in the garden, then good old English weather….it rains!! Have you been anywhere nice drinking rosè?

  22. xony says:

    You are awesome and make me look forward to “grow up” 😛

  23. Wendy james says:

    I loved this hand with wearing shorts for the older younger nan. In fact im 73 and rather portly putting it politly. I hate wearing long trousers in the summer, but want to look appropriate for the grandchildrens sake.i feel something knee length wouldbe good any one got good ideas size 28. 30.big girls still want to look good. X

    • Catherine says:

      Wendy. Get thee to Walmart. I kid you not. I saw above-the-knee length shorts the other day very nice ones at that and under fifteen bucks. I’m going back tomorrow to pick up a pair. Go you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who want’s long trousers in the summer???? Not me. Not you!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  24. Kelly says:

    Egh..I am almost 59 yrs old and on the slender side…but my legs!!! OMG 🙁
    When I was younger, I always thought that cellulite was for overweight, older people! But not true! I am “one of them” now and I don’t like it…it makes me very self conscious to wear shorts. And dresses have to be long or fall to just above my (knobby) knees (thanks Dad…hehe) When I was younger I didn’t like wearing shorts because I thought my legs were too skinny. Now, I don’t like wearing shorts because of cellulite! I am too embarrassed to even ask anyone how bad they really are…or how noticeable they are…so I haven’t worn shorts in public for at least 5 yrs….unless I am home alone and sitting in the sun on my balcony. And I so want to be able to have nice (cellulite free) legs!! Any pointers on how to get rid of it…or make it less noticeable?? 🙂

    PS – you said you have a crappy phone and that’s why your cellulite doesn’t show….but your phone doesn’t seem ‘that’ crappy! To me, your legs look quite nice! If I were you, I’d wear shorts and feel perfectly comfortable doing so!!

  25. martha01 says:

    My beautiful cousin is the only 50’s lady that still tries to pull of the daisy dukes. She has gorgeous legs but she is always trying to pull them out of her crotch, they look miserable to wear and not appropriate at all. I think she does it for her husband’s benefit, but if this is all he cares about after 20 years, she needs to think about what type of relationship they really have.We go to some fairly nice places but these hot pants always look more like we should go to a fast food place instead of an elegant restaurant.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Martha. There’s shorts and there’s inappropriate shorts. I know exactly what you are talking about and those Daisy Dukes don’t even look classy on the younger women either!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  26. Bracken says:

    hello, its my first time here but I was very happy to read about your adventures in shorts. I am feeling old today ( at 55) I was seriously wondering if I am now too old and should throw away perfectly good shorts that I have had for years. Now I intend to keep them all and wear them. This post is quite old but never mind. You inspired me anyway.

  27. The power developed by a person with conviction is greater than the one who only has interest

  28. Caesi Bevis says:

    Almost looks great. Skip the heels with shorts. That’s a “doing business on the corner look!” ( cringed)

    Also not safe. Test yourself – if you can’t safely stand hours in heels or run in them like you did in your thirties… it’s time for flat shoes you can’t fall off of.

    Been there – ankle breaks are nasty and no guarantees a break will heal well. Mind didn’t. Slow and doctors wanted to re-break it to reset if.

    After a certain age, high heels are for the bedroom. Save all your joints and your back.

    Otherwise, nice choices. Like you, I love a well fitting tunic top. I like the triangle you pointed out for the boat neck. That’s easy enough to do for a boat neck that doesn’t have it… maybe in an accent color.

  29. ken nowicki says:

    there are just some people who should not be wearing shorts of any kind!!!! men showing butt cheeks, just does not cut it they should be just below the butt cheeks to the line where your legs meet your butt!!!

  30. Melissa says:

    I don’t understand why in this day and age people still view pale skin as a “flaw”. Different skin tones are legitimate genetic variations, not disfigurements. It’s also not really helping that you’re encouraging people to get skin cancer in the name of vanity!

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