Finding Shorts I Don’t Hate

I think I hate shorts shopping even more than swimsuit shopping.

I know, I know. That’s QUITE a statement because nobody likes swimsuit shopping…but every time I try to find a new pair of shorts it seems like my two choices are either super long or super short. If I find a pair that looks okay, there will inevitably be a gap in the back of the waist or that fun little surprise when you sit down and your thigh is doing its own special version of a muffin top.

For the longest time I just had a few pairs of knee-length cargo shorts, but I finally ditched them because I realized that they don’t actually look very good on me. Instead, I kind of looked like a camp counselor. After purging them out of my wardrobe, I was left with just two pairs of shorts (not including running shorts for working out or lazing around the house).

Joules - long and short versions

The knee-length pair are from Martin & Osa (a store that went out of business in 2010…) and while I find them super comfortable, the longer style gets so hot when the weather warms up. Also, I’m thinking they are total “mom” shorts. Am I right?

The second pair are my favorite shorts from last year, here’s this year’s version on the Gap website. I love these shorts and wore them pretty much every single day that I wasn’t working. However, when I pulled them out this year, they just seemed awfully short on my haven’t-seen-the-sun-since-last-fall legs. I feel like I kind of need to work my way up to them…

What I really wanted was a pair of shorts that falls somewhere between the two pairs that I have. I could just cut the longer pair down, but I like having them around and I’m afraid I’d miss them. So, I decided to go old-school and make my own cutoffs.

Now, in the old days I’d peruse the thrift store to find a pair of $2 jeans to cut up. However, my issues with jeans are that it’s really hard for me to find a pair that fits my waist, butt, hips AND thighs. So, instead of getting a super cheapo pair, I went to Nordstrom Rack and tried on a bunch from my two favorite denim brands, Democracy and Kut from the Kloth.

I ended up getting a pair of “Equality Skinny Boyfriend” jeans from Democracy (I’m pretty sure they were these) for $45. And YES, I realize that seems like a lot for jeans that I’m going to cut apart but I’d happily pay $45 for a pair of shorts to wear all summer so I’m okay with it.

I picked this particular pair because they already had some distressing at the top (which I love), the waist fit perfectly and they made my butt look good. Because that is obviously super important. {wink, wink}

When I got them home, I used my longer shorts as a template and cut them to that length. I figured, that by time I folded the newly cut shorts up a couple times, they’d be just about where I wanted them to fall.  Then, I wore them for a few days to make sure that the length was working for me. I like that I have two ways I can wear them — with one fold so that you can see the distressed cutoff part, or with two folds like my other jean shorts.

Joules - new cutoffs

If I decide that I want to commit to the double-fold, I can do a quick little sewing job on the side seams to keep them where I want them. I’ll probably end up doing that in a few weeks, but right now I’m kind of digging the ‘lived in’ look on the left.

All-in-all, I’m pretty darn happy with my new shorts. The stretchy denim is super comfortable and the custom length is exactly where I wanted it. YAY for bringing it back old school. I’m thinking that next time I see a pair of cute colored jeans on sale, I’m going to have to buy some to chop up!

Are you a cut-off fan when the weather warms up? Do you just butcher jeans that are already living in your closet or do you buy some at the store with the intentions of cutting them?

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6 thoughts on “Finding Shorts I Don’t Hate”

  1. I just bought my first shorts in YEARS. I couldn’t find any I liked anywhere and finally found some that fit well at New York & Company. Bonus was that they were half price. Sadness was that H&M bought out NYCO’s lease so my store is closing 🙁

  2. I think they really look cute on you. It seems like women have the instinct to get shorts that are all the way to the knee for covering up purposes, but few people look good in shorts that length. It’s kind of a dowdy length. Shorter is better, I think.

  3. Shorts shopping is awful! I made the mistake of going last week. I’m currently in Spain and European sizing is definitely just different. I didn’t buy anything and left the store feeling like a blimp. Good call cutting your own shorts. I might have to try that… for some reason I feel like shorts are cut smaller than jeans and make so much more muffin-topping than jeans do.

    1. They really are! I tried on a pair of Kut from the Kloth shorts — which should have fit great because everything in that brand fits me well — but they were terrible on me! And don’t even get me started on European sizing!!

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