With the warmer months quickly approaching, you’ll need to put away those sweaters and get out your shorts and other summer gear.

Less material means more skin, which could lead to new challenges with finding the right look and fit of clothing. Shorts can be particularly tricky, especially when you are used to covering up with pants during the winter. However, in order to stay comfortable and cool this summer, you’ll need to swap out the ankle length for something a little shorter. Shorts are an excellent option, because their versatility fits a variety of venues from an afternoon baseball game to a lunch out with friends. Follow this guide to wearing shorts, so you can be both stylish and comfortable:

Get the right shorts length

No two bodies are alike, but there are certain features of shorts you should always look for when shopping. One elements of shorts to consider is the length. Fabulous After 40 suggests going with a length a few inches above the knee or at the middle of your thigh, depending on what you feel most comfortable in. Our thighs tend to widen as they approach the hip, so having a longer length will highlight the slimmer parts of your legs.

classic jean shorts in white

Find the perfect shorts fit

In order to remain comfortable on those hot summer days, you’ll want to avoid wearing shorts that are too tight, as they will not allow your body to cool down. Additionally, something too loose might not do the best job at flattering your shape. It’s important to know your body type and choose something that will make you look elegant and chic. Here are what some different styles can offer:

  • Flared: Resembling the outline of an A-line skirt. Flared shorts help create an hourglass shape. They also leave plenty of room between your legs and the shorts, which is perfect for those hoping to cool down on a hot day. A pair of flared shorts would look best with a tucked-in tank top.
  • Bermuda: The name itself brings the image of soft sands and clear waters to mind, perfectly capturing the relaxed style of these shorts. Bermuda shorts typically hit just below the knee and are ideal for a day at the beach. (see image below)
  • High waisted: High-waisted shorts are trending, and they are a great tool to accentuate an hourglass shape. The waistband will hit at the smallest part of your midsection, emphasizing your favorite body features. Additionally, the high waist helps to hold in your stomach.
  • Cuffed: The cuffs of shorts refer to the way the garment fits at the bottom. With the edges folded up, cuffed shorts cinch a little closer at the thigh, showing off trim legs. They are the perfect way to draw attention to the bottom of your body.

Shorts with 2-button contour waistband lays flat for smooth looks.

Suit your style

Now that you’ve found something that complements your body, the next step is to choose an outfit that lets your personality stand out. Mix and match colors until you find something that speaks to who you are. For example, those in search of a vibrant style might pair a neutral top (like white or black) with a fun, pastel colored or patterned pair of shorts. Shorts aren’t so scary when you have the right fit, so embrace the confidence you’ll gain this summer by ramping up your outfit with the perfect shoe or handbag.