Here’s the thing about shorts: Apparently everyone has an opinion about them. There’s the group that loves them—from high waisted pairs to distressed denim cutoffs to whimsically sailor-inspired designs, they just can’t get enough of them—and then there’s the group of people who would rather watch them burn in an explosion than ever have to wear them again. Oh, and let’s not forget the group that just thinks they’re, you know, aight.
VIDEO: Three Ways to Wear Slouchy Shorts
We went around the office and asked InStyle editors the hard-hitting question: Shorts, yes or no? (This is some hard, investigative journalism, people.) Scroll through to see what they say and shop editor-approved styles—from actual shorts to shorts alternatives that do just the trick.
1. SHORTS THAT RIDE UP? NO THANKS
"The feminist in me wants to say that any woman can wear whatever she wants, but some of us simply cannot wear shorts. I have a high hip-to-waist ratio. For those of us with an 'itty-bitty waist and a round thing in your face,' most shorts grip the hips, causing the hem to creep upward with each step. I stay cool in shirt dresses and breezy cropped pants in crepes and linens, like this drapey pair from Madewell." —Emily Shornick, Senior Multimedia Editor
Madewell | $80
2. SOFT SHORTS ARE THE WAY TO GO
"I love the look of denim shorts, but my body hates the feel of them (still doesn't stop me from wearing them though, sorry, Body). The solution? A pair of soft shorts—preferably a high waisted 'paper bag' style. Tuck in a relaxed tee, pull on a pair of high top Converse, and you're good to go." —Kim Duong, Digital Fashion Assistant
Topshop | $50
3. YES TO HIGH WAISTED PAIRS
"I used to work at Hollister back in my formative years (was somehow cute enough for that front room HEYOOOO) so I kind of like shorts by default. Usually I can throw a pair of blue or black denim shorts with any top, and don't have to overthink what I'm going to wear in the middle of a heat wave. I draw the line at white shorts because I'm scared I'm going to get my period as soon as I put them on, and don't do the tiny, low-slung ones that used to line the Hollister shelves. Instead, I like the sassy high-waisted pairs I can wear with a crop top and look like one of the senior babes screaming at the freshmen to air raid in Dazed and Confused. The only thing I hate is when I sit down and my thighs spread out to the size of Texas, but on the alternate end, they make my butt look freakin' good whenever I'm doing anything else." —Marianne Mychaskiw, Associate Beauty Editor
Rag & Bone | $215
4. HOW 'BOUT A SKORT INSTEAD?
"I'm known amongst my friends as being super anti-shorts. Maybe it's my short legs or my obsession with sundresses, but shorts are never my first choice for summer. However, if I were to purchase a pair, I could definitely get down with a neutral-colored skort. I don't care what anyone says, skorts are the best—especially when trying to avoid a wardrobe malfunction. Tennis-chic!" —Rachel Crocetti, Digital Producer
Topshop | $62