5 Tips To Style Bermuda Shorts


How to wear flattering Bermuda shorts outfits

I’m not sure there is anything harder to wear than Bermuda shorts. They are decidedly unsexy, uncool, and unflattering. They are….mom shorts. And yet for some of us, they are the only shorts we will wear. The reasons vary, but they are part of our wardrobes, so it’s important to wear them well. They don’t have to be frumpy or dumpy if you choose the right ones and style them well.

This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.

Fit is Key

I can’t emphasize this enough. Just like with every outfit, you want to highlight the feminine parts of your figure and provide balance in the top and bottom halves.  Shorts should fit nicely in the waist and skim the hips and thighs, even if that means you get them tailored. It’s worth it.

Don’t buy men’s shorts just because they are longer. They won’t fit your body right, even if you think you have a boyish figure. The key is -ISH. You don’t have a man’s figure.

I love chino shorts. As much as I love a good cut off, chino shorts are easier to dress and not look like you are going to do yard work. They are structured and usually have a nice, tailored fit and are universally flattering. Tailored doesn’t mean skin-tight. It’s ok if they fall straighter from the thigh to the top of the knee, like most of mine do, but steer clear of a flare cut at this length, and no basketball shorts.

April from Stunning Style wearing a red top with dark Bermuda shorts.

You can also wear a fitted short if that’s flattering to your body shape.

April from Stunning Style wearing a cobalt blue top with white Bermuda shorts.

Elevate your footwear

Literally and figuratively. I love to pair even a short wedge with my Bermudas as it lengthens the leg and helps with the break in the leg line. It also takes the look of the outfit up a level without being difficult to walk in. I have 6 kids, and I have to wear shoes I can keep up with them in. Even a 1-inch wedge will help.

Probably the hardest shoe to make work with a Bermuda is a sneaker. The high vamp (how high up the front of your foot it comes)and flat heel, combined with the length of the shorts cut off your leg line. Does that mean I don’t wear them together? No. Sometimes the day calls for it, but be aware of what it does to your look and compensate accordingly.

April from Stunning Style wearing a white top with navy Bermuda shorts.
April from Stunning Style wearing a white top with black chino style Bermuda shorts.
April from Stunning Style wearing a denim top with white Bermuda shorts.
April from Stunning Style wearing a striped top with dark Bermuda shorts.

Choose a flattering cut top

If your shorts are very fitted all the way down, balance that with a little looser fit (but not drowning you) in the top, and if your shorts are a little straighter like most of mine, choose a fitted (but not skin-tight) top. It should skim your shape, not show what you had for lunch.

April from Stunning Style wearing a pink striped top with white chino style Bermuda shorts.
April from Stunning Style wearing a leopard patterned top with black Bermuda shorts.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize

A necklace and/or earrings make all the difference in any outfit. It makes the outfit look intentional and finished, and only takes a minute. The summer temps can make a statement necklace feel too heavy, so even a delicate necklace, or a few delicate necklaces layered together can make a difference. If you want more, pair that with either a statement earring or some shiny studs.

A belt can make a statement and add interest to your outfit without overheating you.

April from Stunning Style wearing a navy top with cobalt Bermuda shorts.
April from Stunning Style wearing a red top with dark Bermuda shorts.
April from Stunning Style wearing a color blocked top with dark Bermuda shorts.

Have fun with colors and prints

Because shorts have a lot less fabric, it’s easier to wear a punchy color or pattern on your bottom half without feeling overwhelmed.

April from Stunning Style wearing a navy striped top with red Bermuda shorts.
April from Stunning Style wearing a navy top with pink Bermuda shorts.

The Rule of Thirds

The last tip is a bonus, and its something that a lot of people aren’t aware of. The Rule of Thirds is an ancient design concept that is used in all types of visual compositions from architecture to photography, paintings, and more. The Rule of Thirds applies to anything visual, and it suggests that a composition is most pleasing to the eye when its elements are divided into two-thirds and one-third ratios. We don’t consciously know why we prefer some photographs or outfits more than others, or why some sculptures are more attractive, but one of the reasons is likely that the artist or designer used the Rule of Thirds.

Achieving this with Bermuda shorts is really, really hard. But for many of us, that’s the only length of shorts we wear. It has to do with getting the hem length of your shorts and tops right. The Rule of Thirds can be really tricky, and it’s something that we dive into very deeply in my Style Your Silhouette course. We have several lessons on it during Course 2 and it goes well beyond shorts, but it can make all the difference in how your outfits look. It’s a huge reason as to why Bermuda shorts are so tricky and often because what you are pairing with them gives your outfit a 50/50 ratio, which just isn’t as visually pleasing.

Below are a couple of great examples of high waisted Bermuda shorts outfits that follow the Rule of Thirds.

5 Tips To Style Bermuda Shorts
5 Tips To Style Bermuda Shorts

Style Your Silhouette is all about dressing for your body shape and figuring out which shorts, tops, and bottoms best flatter your body shape. If you aren’t sure what your body shape is, I’ve written several articles about each of the individual body shapes and how to dress for them, as well as an article that can help you figure out your body shape along with a free worksheet, all linked below.

4 thoughts on “5 Tips To Style Bermuda Shorts”

  1. I notice you like to match a purse and shoes with your outfits;however, I am a teacher and I can’t carry a purse all day long. What is a good rule to follow?

  2. You are so beautiful! Thank You for your help showing me how to dress very fashionable!
    Thank You, Thank You 🤗🤗🤗

  3. Great tips thank you! Was wondering if I could wear a color block shirt with the bottom half matching the color of the shorts, to help with the rule of thirds?

    1. Hi there! Recommendations like this are included in Style Your Silhouette Course Two. There is an entire module with a deep dive on the rule of thirds and how it applies it in situations like you described. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the courses and enroll here: StunningStyle.com/LoveMyBody.

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