How to wear shorts

<b>Rule 2: Know what makes short shorts work</b><br>
<br>
Choose something with a trouser-style waistband and flat tab front. The inseam should be no shorter than 4 inches. The legs of the garment will sit straight and crisp with some wiggle room around the thighs. (Shorts + too tight = deadly, and not in a good way.) Trina Turk makes colorful, bold-printed shorts that have  punchy, retro appeal. Wear them with a solid, bright-colored tank top or T-shirt, jeweled flat sandals and a straw fedora.<br>
<br>
<b>Rule 3: Be bold enough to go longer</b><br>
<br>
Not everyone can or should wear micro mini shorts. A mid-length style that has an inseam that's about 7 inches suits most bodies because it will cover the fleshy upper and inner part of the thigh, leaving the thinner parts of the leg to see the sun. The Gap has a great selection of styles appropriate for a casual Friday or running weekend errands. The denim cut-offs have a 7.5-inch inseam and fall about 3 inches above the knee.<br>
<br>
The great thing about mid-length cut-offs is that they can be rolled up and show as much or as little skin as you feel comfortable with. Pair the roughly cut shorts with something polished and elegant for that high-low appeal. Try a solid-colored twin set in a vibrant color, layered jewelry or a statement necklace and metallic sandals or loafers.<br>
<br>
<i>Clockwise from top left, Nanette Lepore black Alexandria shorts, $195 at Nanette Lepore, Los Angeles; 7 For All Mankind Josefina cuffed denim shorts, $169 at 7 For All Mankind stores; Nanette Lepore Riviera shorts in camel, $198 at Nanette Lepore, Los Angeles; Gap railroad stripe shorts, $44.50 at Gap stores.</i><br>
<br>
<b>RELATED:</b><br>
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<a href="http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-ig-picks0510-sp,0,6878014.special">Beach bag essentials</a><br>
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<a href="http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-ig-picks0524-sp,0,254282.special">The perfect barbecue outfit</a><br>
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<a href="http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-ig-redblue-0628-pictures,0,5079939.photogallery">Fourth of July: Time to wear stars and stripes, and red, white and blue</a><br>
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<a href="http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-grilling-pictures,0,3470366.photogallery">Barbecue recipes from the L.A. Times test kitchen</a>
lat-ig_shorts2_km0vponc20090701164153

( Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times )

Rule 2: Know what makes short shorts work

Choose something with a trouser-style waistband and flat tab front. The inseam should be no shorter than 4 inches. The legs of the garment will sit straight and crisp with some wiggle room around the thighs. (Shorts + too tight = deadly, and not in a good way.) Trina Turk makes colorful, bold-printed shorts that have punchy, retro appeal. Wear them with a solid, bright-colored tank top or T-shirt, jeweled flat sandals and a straw fedora.

Rule 3: Be bold enough to go longer

Not everyone can or should wear micro mini shorts. A mid-length style that has an inseam that's about 7 inches suits most bodies because it will cover the fleshy upper and inner part of the thigh, leaving the thinner parts of the leg to see the sun. The Gap has a great selection of styles appropriate for a casual Friday or running weekend errands. The denim cut-offs have a 7.5-inch inseam and fall about 3 inches above the knee.

The great thing about mid-length cut-offs is that they can be rolled up and show as much or as little skin as you feel comfortable with. Pair the roughly cut shorts with something polished and elegant for that high-low appeal. Try a solid-colored twin set in a vibrant color, layered jewelry or a statement necklace and metallic sandals or loafers.

Clockwise from top left, Nanette Lepore black Alexandria shorts, $195 at Nanette Lepore, Los Angeles; 7 For All Mankind Josefina cuffed denim shorts, $169 at 7 For All Mankind stores; Nanette Lepore Riviera shorts in camel, $198 at Nanette Lepore, Los Angeles; Gap railroad stripe shorts, $44.50 at Gap stores.

RELATED:

Beach bag essentials

The perfect barbecue outfit

Fourth of July: Time to wear stars and stripes, and red, white and blue

Barbecue recipes from the L.A. Times test kitchen

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