Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
By Melissa Magsaysay, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Is it just me, or is the shorts situation getting out of hand? Shorts of all styles are a Southern California staple, and they're not usually a challenging look to pull off. But lately, they've inexplicably become the incredible shrinking bottoms, and upper thighs all over Los Angeles are having a cringe-worthy moment in the sun.
Short shorts (or hot pants), the minuscule garment once reserved for Laker Girls and Beyoncé's backup dancers, are becoming ubiquitous on young celebrities and tween girls.
At Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, groups of teenage girls stroll in and out of Abercrombie and Fitch and Forever 21 wearing jeans shorts cuffed and rolled so high they could be bikini bottoms. Retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters and Heritage 1981 are filled with denim shorts that fit like hot pants. And more often than not, they're worn so tight they dig into the skin of the upper thigh.
Girls, ladies: Let's review. The big idea is to flaunt what you've got, not look like Britney Spears during her bad days. So here are a few basic guidelines.
Rule 1: Use the mirror
Run a few tests before leaving the house or dressing room. Check the backs of your thighs are the shorts so short that lumps and broken veins are visible? Longer could be better for you.
Try sitting and standing several times. Does the crotch of the shorts pinch or ride up so that you need to yank them down every few minutes? If yes, do yourself a favor and try a less revealing or larger pair that are still sexy but won't make you look like you're stuck in a sausage casing. Remember: There are no Spanx for shorts.
Clockwise from top left, Nanette Lepore Rosette shorts, $225 at Nanette Lepore, Los Angeles; Trina Turk Santa Fe shorts, $198 at Trina Turk, Los Angeles; Nanette Lepore black and white Mykonos shorts, $195 at Nanette Lepore, Los Angeles; Citizens of Humanity cuffed denim shorts, $189 at Curve, Los Angeles.
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