9 Ways To Wear Plus-Size Shorts This Summer Because Your Legs Deserve To See The Sun Too

In the summer, shorts aren't so much of a trend as a necessity. And while I believe that plus-size women can wear anything, one of the hardest personal struggles that I have had to overcome in my self-love journey has been plus-size shorts. Not only had I been told for years that shorts weren't made for people who looked like me, but most of the ones I actually tried on rode up and chafed so badly that it just didn't seem worth the hassle.

Ironically, the first time I publicly wore shorts was in January. I was living in Atlanta at the time, and I was talking to a straight-size friend whose thin, long legs looked the total opposite of my short, fat ones. When she shared that she was still insecure about wearing shorts because her family had always told her that she was too thin, I immediately identified with her experience. I realized in that moment how silly it was that we were both wishing for some of what the other had and both missing out on wearing shorts in the process. So we each put on a pair of short black shorts, took our photo, and the rest is Ready to Stare history.

These days, shorts are no longer my summer archenemy. While I still gravitate towards miniskirts, I am slowly incorporating more pairs of shorts into my wardrobe. My best friend Kristen, on the other hand, is a shorts fanatic. And although Kristen and I are often confused for twins because we are both Italian, short, and fat, our body types are different. Since she is smaller on the bottom and bigger on the top and I am smaller on the top and bigger on the bottom, I figured that teaming up with her was a great way to show that there are a lot of ways for plus size women to wear shorts this summer.

1. High-Waisted Lace Shorts

These high-waisted lace shorts were a summer must-have for Kristen because they aren't super tight on the leg and they have an elastic waist band. Kristen got this pair from Charlotte Russe along with her sheer duster.

2. Bike Shorts

I initially got these plus-size bike shorts from fave fellow indie boutique Re/Dress because I wanted them as my go-to chub rub shorts for summer. But the more I wore them with skirts, the more I just fell in love with their overall comfort and length. I paired them with my favorite Americana bandeau bra from another fave indie brand, Chubby Cartwheels.

3. Overalls

Kristen is the one in our relationship who is likely to question my fashion choices and two years later end up wearing the same thing. So when she told me that she wanted a pair of overall shorts for the summer, I was impressed! She searched high and low and finally found her dream pair of overalls at Torrid.

4. Empowering Booty Shorts

So this was the first pair of shorts that I ever wore when I declared my shorts freedom and shot my first public photos in the look. They are stretch leatherette, and I got them years ago from a store called Pretty Girl in Queens for $2.99. They will always hold a special place in my heart. I paired them with a faux fur crossbody bag from my line and one of my "Beyonce Knows Best" sweatshirts from Feminine Funk.

5. Floral Print Cutoffs

When Kristen and I combined forces to put together a 300-piece online closet sale last year, Kristen re-discovered this pair of neon floral print cutoff shorts. Though still she has no idea where she first got them or how they remained a hidden gem in her closet so long, she's glad she found them. She paired them with a mesh tank from Rainbow.

6. Skort

The last shorts I remember wearing as a kid before the 20+ year embargo was definitely a denim skort. So I decided to try it out again. When I found this origami skort from Torrid, it reminded me of the Nadia X BooHoo skort that wasn't made in my size. Although I'm usually a 24 on the bottom, this fit perfectly in a 22, so I'm glad I tried it on. I paired it with a mint high-low top from Fashion to Figure.

7. Side Draw-String Shorts

So Rainbow totally has a bad reputation among plus size shoppers but here's the thing: Rainbow is similarly priced as Forever21, and features very trendy fast fashion. Additionally, Rainbow now goes up to a 4X in select items, which many other fast fashion retailers do not. These multi-print draw-string shorts are only $9.99 and are so cute paired with these teal jelly flats from Crocs.

8. Microfiber Booty Shorts

When Rachel Kacenjar, the owner of Re/Dress, suggested that I wear these microfiber booty shorts, my first thought was that they absolutely would not fit me because they were one size fits all. But as I know by now, Rachel always knows best and they definitely fit like a glove. Microfiber really is magic. I paired them with a layered chain belt from my line.

9. Denim Cutoffs

I couldn't write about shorts without a classic pair of denim cutoffs. Kristen got this distressed pair of cut-offs from Torrid and kept the styling simple with lace-up gladiator sandals and an I Woke Up Like Dis tank from my line.

So this summer, go forth and free those legs!

Images: Alysse Dalessandro