When You’re Not a Size 2, but Need Shorts

The heat wave is coming, but Katie Sturino’s back, and she’s got you covered


You may recall from past memories of summer that by the time heat rises above a comfortably-warm 80 degrees, that whole let’s-sit-outside-in-the-sunniest-spot thing is exchanged for fuck, it’s hot, and I am sweating.

You may also recall that we previously spoke about how fashion, like the weather, isn’t always the most accommodating. Where one person’s idea of heaven is a heatwave and a pair of denim underwear, another claims this exact scenario as their textbook idea of hell.

The reality of “summer dressing” is that in general, it tends to be rather naked. And if you are over a size sample and have any sort of wiggle in your step, dimple in your thigh or friction as you glide, then you know — you know (and I know!) — that shorts can run a series of Sunday Scaries down the spine.

But Katie Sturino of the newly-birthed 12ish Style/momager of Toast is here to prove that shorts don’t have to be scary. In fact, they can be your wardrobe’s new friends. Just follow her guide:

Get Waisted

High waisted shorts are really flattering — don’t be scared of them.

Watch the Length

The point of shorts is that they’re short; you’re avoiding pants for a reason. If you have thighs, however, the longer the shorts, the better. This eliminates chafing (chub rub) and that annoying thing where your shorts rise up as you’re walking and make it look like you have a solid-sized penis.

Embrace the Width

If you can find shorts that create an A-line silhouette and skirt out a bit at the thigh, go for them. This style not only provides summer ventilation, but flatters fuller thighs.

Color Choice is Personal

I’m a prints-person, but I like to stick to solid colored shorts, either white or black. Blue denim shorts don’t work for me — they add two sizes to my look, so I’ve made peace with avoiding them.

Fall into The Gap

Gap shorts are my favorite. They’re easy, basic and cheap.

Do: a wedge — even a low one. They make legs look so good.

But If You Do Sneakers

To avoid instant camp counselor vibes (you know that tennis shoes & long-shorts look) I like to wear a silk top or add chunky accessories.

Don’t Leave Home in Shorts Without…

Swiping your skin with a Gold Bond anti-chafe stick. It’s the best $5.99 you’ll ever spend.

Embrace Athleisure for Errands

This is more of a tip-for-skirts, but it saves lives: if I’m really running around, aka walking over 10k steps on my FitBit, I wear shiny biker shorts because they produce less friction than the cotton ones.

Regarding Cellulite

I’ve stopped caring. It’s a normal part of life/bodies. It’s just not on my list of things to worry about. Everyone has it and no one is looking at yours. Life is too short for that business. Summer is even shorter.

Follow Katie Sturino on Instagram @the12ishstyle. Did you miss our last chat with Katie Sturino? If so, you best click here. For more stylish ladies, view some bad a$$ NY closets. And, it’s also not too late to celestially gear up for the month. While you’re at it, watch how Amelia and Leandra fell in love

Get more Fashion ?
  • I love Katie! Had the great pleasure of making long and frequent eye contact with her on this day — she’s so funny! She looks totally amazing in all of these images — makes me want to wear shorts and vans all summer. And never really considered the white short, but keeping my eye out now.

  • great tips, didn’t know about the A-Line idea



  • that iro jacket is everything. you look gorg! also hell yes about the slightly flared a-line shorts. but i’m always a little afraid i’m gonna end up somehow flashing people.

  • laraerae

    I love Katie, and love the comment about cellulite (seriously, who cares), but I’m disappointed in these shorts. I was so hoping for more! I like the first pair just fine (and appreciate the A-line tip), but the other two are exactly what I’m trying to avoid with shorts on my thunder thighs and short legs. Ugh. I’ll keep searching for that perfect pair.

    • Amelia Diamond

      in your mind, what do your ideal shorts look like? we’ll do some hunting.

      • laraerae

        Something like these on Nadia Aboulhosn (original post on her blog 3/19/2014 “Lookin Ass”). These are vintage and I’m guessing she did them herself but I love how they are high-waisted and short in the front so they don’t cut off the legs and then longer in the back to cover the bootay and avoid the gross cheek peekaboo (would maybe even like a little more length in the back than this particular pair). I haven’t been able to find ANYTHING for purchase like this! most similar shorts are far too short in the behind for me. SOS.

        • Charity Dash

          omg I’m obsessed with that ensemble

        • Amelia Diamond

          I THINK you gotta make them yourself. I’ve never bought cutt offs off the rack that I loved. Urban Outfitters has a good variety of 501s with the long legs. -> http://bit.ly/1FM4V9h <- (When in doubt, size up, and get a pair that fits your butt and thighs the way you want.) THEN get the jeans tailored to fit your waist. THEN CUT. SNIP. BYE. Good luck and send us a pic PLEASE.

          • laraerae

            Girrrllll not the answer I wanted to hear but you’re probably right! I butcher every pair of cutoffs I try to make but I’m going to enlist a crafty friend and do the damn thing. Will report back!

          • Amelia Diamond

            hahaha i’m sorry!! please do report back!

          • Lizzy

            I was disappointed in the shorts here too. I have tried Gap shorts and they stretch out and look really sloppy after a minute. It’d be nice to see some pics of shorts for plus sizes look a little more polished. An example of A-line and high waisted would be a little different and possibly more of an elevated look then just some short from The Gap.

          • Cait

            it is seriusly an art but so worth it. i had to try a few times before getting the (in my opinion) perfect look!

    • Lindsay

      As someone with muscular thighs – jcrew 5″ chinos can do no wrong

      • laraerae

        Thanks for the tip!

      • Lizzy

        The J Crew tip was on point! They have some really nice tailored looking shorts. Lots of good longer options!! I am NOT a fan of showing of cellulite. I’m not ashamed of having it, but if you’re looking for a clean, put together look, dimples won’t do. They are completely sold out online of most 12/14 options so will have to hit up the store!

  • I love these series with Katie! I hope they are here to stay. Every summer I find a pair of random shorts at Marshall’s or something and wear them until they fall apart. Right now the pair looks similar to Katie’s black ones. I like Gap shorts too. And Banana Republic.

  • Sujie Kim

    Hunting down that gold bond stick ASAP! Chub rub is so real.

    • Stephanie

      You can also use Body Glide- found at sporting goods stores, most often by running shoes/socks or by equipment that tends to rub (think football pads, etc). Looks like a deodorant stick, but is most definitely not!

    • Andrea Raymer

      I do the deodorant on the thighs trick. I learned it from marching band where all the girls wear men’s deodorant on their armpits and ladies’ deodorant on their thighs. I find that Dove works the best for me.

    • Jin

      The stuff I use is called Butt Shield. Partly b/c I think it feels less greasy/weird than other brands. Partly b/c I love to say “Butt Shield.”


      A runner with ginormous thighs.

  • Elizabeth Tamkin


  • kduck

    Forget the shorts. I want that quad definition.

  • This might be my new favorite MR post! Yay for shorts! Yay for celebrating different body shapes and sizes!

  • Sam GC

    This is amazing. Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Aydan

    The first shorts are def my fav and as a short girl with muscular thighs, I’m wayyyyy into that style!

  • Valerie Barahona

    beautiful woman <3

  • Elizabeth Press


  • Danielle Verderame

    Fun and actually helpful post. I had never thought that high-waisted, A-line shorts would have a similar flattering effect as a skirt.

  • Stephanie

    Great post! She looks great and also looks like she’s having so much fun! I feel like half the battle is confidence and she definitely rocks it!

  • Cali

    I’ve never quite understood dropping serious hundos on any piece of clothing UNTIL I FELL IN LOVE WITH THAT GERDERN, GOSHDANG IRO JACKET.

    Katie, you’re rocking it. Amelia and MR, thank you very much for keeping this party going!

  • Ola

    Thanx for talking about that! This is my every summer nightmare! I have strong thighs and cellulite, yeah why not; ) i love shorts but do them only on holiday. The rest of summer I spend in dresses and skirts. But I guess it’s time for a change!


  • Lua Jane

    Love yet another Katie Sturino post. Not only is she a momager to adorable Toast, but she also approaches fashion from the point of many of us. Human women, with human women bodies. That isn’t always what designers and stylists have in mind while presenting clothes. I love and wear shorts, as a curvy size 4, but try to pick ones that hit midtigh, and are in solid colors, and pair them with thinnest possible cotton button downs and of course, JCrew cuffed sleeves, as demonstrated by Jenna Lyons, where else but here, on Man Repeller.

    • kathyjazz

      Amen sistuh–style twin! And YES to the button down; S/O to Frank and Eileen shirts!

  • katemcpsf

    i totally agree with the a-line thing, that’s the shape that looks the best on me, but I also need my shorts short, and that combo is hard to find. could shorts be any harder??

    • laraerae

      Yeah that length Katie is wearing does NOTHING for me except make my legs look really short and extremely fat?ugh

  • leChat

    “Cellulite : I’ve stopped caring … Everyone has it and no one is looking at yours.”


  • BK

    Katie where’d you get your eyebrows I need them

  • Audrey k

    Amelia you r so wise re: cellulite thank u

  • Love this Katie, Gap shorts are such hidden gems! We also love Joe’s because they’re not too bad on the price tag and fit great.
    The Twins

  • mary

    wiggle in yr step or dimple in yr thigh…funny i know plenty of skinny gals who have both and plenty of cellulite so why are these terms being dragged out for this article for shorts ,…

    • Amelia Diamond

      Katie and I discussed our specific concerns and “trouble areas” to tackle in this article about shorts. Per her quote at the bottom: almost everyone has cellulite. It is an all-inclusive club.

  • Allie Fasanella

    coming in a little late on this one. i’m so happy to see this bc i have a DONK man. it settles somewhere between kimmy k and abbi jacobson – and i can’t even handle it in shorts. cannot remember the last time i wore a pair of proper shorts that didn’t look like men could play lacrosse in them. katie is such an all stah. all about her.


  • Caus1951

    < col Hiiiiiii Friends..''.——–''.▬▬▬▬★★ that's a full enjoy with+ waitbutwhy+ ********* < Find More='' ……..''


  • Caro

    OMG, she looks awesome.

  • Great post! She looks great and also looks like she’s having so much fun! I feel like half the battle is confidence and she definitely rocks it!

  • This has pulled at heartstrings and frayed denim strands like nothing else.

  • Abood1971

    < col Hiiiiiii Friends..''.——–''▬▬▬▬★★★★ that's a full enjoy with+ microsoft+ ********* < Find More='' ……..''


  • Marianne Ronsse

    Great input from Katie! And what about shorts-combi(combo?) I’m not sure how these are called but I mean shorts that tie together with a top, in one piece. Not overalls, although I like them as well, but a garment that has got you covered from the shoulders to the thighs. I find that those work on different type of silhouettes, and I think they could work on the curvy-sassy women like Katie.
    And I have to compliment Katie on those legs. Damn.

  • littleblacksweats.com

    Katie also wear a fabulous set of gams! Thanks for the shorts tips.

  • Dawn

    Katie–you look sexy, and confident! Thanks for such a real-life article. I put this page together on Polyvore a couple years ago. Also, I just bought a pair of denim shorts that have a teeny bit of tummy control built in, and they are the exact right length. They’re awesome! I’m 5’7″, and they’re actually longer on me than pictured.



  • BirdieBowie

    I’m a size two but look like shit in shorts. I was blessed with undefined ankles and fat knees. Thanks mum

  • Username 01

    It’s Fat Jew’s wife!

  • Alame

    Articles like this are why I love MR! Thanks!!
    Size 10-12

  • BethanyBeach

    she has great legs! I have more muscular legs too and I tend to follow the rule of darker colors for tighter shorts (tight, black, high waisted shorts work wonders) and tailored shorts can be lighter colored with darker tops.

  • Nice,Nice-looking ,Nobby ,Opulent …….

  • I like the first pair of white shorts but the cutoffs bring attention downward-don’t love them. Otherwise cute. Glad to see you sharing fashion for regular sized girls!

  • Lua Jane

    OMG! I know this is weird, but I just figured she is @thefatjewish’s girlfriend, and I’m super excited about it. Awesome couple.

  • Jhon clerk

    It Could Be FREE is one of the best online store in US to buy all products on wholesale and cheap prices.


  • barbettesealy@gmail.com

    This post was exactly what I needed! Thank you.