3 Ways to Wear Shorts, No Thigh Gap Required

Katie Sturino and I talk a lot about thighs, specifically our lack of thigh gaps and how that can make shorts shopping feel impossible. She has complained to me that when she finds shorts in her size (which fluctuates depending on the brand, but often falls closer to a 14) they feel too safe, like they’re hiding something. Katie likes a booty short, is sick of walking shorts and wants something a BIT more “formal” than cutoffs. “Done,” I said, when she told me she was ready to let me get weird with no-thigh-gap shorts styling.

“Under one condition,” I added. “You let me call it thigh-ling.” She ignored me, but I put my retainer in and began to thighyle away.

Send a Postcard from Palm Beach

If I were you — and with Katie, I am, I would channel a Palm Beach grandpa as often as possible. Tie a silk pajama shirt over the shoulders of your other silk pajama shirt. Turn your slacks into shorts and pair with a pair of slides. The only thing we’re missing here are grandpa’s compression socks, but thank god we brought his pet parakeet along.

Gym Before Work? Forget Your Pants On Purpose!

Katie wanted her butt cheeks to show, if I’m being honest. I had to explain that in New York City you don’t want exposed butt cheeks because god forbid you sit on anything mysterious and sticky. She gave in (barely) and let me try out this thing I’ve been wanting to do myself: track shorts over biker shorts with your spring-layover top and jacket carrying on as usual.

Break Out the Bottom Half of Your Troop Beverly Hills Uniform

I didn’t KNOW Katie was walking-short averse until she arrived and I was like, “Here! I found a pair of shorts that Phyllis Nefler would wear!” The reason she was against them, however, is because she thought walking shorts meant boring shorts. I tricked her into a good time with a sequined shirt and a ton of layers. She gave in, eventually. And guess what else? She used the word thylist.

Check out Katie Sturino’s website The 12ish Style and follow her on Instagram @The12ishStyle. Photos by Edith Young. 

Get more Fashion ?
  • Andrea Raymer

    This is very timely for me as I am the owner of a rather large set of thighs and recently purchased me first pair of shorts in like 5 years. (I blame you for this purchase, Amelia. you made me really need white cutoffs)

    • Amelia Diamond

      I need a new pair too now because I got chocolate on my crotch 🙁

    • Cristina

      I finally gave up on denim shorts. After wondering for so long why they don’t look “boyfriend” on me like they do on the model I finally pinpointed it’s because the model has legs the size of my arms, so anything would look “boyfriend” on her. Denim shorts are bad news for me. Tight in the legs and butt, gap at the waist. Viva la drawstring linen shorts!!!

  • Adrianna

    I still cherish the shorts I’ve managed to buy over the years. I actually never wore shorts between ages 12 and 22 because the only ones out there had tiny inseams.

  • Lindsey

    She looks fresh to death in all these outfits!

  • Alison

    Love the first look. Also, and I’m ruining it here but want to give a shoutout anyway, thank you for not making body size a big deal. This is an article about styling awesome clothes on totally normal bodies. Awesome collaboration between Amanda and Katie!

  • BarbieBush

    Appreciate the non-photo shop here.

    Also how depressing that you had to stick to several of the same brands and one of them is the shit-farm forever 21. Love your styling xx so I am positive other brands were not available OR maybe bc Katie is affiliated with Eloquii it was intentional.

    but damn!!! she’s only a 14..is that even plus size?? and still limited options

  • Beatriz Medeiros

    You have no idea how much I love your titles – this one is specially great. You guys inspire me at my job, thanks <3
    (But don't worry, no copycat detected – and, besides, I'm Brazilian, a whooole different language hahaha)


  • Lois

    ok, this is a great article, and it’s awesome just to see some body diversity as always. ooooone super quick thing – the headline I’m seeing on my chrome browser, and in the piece’s URL, is ‘how to style plus size shorts,’ even though the article is not specifically about plus-sized people – it’s about styling shorts for people who don’t have thigh gaps!!! not having a thigh gap is not a specifically plus sized issue… people of all kinds of sizes don’t have thigh gaps, because a lot of the time they’re nothing to do with thinness/fatness/whateverness and instead to do with the configuration of your hips… Just thought I’d pick you up on it as even though you’re doing a great thing by featuring some body diversity, at the same time you’re labelling this body characteristic as a “plus sized issue,” which could be quite damaging to some people (not that there is anything remotely wrong with being plus sized, but I’m sure you know what I’m getting at here… the whole thigh gap as “thinness indicator” thing just needs to go away, as I’m sure you agree!) Just my ten pence, this is in no way a criticism of the article itself, and please feature more articles like this with varied body types, it is wonderful to see 🙂

    • BarbieBush

      This is always the case with MR articles, and articles in general. The URL is made for “SEO” search engine optimization. So even though the article isn’t supposed to be about plus size, MR wants this article to come up in google (or whatever) whenever someone types in “how to style plus size shorts”, or a combo of those words.

      I started noticing this a lot on Man Repeller too–even though it is every where (I just frequent here a lot). In particular, a lot of articles having a url include the words “political correctness” or “how to”..these are buzz words that gets traction in search engines.

      I think that raises a really interesting ethical question though…. The article doesn’t say plus size BUT they want it to show up when people are googling plus size..so actually that is who they are targeting. It is a mixed message at the VERY least and a nod towards ‘clicks’ over integrity IMO.

    • Cristina


    • Yvonne Dunlevie

      Hi Lois! Thanks for your comment! As you noticed, we almost always use two headlines (one for SEO, as BarbieBush pointed out below, and one for our on-site headline…this one is often more “fun”). Our main goal is always to make MR a place where anyone and everyone feels comfortable, and that a piece like this doesn’t have to be for one or the other, plus or non-plus. Additionally, we have gotten feedback in the past asking to make headlines more straightforward, so that if someone is specifically looking for plus content, they are able to find it. Hopefully this answers your question a bit; always open to discussion.

      • Lois

        Thank very much to both you and BarbieRush for your replies. I am aware of the function of SEO and that this usage of the term “plus size” is part of your SEO, and I truly admire your wish to create a fashion space online which is accessible to all body types – as I said before I would love to see more of this! But at the same time I agree with BarbieRush that the usage of “plus size” in your SEO here does create an ethical dilemma – by employing it here, you are still associating a lack of a thigh gap with being plus size. If it was purely about boosting hits by using the words “plus size,” then surely you could use them in your seo for any other article, too… Not everyone understands SEO – to the casual observer, who quickly minimises your article to the taskbar and sees your alternative title, they could easily feel labelled with something they don’t identify or feel comfortable with – not everyone who reads your posts is necessarily aware of the inner workings of online media, and you have a very diverse readership (which is a wonderful thing!). I still think that to someone with a weight-related disorder, or history of one, this experience could be very damaging. Please don’t feel I’m attacking you at all, I love ManRepeller and that’s why I felt I needed to voice my opinion on this – it just doesn’t sit right with your usual ethical voice.

        • Lois

          Sorry I meant BarbieBush, not BarbieRush – I’m posting from my phone, sorry!

  • Nicole

    ugh I want all of these looks, but I especially love the track/biker short combo!!!!!! Katie is just so thigh-lish!

  • nevvvvave

    so annoying i know but can we talk about how hard it is to be a size 10/12 when everything either caps out at at 10 or 12 which means it’s always out of stock and places like eloquii (understandably) start at size 14?? what’s an inbetweenie to do

    • Meg S

      I think torrid recently dropped their sizes to start at 12 (possibly 10).

  • Abigail Thacher

    people is the 90s biker short look back… seeing a hint of it here…. let me know because I am about to order pairs in three different colors

  • Great post! We don’t need to all be skinny like the unreal models that we see in ads everywhere! Normal people are beautiful too and we should not forget that!
    Marie from https://www.dreamshop.co.uk/

  • RattlesnakeKate

    But how do you prevent your butt from eating your shorts? I hate doing the weird wiggle step every three feet. 😫