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How to wear shorts

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As the weather heats up, we're left with the same old sartorial conundrum: to short or not to short? On the one hand there's a danger of looking like you're auditioning for a part in Grange Hill, but on the other there's always the issue of being downright uncomfortable on the morning commute. Helping us to shed light on this dilemma is Julia Rebaudo, head of fashion at StyleCompare.co.uk on how to wear shorts.

“As a rule of thumb you want a straight line running hip to hem. So if you’ve been eyeing up last year’s oversized pockets on your favourite baggies, stop right now.”

Smart shorts: "If you’ve got good enough pins – get thee to a gym if you’re lacking good muscle definition – a pair of knee-length tailored shorts in linen or cotton can be dressed up well enough for most formal summer occasions. Shorts lend themselves to this season’s colour blocking trend so go to town with a bright pair and contrasting jacket with a neutral shirt. Throw on a pair of sunnies, tie and brogues for a slick look."

Casual: "Of course shorts are mainly about comfort when it’s hot, so you’d be forgiven for wanting to pull on any old gym shorts kicking around your closet. Step away. If you’re going cargo, go for smaller and fewer pockets so as not to ruin the line. Slim denim shorts look good on the knee."

Shoes: "Deck shoes, casual brogues or old-skool plimsolls – without socks! Bite the bullet and buy some of those below-the-ankle socks or get handy with the Febreze. Avoid pumped up Nikes and hi-tops."

Length: "The most flattering length for most guys is a few inches above the knee for the tailored short or just below the knee for more casual styles. Mid-thigh is not good if you’re of chunky leg and anything shorter is only for finely honed sportsmen. Tall? Above the knee is good for balancing out proportions. Short? Go for a lowish hip and just below the knee. Calf-length board shorts should generally be avoided by everyone over 25."

Colour: "Khakis, stones and nudes are always a failsafe bet and suit most skin tones and hair colour. If you’re fair, pastels will work for you. Brunettes, both pale and olive-skinned, can experiment with stronger primaries and brights like red and shocking pink. Patterns? Small checks are good, but blocks of colour better!"

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