Can Shorts Ever Be Too Short?

Caroline Murray

If there’s one motto Hollywood seems to live by, it’s “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”—advice Gwyneth Paltrow took to heart, recently. In a new paparazzi shot, the actress was spotted leaving a restaurant wearing very little indeed, with people asking if she was even wearing pants at all. We know Gwyn’s got fab legs, but this fashion faux pas got us thinking: Can shorts ever be too short?

too short Can Shorts Ever Be Too Short?

Getty Images/Zimbio/E!Online

The simple answer, of course, is yes. If you’re going to be flashing your naughty bits, your shorts are probably too short. But there are other things to take into consideration when examining the length of your garments: Are your legs shapely enough to pull them off? Can you bend over without flashing anyone? Are you comfortable? If you answered no to any of these, you might want to reconsider your outfit.

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Rumor has it that Gwyneth was actually wearing tiny, white daisy dukes under this long top (above right), but since it was a pale color, that’s hard to prove. We dug around and found some other celebs who just went too short—someone other than repeat offender, Miley Cyrus. Take, for example, Victoria’s Secret Model, Candice Swanepoel (above center), who wore an itty-bitty romper to an event in Soho, recently. As gorgeous as she is, this item was so snug that you could see the outline of her lady parts! Awkward. Lord knows she has the body for it, and she looks comfortable, but girl, don’t you want to leave something to the imagination?

Next, we have So You Think You Can Dance finalist, Jaimie Goodwin (above left), whose bottom was clearly on display while doing the splits off stage. Again, she clearly has the body for it, but is she showing too much of the goods?

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From what I can tell, there are two extreme trains of thought that can help determine the length of your shorts. The first is what I like to call “the boarding school theory,” which is where you hang your arms by your side and make your dress/shorts/skirt no shorter than your fingertips (that’s how they do it with uniforms). The second goes back to aforementioned Hollywood motto: If you’ve got it, flaunt it, meaning that there is no such thing as “too short.”

I’d like to think that short shorts can work on a woman with nice, toned legs, and that as long as her—ahem!—isn’t showing, it’s ok. But I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule. What do you think: How short is too short when it comes to clothes?