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What are Midi Shorts?

Learn the definition of a midi short as well as how and when to wear it. This length full covers the rear and the thighs. You can wear it to many offices and schools since it meets many dress codes.

A woman jogging by the beach wearing midi shorts.

Shorts, like skirts, vary in length. The terminology differs though. That means a midi short, and a midi skirt describe very different lengths.

Essentially, midi shorts reach the same length as a mini skirt. It will have about a three-inch inseam.

If that sounds confusing, read on to understand the differences between the two fashion midis and how and when to wear midi shorts.

A Quick Comparison Chart of Short and Skirt Lengths

This chart will quickly help you determine the length of the shorts in relationship to skirts.

Short shorts = Micro mini skirt

Midi shorts = Miniskirt

Walking shorts = Knee-length skirt

Capri/Culottes = Midi skirt

Skort = Mini or Knee-length skirt

The Midi Short Length in Fashion

The midi shorts length fully covers your bottom and thighs. It stops short of the length of Bermuda shorts.

A Good Length for All Builds

This is a close look at three friends wearing various outfits of the same length.

These shorts like other lengths have their place in fashion. While women with thin thighs can wear short shorts, those shorts do not complement every person’s body. Fashion provides such a diversity of cuts, styles, and lengths so that each person has an option that compliments their shape.

Midi shorts hold a special place in the hearts of women who want a loose, free fit but do not want a short-short. Others desire a more sophisticated look which midi and walking length shorts provide. The length of this short offers an option for the more demure or modest woman.

The length of this short also provides a range of fashion options since its length lends itself to dressier looks. These shorts tend to avoid athletic wear fabrics and lean towards cotton or linen. You can also find polyester options. They can go with casual t-shirts or dressy tops.

An individual who wants to cover thick thighs fashionably can easily do so with midi shorts. Midi shorts also provide an option for every leg length. Whether you have long or short legs, this length of shorts will complement them.

Midi shorts come in all three typical rises as well. You can purchase a low-, mid- or high-rise pair of these shorts. Choose a high-rise pair of midi shorts if you have had children and have not yet lost the baby weight or carry extra weight in your midriff. Choose mid- or low-rise midi shorts if you have an athletic or skinny build since these options cover less of the torso.

A high rise short and midi length makes a short-legged person look taller. A low rise short and midi length accentuates long legs on a tall person.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few things you need to know when shopping for or styling midi shorts.

How do you style midi shorts?

Choose whether you want to wear shorts cuffed or uncuffed. Some midi-length shorts come already cuffed. Some come hemmed in such a way that you can cuff or uncuff them without the hem showing. Those designed for cuffing usually come in a four- or five-inch length.

Those that come already cuffed usually have a three-inch inseam.

The dressier pairs of these shorts go well with belts. Choose a khaki striped belt or a leather belt. Most of these shorts have small belt loops and accommodate a one-inch belt.

You can find some high-waisted options with which you can wear a wide belt of two inches or more.

From what materials are midi shorts made?

This length of shorts most often comes in denim, cotton, or linen. You can also find these shorts in fabrics like bamboo and modal. Aside from the denim options, they offer a dressier look in shorts, especially when you choose the cuffed options.

Does material color matter?

Yes, it does. When you choose a longer inseam for your shorts, you need to choose a color that does not create a harsh contrast to your skin tone. The harsh contrast causes you to look shorter. You can also make your legs look longer by wearing nude-colored shoes.

What waist styles do midi shorts use?

You can find paper bag waists, drawstring waists, one-button, five-button, zippered, and pull-on waistbands in this length. You will not see elastic waistbands in this length of dress shorts although you can find some athletic shorts that hit just beneath the thigh.

Do midi shorts also come as skorts?

Yes, you can find skorts in the midi short length. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a skort is a skirt with shorts sewn underneath it. It appears to be a skirt from the front but has a pair of shorts under it and attached.

This allows a person who prefers modest attire to enjoy the comfort of shorts with the look of a skirt. It also provides a method of wearing shorts to an office. You can wear a skort in spring and summer and still meet your office’s dress code.

This option also provides a way around school dress codes that ban shorts. No one will know you are wearing shorts beneath the skirt.

What accessories go well with midi shorts?

You would typically wear a short-sleeved top with this length of shorts. This could be a dressy top, summer sweater, or a t-shirt. If you choose a t-shirt, pair it with Keds-style sneakers or other tennis shoes with no-show socks.

When wearing midi shorts with a dressy top or summer sweater, choose a pair of flats, or low-heeled shoes such as loafers. With a skort, you would wear the same dress shoes or high heels as you would with any other skirt of its length.

Wear a chiffon or silk scarf with collarless dressy tops. With collared dress tops, try a woman’s tie, especially a skinny tie. Also, consider leaving the two top buttons unbuttoned without a tie. Wear a necklace with a pendant or charm instead.

Choose a small or mid-sized wristlet or cross-body bag to round out your look. Barrel bags, satchels, and shoulder bags are too big to complement shorts. The less material you wear on your body, the smaller your purse should be.

A camera bag-sized cross-body bag works well with shorts.

Are there one-piece outfits in this length?

Yes, you can find shorts sets, also called rompers, in this midi length. It is the most common length for the shorts portion of a romper. These typically come in a terry cloth fabric or cotton.

These fabrics work well in very hot conditions. You can also find these in modal. They usually have a tie at the waist in lieu of a belt.

Where can you purchase mid-length shorts?

You can buy this length of shorts at most department stores. Dillard’s, Foley’s, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and other large department stores carry these dressy shorts and jean shorts. You can purchase them online through Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

Many clothing brands offer this length in their shops, including American Eagle, The Gap, and Old Navy. You can also find designer midi shorts at Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein as well as in their boutiques in Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.


The Mom Edit: What Are Midi Shorts?

American Eagle: Midi Shorts