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You have to take them seriously, not just throw on an old, schlumpy pair. Someone with great legs may get away with midthigh length, but slightly above the knee looks better on most people. I prefer a reasonably full cut (we're not talking billowy) that skims the thighs and camouflages sensitive areas. My usual caveats apply: no low-riders, no skintight fit, no bunchy pleats. Actually, I've been shocked lately by how chic shorts can be—in the office or for evening.
Above: Silk taffeta shorts. (Cynthia Steffe, $195), glam up with a beaded top (Bamford, $1,295) and jeweled sandals (Patricia Green).