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Outside of bathing suits, nothing gives women more of a headache than finding a flattering pair of jeans or shorts. Both bottoms have the the potential to be terribly unflattering, which stinks when you're trying to look svelte. But which one is the lesser of two evils? Before you throw in the towel, get the dish on which one will leave you looking your best.
The Truth About Jeans
Purely based on the fact that jeans cover you from waist to ankle, they'll probably make you feel slimmer than a pair of shorts. This is especially true for ladies who feel self-conscious about their legs. That said, stuffing yourself into jeans that are way too tight never looks or feels good. Knowing your shape and being honest about your body's flaws makes it easier to find styles that streamline your silhouette. Ultimately, a pair of denim with a flattering fit is going to make you look and feel thinner.
The Skinny On Shorts
Shorts can be a hard sell. For decades, fashionistas have deemed them a "don't" and, for many women, they draw the eye to the exact spot they'd like to camouflage: the thigh area. However, that doesn't mean you should discount shorts altogether. Though they don't have as much fabric to hide flaws, there are styles that are flattering for many shapes and sizes. Much like jeans, it's important to be honest with yourself about your body shape -- and any flaws you'd like to cover up -- before starting your hunt for the perfect pair.
Stacy London of "What Not to Wear" advises that when shopping for bottoms, it's important to find a pair that fits the widest part of your body and has a leg line that's tailored, not tight. Ladies who have full hips, thighs and waists should look for jeans with a high rise and flared legs to look slimmer. With shorts, skip the super-tight, super-short short. Look for wider-legged shorts that hit at the knee or just above.
It's in the Details
Picking a pair of bottoms with the right detailing can mean the difference between flattering and a total flop. Skip pleats; they add volume at the hips. Go for darker denim washes and shorts in solid colors or those with a slim pinstripe to elongate the body. Don't buy bottoms with small pockets, pockets angled inward or those with embellishments; they'll only make your behind look bigger. When in doubt, wear both with heels or wedges, which give your legs a little extra length.