Dressing for Hot Weather If You Don’t Love Your Short Legs

woman wearing linen pants hot weather style to cover her legs

Dreading the summer months because you don’t love your short legs and don’t like to wear shorts? Showing some leg is something that so many women dread once hot weather hits. There are several reasons women don’t like their legs. It could be the size, shape, skin tone/elasticity, or unsightly veins. Whatever the reason, I am here to help you solve that issue this summer. At the same time, I will help you stay cool and feel great about what you are wearing.

I will be honest. Even though I am in my 50s I will still wear shorts in public. Sometimes I just feel that skirts or casual pants are a more appropriate alternative to style. Yes, I will wear shorts to run errands, go to the grocery, or even to a BBQ. However, if am going out to lunch or meeting up with friends, then I find myself heading into a different section of my closet.

Before we dive into how to look and feel your best in hot weather styles here are a few other summer petite fashion posts you might like to read.

brunette woman wearing orange linen wide leg pants and a green floral top holding a straw hat
Top from my closet | Pants | Sandals (use code SAS10 for 10% off)

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link or picture and make a purchase I may receive a commission. Thank you for shopping thru my links.  Beth

Hot Weather Styling Options When You Don’t Love Your Short Legs

So whatever your reason for not liking to show off your short legs know that it’s OK. You can stay cool and feel good about what you are wearing with a few options.

Why Wear Skirts in Hot Weather

Skirts are just like shorts in that they are a great closet staple or basic. They can easily go with many different tops. You can easily change up a skirt to look very casual, casual, or dressy casual depending upon your choice of top and accessories. And let’s not forget, with a skirt you can catch a good breeze.

Just like shorts, you can wear a cute skirt with sneakers. The other option is to put on a sandal or even a heeled sandal for a little extra height. That extra couple of inches can give the illusion of longer legs. Now who doesn’t like that illusion?

Best Fabric Choices for Summer Skirts

Obviously, we are wearing skirts to stay cool so our fabric choices help with that as well. If the skirt is lined, then make sure you check out what the lining is made of as well. My favorite fabrics to wear in the summer are:

  • Cotton
  • Seersucker
  • Linen
  • Silk

The good news about all of these fabrics is that you can also wash most of them at home and not have to take them to the dry cleaners. If you choose to take them to a dry cleaners, try to find an environmentally aware cleaners.

Now let’s take a look at the different types of skirts that will help us dress for hot weather and still feel cool and put together.

Skirt Lengths

Everyone has a comfort zone for how much leg they like to show during the summer months. The three main categories for skirts when you are shopping online are mini, midi, and maxi. Let’s take a look at some of each of these and see what you think would be best for your comfort zone. Regardless of the length of the skirt, think of this as a closet staple that you can think of at least three tops options that you can wear it with. That will ensure that you wear it more often.

Mini Skirts

A mini skirt can vary in length. Technically, a mini skirt can be from 10 inches long to 20 inches long. That is a big difference in lengths. I’m only 5’1/2″ so a 20 inch mini skirt is a great length on me. It just hits a few inches above my knees like the one I am wearing in the photos in this post. If you are a lot taller, then you will probably want to start with midi skirts unless the mini skirts come in tall sizes. I really like this mini and this ruffled one for versatility. You can style them with so many different tops.

Mini skirts are a good option if you don’t like your thighs for some reason, but are OK with your calves. I know many women who swear by this anti chafing stick in the summer for their thighs.

Midi Skirts

Just like the mini skirt, the midi skirt can vary in length. “Midi” can mean that the skirt will fall anywhere from two inches below the knee to just above the ankles. What you have to realize is where the skirt hits on your calf. You want to make sure that the hem does not hit in the middle of your calf. The most flattering length for this style of skirt is either above the swell in your calf or below the calf with your ankles showing.

The midi skirt is actually quite flattering on and very comfortable once you figure out the sweet spot for the length on your body type. They usually have some flare and flow to them so they are cool to wear in the heat and humidity. You can find lots of midi skirts out there this season that will look good on when you don’t love your legs being bare.

I just started embraceing midi skirts a couple of years ago. They have quickly become a favorite style for their versatility. This season I am really like this wrap skirt and this jersey knit skirt. Both can be styled so many ways. The options for tops and shoes are almost endless.

Maxi Skirt

The maxi skirt stops at the ankle or goes all of the way to the ground. Yes, petites can wear these skirts along with our tall friends. The trick is to make sure you pair them with the right top so that your lower body has the illusion of looking longer. Every woman should have one of these in her closet as a classic summer piece to style.

As a petite, we do have to be mindful of the bottom of the skirt to make sure that it can be hemmed. I always pay close attention to that so that you don’t ruin the balance of the skirt design if you have to hem it. Probably the best thing is to buy maxi skirts in petite sizing. Some of my favorite retailers for that are Reformation, Boden, and Ann Taylor.

Best Pant Styles to Wear In Summer When You Don’t Love Your Legs

When you don’t love your legs, pants are an easy solution as long as you find fabric that is light and breathable. You will want to look for linen or gauzey cotton pants for the ultimate in breathability. Just remember that you will want to have a more fitted top on when you are wearing looser fitting pants.

The other thing to look for is a hight waist fit in the pants. That high waist is a short girl’s BFF when it come to making our legs look longer.

Here are some styles that I love to wear in the summer.


Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet today. I hope that I gave you some inspiration as to how to stay cool and feel great about how you look this summer.

You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest. Would love for you to follow me there. I also have a weekly newsletter that I send out every Sunday. In it, I share things that I don’t share on other platforms. I hope you will sign up by clicking here.

Updated June 2023.

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  1. Jodie Filogomo says:

    I have so many skirts and dresses now that we live in AZ. It’s amazing how much cooler they are.

    1. I know. As I have aged, the number of skirts and dresses in my closet have increased too. Skirts are just like shorts and so versatile. I always try to figure out at least 2 or 3 different tops to go with each one so I get even more wear out of them.

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