Your Guide to Wearing Shorts with Cellulite (with Confidence) may earn a small commission when you use one of the links on this page to purchase.

how to wear shorts when you have cellulite

One of the realities for women around the world is that there are a lot of us with cellulite. It’s one of those things that we tend to notice more than other people and sometimes, it can stop you from wearing cute, cooler clothes in the summer months and really feeling confident in your skin.

So, should you hide your cellulite when wearing shorts? And what are some tricks to wearing shorts with cellulite with confidence?

Cellulite is normal and you should never let it hold you back from wearing cute shorts. To make cellulite less noticeable, choose thicker fabrics that don’t cling to the skin and go with styles that flare out at the bottom and that go to the middle of your thigh.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at what cellulite is and why you shouldn’t be worried about it. I’ll also give you some tips that will make it easier for you to wear shorts and skirts with confidence.

Should You Hide Cellulite When Wearing Shorts?

No, you shouldn’t feel obligated to hide cellulite when wearing shorts. Much like you should 100% rock the crop top or belly piercing even if you have a tummy, you should also rock your cellulite whether you’re wearing a bikini, shorts, or something else.

Unfortunately, with the impossible standards set by the beauty industry, it’s all too easy for women to feel like they have to hide away those flaws or assume that they are one of a small percentage of people dealing with issues like cellulite.

The truth is that there are a lot of people dealing with cellulite. According to the Cleveland Clinic, around 80-90% of women and 10% of men have at least some cellulite. Fortunately, there are things you can do to manage it (non-surgically). And no, I’m not just going to tell you to lose weight.

In fact, cellulite isn’t caused just by being heavier- it is also affected by things like your age, genetics, and how thick your skin is. A lot of women have it and you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide because of it, especially during those hot summer months when you’re likely to sweat more.

Cellulite is Normal

The beauty industry puts a lot of pressure on women who have cellulite. Even when you see plus-size models in magazines, they have their flaws retouched and any signs of cellulite airbrushed away.

That being said, cellulite is something that is completely normal that man men and women deal with. It’s caused by the position of fat cells and connective tissues under the skin.

While fat cells can become larger, those connective tissues stay the same. This is why they create that “dimpling” effect on the skin that’s known as cellulite.

While men do have cellulite too, it’s most common in women. This is because after puberty, women tend to accumulate fat around the hips, buttocks, and thighs, while men are more likely to gain weight in their bellies first.

The hips, butt, and thighs are all areas where cellulite is most common. It’s also common on the abdomen and breasts in some people.

How to Hide Cellulite When Wearing Shorts

Even though I’m not big on feeling like you have to hide parts of your body when you’re plus size, the reality is that we all want to look our best sometimes. Plus, there’s something about feeling good in what you’re wearing and the confidence that it instills.

Now, there really isn’t a way that you can totally hide cellulite or just make it disappear overnight. That being said, there are some tips and tricks that you can use to make cellulite a little less noticeable to boost your confidence. Let’s take a look.

Opt for Shorts That Are Mid-Thigh Length

For many people, myself included, cellulite is worst just below the buttocks near the top of the thigh. The good news is that as long as you aren’t wearing short shorts, then odds are your clothing is going to cover that up.

Choosing slightly longer shorts still has the same benefits of keeping you cool and looking stylish, but they also don’t show nearly as much cellulite as shorter ones. As an added benefit, going with shorts that are a little longer don’t ride up as much when you walk and they also make your legs look longer.

Choose the Right Material, Style, and Pattern of Shorts

When you put on a pair of leggings or shorts made from thin, stretchy material, there’s a good chance that it’s going to show everything. Thin fabric makes cellulite very visible because of the way that it clings to your skin and shows every bump and dimple.

Thicker materials like jeans or khaki shorts are usually more forgiving when you are trying to hide cellulite because they don’t cling to the skin too much and even when they do, certain types of material seem to hold everything together and smooth the skin.

Linen and cotton are thinner materials, however, they aren’t going to cling as much as spandex or other fitted materials. This is especially true if you choose a style of shorts that flares out toward the bottom instead of clinging to your thigh all the way down.

You also might find that the color or pattern of your shorts matters, too. For example, while I do love leggings because of how soft, stretchy, and comfortable they are, I find that my cellulite is more apparent when I’m wearing solid black leggings than when I’m wearing a pair with a fun, colorful print.

Plan an Outfit You Feel Confident In

When you are planning your outfits, the overall look really has an effect on where people’s eyes are drawn and which of your features you are accentuating. This means if you’re worried about how your shorts look on your legs, adding a flattering top in a bold color or pattern (like polka dots or stripes) draws attention to the top half of your body instead of the bottom.

Wearing an elbow-sleeve or long-sleeve top also draws more attention to the top of your body, where there is more fabric. Pairing a t-shirt with a sweater also looks really cute with shorts and a pair of boots.

Something else that could help you gain confidence is wearing tights with your shorts. Tights smooth right over cellulite and they can be a good in-between step when you’re still trying to convince yourself that you have the confidence to wear shorts.

Other Tips for Wearing Shorts with Cellulite

When it comes to wearing shorts with cellulite, it’s really one of those things you just have to do to get over that initial fear and start to feel confident in your skin. With that being said, there’s a few more things that you can do that can help you build confidence when wearing shorts, skirts, and dresses. Let’s take a look.

Decide if You Want to Do Something About It

While you should always love yourself the way you are, there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to be healthier or lose weight to help build confidence. Even taking up a hobby like paddleboarding on the weekends or making a few healthier food choices can make a big difference in your overall health.

Your diet plays a big role in overall health of your skin and the presence of cellulite. For example, heavily processed foods and salt can cause inflammation in fat cells, making them swell and making cellulite more apparent.

Adding fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamins A and C promotes collagen production. Since collagen makes up the connective tissues that hold the fat cells to the skin, strengthening them helps smooth cellulite. Fiber also reduces inflammation and sujports healthy skin and metabolism.

With that being said, you should feel confident wearing shorts regardless of your size. There’s nothing wrong with rocking your shorts with whatever body shape you have right now.

Work On Your Confidence

It’s easy for someone to type out the words “just be confident”. Anyone whose ever struggled with their self-esteem or confidence, myself included, could tell you that it’s a lot harder than just being confident.

For me, something that really helped was slowly stepping out of my comfort zone over the time. For example, being confident enough to wear a knee-length skirt before I attempted shorts that went to my mid-thigh. It really helps when you admire yourself in the mirror too- without criticizing or looking for flaws.

Something else I can say is that I feel a lot of us notice our flaws a lot more than our partners, friends, or people we see out in public. This means that even though you might be self-concious about a little bit of cellulite peeking out of your shorts, most people aren’t even going to notice it, let alone comment on it or let it affect their day.

Something that made me more confident wearing shorts was getting a tattoo on my outer thigh. Not only does it draw attention away from my thing, but it looks really cool, too.

Take Care of Your Skin

As I mentioned earlier, one of the things that makes cellulite more apparent in some people is thinner skin, which makes dimples and cellulite more visible. In addition to eating a fiber- and vitamin-rich diet, staying hydrated is going to stop skin from getting thin and dry.

Exfoliating regularly is also important for sloughing away dead skin and revealing healthier skin underneath. It also makes it easier for your skin to absorb any moisturizers that you use.

Adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine can also improve your skin’s texture and strengthen collagen bonds under the skin. (Olay makes a body wash with hyaluronic acid that is my current favorite).

Consider Self-Tanner

I know for a lot of people that spend most of their days in pants, our legs don’t see a lot of sun. While that changes as you get the confidence to go to the beach and do thinks like kayaking, tanning your legs can actually help with the appearance of cellulite, too.

Tanning your legs makes them a little darker, which makes the dips that appear with cellulite less apparent. Self-tanner is one of my favorite ways to tan as a big girl, especially when I don’t have time or feel like going to get a spray tan. I feel like it also works gradually and gives me a more natural glow.

Final Word

Wearing shorts with cellulite is something that a lot of women do, especially when you consider that around 80-90% of women have it. That being said, it’s still not always easy to just put on the shorts and be confident.

Finding that perfect pair of shorts is all about finding what you feel most confident in. Going with a flattering style in a thicker material can help with hiding cellulite. You can also draw attention away from the area by choosing an eye-catching top or pairing shorts with tights.

A lot of the things I’ve mentioned I’ve tried out myself to help gain confidence as a plus size woman in shorts and I really hope they help you, too!

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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