I Haven’t Worn Shorts in 15 Years, But These Spanx Ones Changed My Mind

Value: 18/20
Functionality: 20/20
Quality: 19/20
Aesthetics: 20/20
Surprise & Delight: 20/20
TOTAL: 97/100

I hate shorts. (There, I said it.) So much so that I don’t think I’ve worn a pair in 15 years? Maybe longer. I’m petite (5’2”) and have hips, so shorts aren’t always the most figure-flattering style choice, which means that, come summer, I’ve simply opted out. No, it’s not about the opinion of others either—quite simply, I just don’t like the way shorts look on my body.

Have I dreamed of wearing them on sweltering NYC days? Absolutely. Have I tried them on at the store in an effort to expand my style horizon? For sure. But every option has always fallen, well, short. Until now.

Just in time for summer, Spanx (the brand renowned for its shapewear) has debuted a brand-new collection of shorts and pants featuring patent-pending technology that is a bit of a miracle worker: It makes the fabric 100 percent opaque. In other words, bye-bye underwear, pocket lines and unsightly seams. Hello, style and comfort. But was it just an empty promise? A gimmick, that per the brand, took seven years to perfect? I was about to find out.

spanx shorts review cat
Rachel Bowie/Dasha Burobina

Full disclosure, I tested the shorts by accident. I originally set out to try out the opaque pants—finding the perfect pair is another elusive style goal—but there was a delivery snafu, which meant they also sent the shorts. Like I said, I popped them on after not wearing shorts for, no joke, 15+ years and was delighted by what I saw in the mirror. The opacity changed everything. I also loved the length (FYI, the shorts are available in short and tall) and the fact that they don’t have side pockets (only pockets in the back), which helped minimize my hips. Park-bound with my four-year-old, I added a breezy AYR button-down and landed on a look that felt so damn comfortable and effortless. My husband remarked: Whoa, you’re wearing shorts? Not only was I wearing them, I wanted my picture taken in them. I felt that cute.

spanx pants review1
Rachel Bowie/Dasha Burobina

The white pants are impressive, too. To test these out, I styled them for the office. As a petite woman with the aforementioned hips, an important disclaimer is that pants—unless they’re of the denim variety—are not a go-to wardrobe staple of mine. (I prefer a dress since pants, without a trip to the tailor, always seem to hit at all the wrong places on my body.) I popped the pair from Spanx on ahead of a doctor’s appointment followed by a full day at the office. It was New York City and approaching 85 degrees, but even after a subway ride, they still felt looked crisp. It made me realize that opacity is kind of everything? So is the stretch cotton material, which helps slim and keep the pant’s shape.

The only negative. While the shorts and pants are machine washable, I did notice after a wash cycle or two that the brightness of the white dulled the tiniest bit in both. But, amazingly, they maintained their shape and stretch.

Hello, hot girl mom summer. Who says you can’t ever surprise yourself with your style choices? If you see the lady chasing her kid in a chic pair of shorts and looking confident as hell, wave hello because…it me.

The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...