It could not possibly be hotter today in NYC… 97 degrees, and the aim of the game is to wear as little clothing as possible without being naked. Unless you’re at the spa. And now that your legs are shaved to endure time with a glowing smoke & mirrors tan, it’s time to pretend you’re Cameron Diaz. (Not like that.) I’m talking legs – if you’re lacking Cam’s gams, there are ways around it while still embracing the summer trend that just keeps getting shorter and shorter and shorter.

There are 3 particular styles that work on real people, and are all trending in a big way for Summer 2011. Let’s strut through them, all for less than a Spa Week treatment, of course:

Retro and slanted

Shorts that appear triangular may seem infinitely minuscule (and they kind of are), but the shape is actually more forgiving than many shorts with straight hems because there’s more room for your leg to move. They also give the illusion of legs for days, even if they’re only maybe a couple hours. Try these two pairs, both channeling 50s glamour crossed with 90s flare: the barely visible vintage floral effect shorts, and the vintage-style Levi’s.

Scalloped/Lace hem

One of the sweetest new styles of this summer, scalloped or lacy hemmed shorts, work because they tend to fit a little baggier. Look for pleats and that slight puffing for a cute fit. Look for pairs that puff out a bit like you see above, the navy floral printed and the peach gingham pairs, both from TopShop.

Silky Printed

This is the most important (and fun!) short shorts trend of Summer ’11. Choose Tribal (on the model), artsy floral or animal print, you can’t go wrong with a pair of these and a solid top for an easy, comfortable, eye-catching ensemble. These are all 100% rayon – the silky ones are generally expensive and too high maintenance with dry cleaning expenses, so save your cash and look for rayon. And repeat after me: Elastic. Waistband.

Flattering shorts trick: Wear a pair of spandex shorts underneath your short shorts. Peeking out a little bit, these serve many a purpose. Most importantly, they keep your tummy and glutes looking and feeling tight, and eliminate inner thigh chafing. Choose a complementary color or pattern for an instantly more dynamic outfit. Lacy hems work really well for this, as do patterns. I own these – they look great with denim, black shorts, tribal shorts, even skirts and more. Oh – and let me not neglect to mention the ultimate flattering tip: your shorts will look a hundred times better with heels. Always, period, the end.

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