IF the Olympic hype hasn't been enough to get you into a training kit, try the chic shorts route instead.

The athletes' teeny running hotpants and the cyclists' skin-tight shorts might be enough to send you sprinting Usain Bolt-style into the distance, but there are more wearable alternatives.

Shorts are worth the investment. Style them correctly and you can wear them from day to night and from summer to winter.

Take the hem high jump and put your legs in the spotlight.


When the weather is playing ball, shorts are the perfect beach or poolside staple.

Floaty silk shorts are hot for this season but you can't beat classic denim for durability.

Steer clear of frays and rips and try this summer's embroidered and printed styles for extra style points.

If you're not a fan of your legs, there are a variety of cropped trousers on the high street that fall below the knee. Those conscious of heavy thighs should stick to flattering darker colours like black or navy.


Forget dresses - shorts are becoming a regular fixture on red carpets.

This season's so-called cocktail shorts have been given a glam-over with luxurious fabrics such as rich brocade or tailored silk in jewel tones or metallics.

By day you can dress down with a t-shirt and flat sandals, but by night they can become elegant with a blouse, blazer and heels. Choose shoes that don't cut off the ankle for instantly longer and slimmer legs.

For shorts that are undeniably eveningwear, look for embellishment like beading, sequins or applique and tone down the bling detailing with a crisp white blouse.


At the office, shorts can be an edgy alternative to skirts.

Seek out city shorts close to the knee in length if you prefer a tailored look, or culottes-style flared shorts for a more relaxed ensemble. A print will give your shorts extra interest, but stick to a dark or neutral palette for a nine-to-five aesthetic.

A smart blazer is your best friend for sprucing up shorts. Try matching up your shorts to your jacket for a streamlined look or go the whole hog and invest in a two-piece short suit.


Heatwaves and suncream will soon become a thing of the past but you don't have to stash away your shorts when the dark nights start drawing in.

Pale and bright shorts may need to go into hibernation but others have bonus longevity with one simple addition - tights.

Play it safe with black opaques or experiment with bright and print tights to turn your legs into a real style statement.

Shorts that are heavier in texture such as leather or suede numbers are especially good transition pieces that work equally as well in summer or winter.


The best accessory for any shorts is a killer pair of legs. St Tropez's tan maestro Jules Heptonstall reveals how to achieve supermodel-like limbs: :: Exfoliate your legs with a scrub to remove any dead skin cells. Pay special attention to your knees and feet, especially around the ankles.

:: Any shaving or waxing needs to be carried out at least 24 hours before any self-tan is applied. This guarantees the skin has calmed and avoids any stinging.

:: Use a self-tan mousse for the perfect base coat if you're feeling pasty. Pump the product onto an applicator mitt and apply in upward motions starting from your ankle and working your way up your leg. Leave to develop for 8-12 hours to reveal perfectly bronzed legs.

:: For last-minute touch-ups try St Tropez Perfect Legs spray (£10, Boots). Simply spray the product onto your legs in lengthways motions (rather than circular) and blend using an applicator mitt.

:: Once your legs are golden and glowing, add definition by sculpting key areas. Using a bronzer, shade the natural indent from your thigh and calf muscles (standing on your tip toes will help you see where the muscle forms on your calf). This shadowing effect gives the illusion of a more toned leg.

:: Highlight by adding sheen with an illuminator. Add a touch down the front length of the shin and front section of the thigh, finishing two fingers' width above the knee. The illuminator will catch the light as it hits the leg and draw attention to the centre, thus giving the illusion of slimmer pins.