I am what you would call a 4″ chino short virgin. While I was actually kinda cool about trying out this month’s mom short style challenge, I hadn’t ventured into the long shorts domain (until now), so I figured it was a good place to start.

GO BIG OR GO HOME, amiright?!

So. I went ahead and popped that long short cherry.

I kept it simple – casual with a simple tank and scrappy sandals, but tried to up my mom short game just a bit with a fringe cross body and my favorite dainty, layered necklace.

mom shorts

how to wear mom shorts

light blue shorts

fringe cross body

mom shorts that are cool

casual shorts outfit for summer

grey tank blue shorts

dainty necklace and tank

make mom shorts look cool

styling mom shorts

chino shorts outfit

Soooo…I am actually a big fan of this entire outfit, especially with the length. Never thought I’d say that about mom shorts, but hey…life holds big surprises. I may actually buy a couple more pairs. eeeeeeeee. My husband will be so excited!


uh oh.

outfit details

top: J. Crew Vintage Cotton Tank Top – amazing, easy top. I LOVE EEET.

shorts: J. Crew 4″ Chino Short – surprised with how much I love these. they’re my first pair of 4 inchers…and I am pleased!

sandals: Sole Society Strappy ‘Koko’ – my current favorite sandal…or at least, one of my two. I wear them all. of. the. time.

necklace: Baublebar, no longer available. The Mira layered necklace is very similar.

bag: Sole Society, two years ago. I know, how dare I?! Let’s just stop and talk about the Steve Madden Bswiss Saddle Bag again for a sec though…have and love (see my last post for a better look at it).

sunglasses: BP. 55mm Round Sunglasses – my favorites.




Find me over on Instagram (@camilledipaola) for more daily goings-on.


Photos by Christina Hussey Photography.


    • agree! I kind of am a little surprised at this “challenge” because every one I know wears chino shorts. Even the more eclectic and wild dressers….

      • That’s what I keep dying over with this challenge. It’s comical. None of these shorts are “mom shorts” they’re just normal shorts or chinos. A classic in my book that will never go out of style. Now if these were khaki pleated burmudas maybe. I don’t know I agree with the above comment everyone wears these shorts. All types of people. They aren’t typically dorky at all in my opinion. This challenge has me really confused especially the cargo cut offs in one post. All these outfits are great but nothing crazy just cute outfits with cute shorts.

        • I agree. Did they start out this challenge by defining what a mom short is and I just missed it? Because I’m confused. Is it the length? The fabric? The cut/fit? What IS a mom short? I’m the same height as Cam and a 4″ inseam is the perfect length on my body. So are all my shorts mom shorts? Even the denim ones? I’m so confused.
          I love that they’re posting about shorts because they are the hardest item for me to find but I’m little disappointed that each post pretty much only lists one short and then a ton of tops or other items (not Cam’s post but some of the others).
          Cam, I really like this length on you and I wouldn’t consider them long. But I haven’t noticed any of your other shorts being too short so you probably just have one of those bodies that can wear a range.
          Tip: I usually buy shorts at Zappos because it’s the only place I’ve found that lets you filter by inseam length.

          • Good point? I guess I have a few pairs of “mom shorts” if anything 3″ or over defines that or if it’s not a ripped cut off? I think the intent was maybe to show ideas for tops and shoes that you could wear with these types of shorts we all apparently own rather than a stripe tee and flip flops. I would personally chooses a dress or jeans for date night but the casual looks are fun just think the term mom short was a little misused and probably not intended to make us feel like we were all uncool walking around in our mom shorts. Lol

    • You all need to remember that I am 5’10…haha! what is looooong on some is shorter on me, but I do consider these long! I am comfortable with wearing 2.5 inch on most summer days. One day I may not and if I’m not, I’ll wear even longer and rock those. Cheers! Love hearing from you all!

    • I know, right?? A 4-inch inseam is LONG?? I have a circle of cute, stylish mom friends with killer legs who consider 5-inchers too short! I do wear 5-inchers, but only b/c I’m short, & only when I’ve been running a lot & my thighs look tones, ha. And they look plenty short on me–I’d never consider them frumpy. Four-inchers would be daring for me & pretty much every mom I know.

  1. I love these shorts! I have a couple of pairs and feel like they are good for kid coverage but short enough that I don’t feel mom-ish, great choice Cam and they look great on you!

  2. Yes, these are just shorts! I do like this series because khaki shorts are boring on their own. Cam you nail that space between boho and preppy (aka modern southern). In my opinion, shorts look great when they expose the last bit of leg before the thigh becomes “fleshy” – for most women who carry weight in their legs 3, 4 or 5 inch inseam is perfect. I find the longer length (7+ ) requires a straight hip / thin leg to pull off well.

  3. Yeah I’m confused by this. I’d consider a 2.5″ that Cam references in the comments to be basically butt cheek baring. 4″ inseam doesn’t strike me as long, and I’ve seen them on shorter women (midlifechic did a recent post). Mom shorts would be more like Bermuda shorts, or khaki scout leader shorts.
    These ones are just…shorts.

  4. As a fairly tallish mom of four boys, I also LOVE the 4 inch J Crew chino. But I have to agree with the above comments- a four inch inseam (especially on a tall gal) is just a great pair of shorts- not long mom shorts by any means. Just saying…

  5. I’m feeling the need to chime in as well on this series as I’m in the same place as others have mentioned on each post and on Facebook. I get the whole “let’s make chino shorts look better” idea. Frankly, while each of the contributors have tried, shorts in general are awkward! What’s been most bothersome is how the shorts themselves all look silly in these photos – like they were slept in (all the creasing and wrinkling across the whole front = look at my crotch!…but that’s just sort of what happens to shorts and one of the reasons why I hate them. Not a fan of anything I have to iron only to have ’em ruined as soon as you sit down). The tone of Cam’s post is particularly frustrating. She looks fine, but her writing is out of touch – as if it is a stretch outfit (its not..it’s just a cotton tank, shorts with some basic accessories and a cute bag. I see nothing really all that innovative or problem-solving) – but based on so many of the comments here and on the other shorts series posts, this would be a stretch outfit for your readers, so it begins to border on condescending. What I would have loved to see is a 7 or 9 inch inseam and see it get rocked, because yes, even a 4 inch inseam is way too short on lots of women (myself included – I’m 5’8″, size 4, 32 inch legs, trained dancer – so I shouldn’t have a lick of problem featuring my legs…but 4 inches barely covers my ass). And when a post or a series or a feature comes out that has lots of “WTF?” types of comments, it does make me wonder if I’m in the right place? Is it time for TME to do a readership survey? Because at just a tad older than Shana (I’m 43), yet with the addition of new contributors who are under 30, I’m starting to get a little concerned at how this blog will be positioning itself going forward. I’ve been enjoying the writing/styles for the last several years (started reading before it changed to TME!), and i was hoping it would evolve along with me as a 40-something. Haven’t been so sure about this lately….

    • agree with your comments, thank you for posting such a thorough and well thought out reply. I am a long-time, 43 year old reader (and working full time) mom… you have stated my thoughts exactly

    • I agree with you…I won’t wear anything shorter than 5″ and I’m 5’4″. As I near 40 I’m less and less interested in having it all hang out, regardless of how fit I am. I really hope this blog and the writers grow with their loyal readers, instead of feeling like they need to appeal to younger and younger audiences.

      • I like your comment about not wanting to let it all hang out, as if “if your fit enough then you should”, whatever that means, like clothes exist merely to hide our least favorite body parts. ? I personally think there’s a bit of a maturity aspect to it. I don’t need to prove my beauty or personhood or whatever by revealing all or even “peaks” ? I want to dress in a flattering way, not in a sexual way. Being a woman is so much greater than sexuality. And I agree that as far as I’m concerned all of these are just shorts. Only Scotti pushed the envelope with the high waist style. But lots of nice summer variations given!

    • Totally agree with this. I have noticed the bloggers have very young kids and maybe that’s why they think these are mom shorts? My 13 year old daughter would be embarrassed to be seen with me in anything shorter than this?I am so past nursing it’s not even funny… so I will still look forward to Shana’s and also Laura’s posts.

    • Christine, my thoughts exactly. I’ve enjoyed reading this blog over the years, and upon reading this particular series am wondering if it is time to move on. Using phrases like “vomiting in my mouth” to describe having to wear chino shorts strikes me as odd, and most likely alienates the majority of readers. I’ve been wearing the JCrew 4 inch chinos for years before and after becoming a mom. And, while I enjoy trying to get creative with fashion to avoid some of the more stereotypical mom looks, I am also in no way interested in trying to look like I am 22. This series struck me as desperate in tone and completely out of touch with reality.

  6. Hahaha, who knew shorts could turn so controversial. It’s a fashion blog, take it for what it is, not life or death, and you definitely don’t have to love, or even read every post. I’m with you Cam, if it’s not short short or destroyed denim, then I lump it under Mom short, nothing offensive, just different fashion tastes. You look great in this post. Keep up the abundance of content ladies, I love it all!

  7. 4″ chino shorts are MOM shorts? You call them LONG shorts? I don’t think so. This post is ridiculous. You may be a Mom but you are also a size 2 model – MOM shorts are WAY longer on the leg than 4″.

    • That’s why I said this series is comical!!! Lots of cute normal looking shorts outfits. 3″ is usually as short as I go personally and 4″ is only one inch longer. I have rarely seen moms walking around in anything much shorter than a 3 or 4″ and I live in Las Vegas! It’s super hot here in summer and the least conservative place you could imagine.

  8. I love the peek of your bra/bralette! Can you tell us who makes that? And, I love your simple outfit. You’re rocking it!

  9. I agree with everyone – I love the idea of challenges, but everyone in this series is wearing regular, every day shorts. Maybe if it were bermudas or paperbag waists? I don’t mind casual outfits, but there was no challenge in this particular week. Another go at crazy shorts would be fun. I like this blog though and enjoy seeing it every week.

  10. I’d consider those to be mom shorts! And 4″ to be long. May just be that I live in Florida- tanks and short shorts is the norm. I think this outfit is adorable but no way am I going to buy chinos. Same outfit with my short denim cut offs? Yup.

  11. The line “popped that long short cherry” …Camille, you are lovely. But, that was crude and unnecessary for what amounted to an Old Navy fashion show.

  12. Definitely mom shorts. Not because of the length, but because of the style ! I don’t know Cams … you look great in everything, but I think I’d look awful in chino shorts Lol! The delicate necklace definitely helps though, I really love it !! Thanks for this post !!

  13. I didn’t know there was such a thing as “mom shorts”. I am 5’7″ and have big legs. I’m pear-shaped and frankly, longer shorts look better on me. Otherwise I would have to buy 4″ shorts three sizes too big to fit my legs… and then alter the waist. No thank you. Perhaps the challenge should just have been about “shorts” without the label of “mom”. I wear J Crew chinos and BR denim shorts that are longer… and then I roll up the bottoms, but again, I can’t go far… thighs get in the way. I like the outfit concept… but yeah, this isn’t a real challenge per se. By the way, Cam, I do like your overall outfit a lot! You look great!

  14. This whole outfit is awesome and exactly my style, and believe you me I will be copying! But I do agree, 4″ shorts are not long to me at all and it was funny reading this and thinking “how are those long??” Ha! You look amazing in these shorts, I def think you should buy a couple more pairs Cam! -Sara

  15. I’ve been reading for years–rarely comment.
    I don’t want to beat a dead horse…but at 43, 4″ shorts are not “mom shorts”. I still enjoy wearing shorts and cut offs and feel like my legs are one of my better features. I love the blog for helping me stay in touch with style trends…but it felt like I was being dowdy for not showing my cheeks while out and about. I don’t personally know any grown women running around in 2.5″ shorts. You look beautiful as always…but the post was a bit insulting.

  16. The last thing this post probably needs is another comment, but for some reason I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it so I’m going to add my thoughts. This post and series seems to have struck a chord with many people, which I find interesting.

    There seem to be two different issues being addressed here. One is the general concept of “mom shorts” – what does that even mean, and do basic chino shorts fall into that category? The second has to do with the length of shorts, and what is considered too short.

    First, mom shorts. If you watched the funny video Shana linked in her post, the shorts being worn were long (almost knee length) and way too big. Ok sure, show me how you can make that look better. Except when the posts came out, everyone was basically wearing some version of a short that I think a lot of us already own. And wear. A lot (especially if you live somewhere warm). And the posts were peppered with details about how everyone was gasping in horror and throwing up in their mouths at the thought of having to style these monstrosities.

    For me – and I think many others – basic chino shorts are sort of in same category as black ballet flats, dark rinse jeans, plain white shirts, black cardigans, etc. – not the most exciting item in your closet usually, and hems and rises might change with trends, but they never look totally dated. They aren’t going to make or break any outfit. So, its ok to wear the thing that I never stopped wearing? Are we wearing them ironically now?

    And to be clear, calling an item of clothing “mom clothing” is generally not meant in a positive way. I mean, for goodness sakes, this blog used to be and acronym for “Ain’t no mom jeans (here)”. And I think maybe that hits at the heart of the reaction of many readers. The reason a lot of us follow, at the end of the day, is to try to remain somewhat stylish and not too out of touch with trends. And it was news to many of us (and also, we disagree with) the suggestion that the shorts featured in these posts are dowdy and unstylish to the point that people are vomiting at the thought of wearing them.

    Everyone looked great, but the outfits just looked like normal things I see people wear everyday. Maybe if there had been some examples of what they considered unflattering to compare to – I loved those posts Shana used to do demonstrating proportion and how some things look better than others and why.

    Part 2 of this novel – length of shorts. First, I think all this fuss over the actual inseam numerical value is kind of pointless. Maybe if she hadn’t put in the post title people wouldn’t have honed in on it so much? How long a pair of shorts looks on someone depends on both the person and the particular pair of shorts. Her butt is not anywhere close to hanging out, but if yours would with that length you obviously need a longer inseam (if you aren’t comfortable with that, haha).

    I think there are certainly some personal preferences (and i think the fact that lots of people just inherently dislike how they look in shorts comes into this) and also some regional differences at play here. I find it fascinating what different people consider “too short” for a mom. (Also, there were some facebook comments about how an inseam length shorter than “x” was for children and teenagers, which I found confusing. So its too sexy for an adult women, but we’re ok with teenagers wearing it?)

    I think it just comes down to what you feel comfortable with (which, also, the norms in your peer group come into this). Personally, I see nothing scandalous about short shorts, as long as your butt stays inside. Maybe its because I live in a place that is both typically more casual and also has long and hot summers. However – I am super uncomfortable showing any cleavage (most v necks feel too low). I will never ever be ok with unlined bras or swimsuits – obvious nipples make me blush. But, that’s me. Obviously, standards vary by individual and location.

    One final thought – why do we celebrate being called “mom” in everything but this? We love our children, we are proud to be their parents, we have (mostly) accepted that this is the phase of life we are in now – but don’t say we wear “mom clothes”.

  17. I think the problem here – and in previous posts that generated controversy – is whether The Mom Edit is trying to help other women find stuff to wear, or a bunch of women having fun and trying new things. There is nothing wrong with that; it’s kind of interesting seeing you all trying styles you wouldn’t normally wear, but it doesn’t help me.
    I’m not inspired by any of it, and it definitely doesn’t help me find actual products. I hate shorts, since I have a big mum-tum still, so to find something big enough to zip over my tummy it ends up being baggy everywhere else. A roundup of shorts in different styles and lengths that have been trialled by women with all different body shapes – Scotti is pear-shaped, but she’s still much slimmer than me, and all the other ladies here are so skinny what they wear just doesn’t apply to me – would have been a lot more helpful. And things like regular posts on pregnancy capsule wardrobes, what to wear when you’ve just had a baby, school drop-off style when you’re running late and may or may not have had a shower that morning.

    Your tagline is “styling for mums from bump to beyond” but that’s not what you’re producing anymore. I understand that you’re not interested in writing about maternity clothes, since none of you are pregnant; I’ve seen a lot of mum-style blogs that lose their way once their children start growing up. But something needs to change. The content isn’t in line with the site name and tagline. It’s all Nordstrom sale posts and endless shopping and superficial, over-exaggerated “blogger” talk. And I know you’re all better than that. You’re all lovely, intelligent, compassionate women, but everything feels out of sync at the moment.

    • Thank you for articulating what I’ve been thinking.

      Also, I very curious if they buy all that stuff and where they store it. It’s just so much stuff. Unrealistic for me and my friends. I could only afford to buy that much stuff if I did thrift stores. More importantly, I don’t WANT that much stuff.

      • I get that they want to be able to point women in the direction of clothes they can actually buy, but I see nothing wrong with wearing old clothes and providing links to similar, new ones.

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