Best Women’s Plus-Size Shorts

John Kopischke
Written by
Last update:

Have you ever looked for plus-size clothing for women and wondered what you’re doing wrong? You’re not. Shopping in most big-box stores is a frustrating experience at best. Many brands seem to stop at sizes 16 and most labels do a great job of marketing their sexy, teen-style clothing with big, airbrushed models instead of real women.

It’s disheartening.

So when you need plus-size clothing, try the fashion products on Amazon. Their size charts work for clothes as well as shoes and you’ll get honest reviews from real customers.

Of course, you should always try your clothes on before buying. The sizes vary depending on the style, manufacturer, and fabric composition. And, not every customer experience will be ideal.

But, overall, majority of customers say they’re happy with their purchases on Amazon.

NameCategoryProduct
Lee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda ShortBest OverallLee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda Short
Just My Size Women's Plus Cotton Jersey Pull-On ShortsBudget PickJust My Size Women's Plus Cotton Jersey Pull-On Shorts
Lee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Cargo ShortUpgrade PickLee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Cargo Short

1. Lee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda Short

Our rating: 9 / 10

Lee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Stretch fabric
  • Sun protection

If you’re shopping for women’s plus-size shorts, you are probably looking for something that is suitable for wearing to the beach or just to lounge around in. If you’re looking for a pair of plus-size sporty shorts, this pair from Lee is perfect. They’re made from a stretchy, moisture-wicking material that keeps you cool when you’re sweating and is also designed to protect you from the sun during long summer bike rides.

At the same time, there are no elastic bands or seams that will pinch and chafe your thighs and butt. If you’re taller or more pear-shaped, you might need to size up since these are cut for curvier figures. If you’re not sure which size you need or are interested in shorts from a different brand, check out my article on plus-size women’s shorts.

2. Columbia Women's Sandy River Breathable Cargo Short

Our rating: 9 / 10

Columbia Women's Sandy River Breathable Cargo Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • The relaxed fit works well for casual wear
  • UPF 30 sun protection helps keep you safe and comfortable

If you’re looking for the best women’s shorts for plus-size women, then the Columbia Women’s Sandy River Cargo Short could be a great choice for you.

We love the relaxed fit of these women’s shorts and it’s surprising just how comfortable they are. Columbia is a name we can trust for hiking shorts, and this pair is no exception. The waistband is curved and fits just like you’d expect a womens’ clothing piece to fit, making this a great choice if you’re looking for a pair of plus-size shorts for women.

This pair of plus-size shorts is made from a drirelease nylon material. Another bonus about these shorts is that they designed them with UPF 30 sun protection that helps keep you protected all year long, making them perfect for everyday use.

3. Just My Size Women's Plus Cotton Jersey Pull-On Shorts

Our rating: 8 / 10

Just My Size Women's Plus Cotton Jersey Pull-On Shorts

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Great variety of colors and patterns
  • Variety pack includes 5 pair shorts
  • Each pair can be worn for work, travel, or workouts

Cons:

  • Low quality material can be too thin for some
  • Not as stretchy as others
  • Can be a little scratchy

These shorts have great pockets, a comfortable yet flattering fit, and soft fabric that’s great for lounging around the house or wearing for workouts.

It’s very comfy but not very breathable. I like the fit because it’s not too tight, but the downside of this is that you feel the humidity. I really like the price.

I hope this book helped you to find an cool gift for you or your friend!

4. Stretch is Comfort Women's Teamwear Cotton Plus Size Bike Shorts

Our rating: 8 / 10

Stretch is Comfort Women's Teamwear Cotton Plus Size Bike Shorts

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Wide range of fittings
  • Moderate price
  • Comfortable material

Women who are looking for plus-size cycling shorts might not have an easy time finding a pair that will cover them optimally. But if you’ve got backside, then these Stretch is Comfort women’s teamwear shorts could be for you.

The shorts are 94cm long at the inseam. They feature a 17cm strip of reflective logos, a 3.5cm inseam band, as well as a gripper bottom leg band. They’re built with a 16gsm material.

These inexpensive shorts have plenty of positive reviews on Amazon, and that includes their length.

5. Lucky Brand Women's Plus Size Mid Rise Ginger Bermuda Short

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lucky Brand Women's Plus Size Mid Rise Ginger Bermuda Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Colorful, Stylish Patterns
  • Wide Ranging Sizes
  • Adjustable Waistband
  • Great Value For Plus Size Shorts

Cons:

  • Design Flaws on a Few Styles
  • Runs Smaller In Some Styles

A few years back I treated myself to a pair of the Lucky Brand Women's Plus Size Mid Rise Ginger Bermuda Short and I haven't looked back since.

Since then I've had the pleasure of wearing a few other women's shorts from Lucky Brand including a pair of calia Training shorts which you can read full review Here, and so far I've had nothing but praise for their swimwear.

On a small sizing note, when I say these run smaller than other brands, I only mean so in comparison to swimwear in general. This calia pair, for example, runs the same size as my Lucky Bands.

6. RBX Active Women's Plus Size Relaxed Fit Breathable Ventilated Athletic Short

Our rating: 8 / 10

RBX Active Women's Plus Size Relaxed Fit Breathable Ventilated Athletic Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Smooth, clean look and feel
  • Provides excellent back support
  • Breathable fabric
  • Durable and flexible

The RBX Active Women’s Plus Size Relaxed Fit Breathable Ventilated Athletic Short with Pockets are a great choice for plus sized women looking for a little extra support and compression in their workout clothing.

The shorts have pockets big enough for a phone and keys and they’re perfectly positioned so that you can easily reach them on the move.

The material is lightweight and breathable, and the shorts are easy and comfortable to wear during your workouts.

7. Riders by Lee Indigo Women's Plus Size Modern Collection 8" Double Rolled Cuff Denim Short

Our rating: 8 / 10

Riders by Lee Indigo Women's Plus Size Modern Collection 8" Double Rolled Cuff Denim Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Plus size friendly
  • High waist
  • Can be worn for working out or as casual clothing

Cons:

  • Loose around the inner thigh.
  • Cargo pockets could be better
  • Limited colors

The idea behind Riders by Lee trousers hasn't changed since the beginning – classic styling that looks like it comes from a higher end brand, made with high end fabric and craftsmanship, all at a highly affordable price. Riders by Lee modern collection is designed for women who appreciate classic style and want something that can easily be worn for work instead of workout gear. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Riders by Lee brand, but if you haven't tried them out, now is the time. The Indigo Adult Sateen Denim Short is perfect for wearing to all of your favorite summer activities. The modern fit is flattering, yet comfortable, and the fabric is a heavy weight and the color is deep and rich. These shorts are very reasonably priced and well worth checking out if denim shorts are your type of thing.

8. Lee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Cargo Short

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Cargo Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Made with fast drying and wicking polyester
  • 100% Water-repellent
  • Removable/Adjustable Waistband
  • Updated Fit
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Fit Fuller Thighs
  • 4-Way Stretch
  • Boot-Cut
  • Disabled Drop Seat
  • Quick-Dry

Cons:

  • Pants Run On The Smaller Side
  • Women Size Down 1 to 2 Sizes For Better Fit

The Lee Classic Women’s Flex-to-go cargo shorts are a comfortable option for everyday wear. These women’s cargo shorts feature a 7-pocket design that includes two front sewn in flat-folding front pockets, two back pockets, and one back elastic trim pocket that is secured with a sew-in zipper. The pockets include front and back vertical openings, as well as vertical openings on each side for easier gathering access to whatever you may be carrying. The Flex-to-go shorts also feature a back belt and adjuster with a secure zipper that includes an exposed, reversible full metal zipper that allows for additional venting if you desire. These shorts include a front adjustable belt and four d-rings that allow you to position the front and back belt straps for the perfect fit.

9. Levi's Size Plus New Shorts

Our rating: 8 / 10

Levi's Size Plus New Shorts

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Naturally flattering
  • High-quality
  • Available in different colors
  • Great for casual and sport outfits
  • Excellent customer service
  • Feels like they’ll last a long time
  • No problems with the stitching so far

10. Lee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Relaxed Fit Utility Bermuda Short

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Relaxed Fit Utility Bermuda Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Masculine look!
  • Perfect for the larger framed woman
  • Less pressure on legs
  • Wide waistband is great for the larger framed woman
  • Large pockets

11. BALEAF Women's 8" /5" /2" High Waist Workout Biker Yoga Running Compression Exercise Shorts Side Pockets

Our rating: 8 / 10

BALEAF Women's 8" /5" /2" High Waist Workout Biker Yoga Running Compression Exercise Shorts Side Pockets

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Comfortable fit
  • Wicking material
  • Stylish
  • Comes in a variety of different colors

The Baleaf Women's Running shorts are comfortable, high-quality, and stylish. These shorts are very popular amongst other large size bikers and triathletes.

They are made from a stretchy, wicking material that keeps the sweat away from your body. Plus, the different colors give you a few options to choose from.

Since it is made from fabric, it isn't going to be as strong as more traditional shorts. I'd recommend wearing these shorts for running (not off-roading) and for other exercises that aren't going to require you to crash.

12. Gloria Vanderbilt Women's Plus Size Mila Belted Skimmer Short

Our rating: 8 / 10

Gloria Vanderbilt Women's Plus Size Mila Belted Skimmer Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Made from soft and genuine Italian Lycra
  • Made without pinching, binding or pilling
  • Provides extra comfort and coverage
  • Fits at the waist
  • Has an elastic waistband
  • Side venting
  • Ideal for lounging, tanning, or wearing at home
  • Provides you with superior comfort and support
  • It’s a durable, attractive, and affordable way to flaunt your curves
  • Provides you with optimal body shaping, support, and comfort

Cons:

  • Not very inexpensive
  • Not the best option for those who don’t like feeling restricted
  • Don’t come in several colors available

13. Levi's Women's Plus-Size Shaping Bermuda Shorts

Our rating: 8 / 10

Levi's Women's Plus-Size Shaping Bermuda Shorts

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy and Comfortable fit
  • Classic, classic color
  • Affordable Price
  • Nice belt loops and adjustable drawstring
  • Unlined waistband

The Levi's silhouette is a classic fit that is intended to fit loose and have a flattering shape.

The Unlined waistband is comfortable but it is important to note that this pair does not have a liner. This might cause some underwear to show through on more lightweight garments.

This pair has a classic fit. It features a higher rise, which is nice for those who do not like their lower abdomen showing. The squat proofing of the fabric will give any pant you wear a comfortable fit. The higher rise eliminates the need for a control top.

14. Lee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Avey Knit-Waist Cargo Bermuda Short

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Avey Knit-Waist Cargo Bermuda Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 95% cotton/5% spandex knit
  • Relaxed-fit, plus-size fit
  • Zip fly with button closure
  • City curbside flair
  • Navy
  • 28-1/2 inseam
  • Approximate inseam for a size 3X: 34-3/4 in.

If you’re looking for a plus size short that goes with anything and that can be dressed up or down, then you should check out Lee’s women’s plus size relaxed-fit Avey Knit-Waist Cargo Bermuda Short.

This short comes with 6 pockets and features a relaxed fit that can accommodate up to a 57-inch hip.

According to those who have purchased this short, it can be a little bit on the heavy side and can feel a bit long around the waist. So it’s important to make sure you try it out in the fitting room before committing to your final purchase, just to make sure you’re not going to be uncomfortable while wearing it.

15. Kanu Surf Women's Plus Marina UPF 50+ Active Swim Board Short

Our rating: 7 / 10

Kanu Surf Women's Plus Marina UPF 50+ Active Swim Board Short

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Designed for surfing
  • Fits over swimsuit
  • Feel comfortable

If you’re going to the beach or pool, you probably want to bring some kind of beach towel or large terrycloth towel. One of the best options that you have to choose from is the Surf Women’s Plus Marina UPF 50+ Active Swim Board Short. There are plenty of good reasons to choose this swimsuit. The primary reason is that it’s designed for surfing, which means that it’s designed to help you stay comfortable and in place on your board.

This swimsuit is very lightweight and comfortable enough to be worn all day, which is one of the reasons that you’ll want this awesome swimsuit in your collection. When you’re doing anything where you’ll be sweating, the last thing that you want is to be wearing a heavy piece of clothing. This swimsuit is much more breathable than most others, which is why it’s one of the choices for many surfers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can plus size wear shorts?

This is a subjective question that I’m sure won’t have a single, clear-cut answer.

But short is as short does, so if you want to wear shorts I say wear shorts!

I’d recommend avoiding the skinnies, though, as they just look frumpy on larger bottoms.

As far as fabrics go, I favor something with a little stretch. .. a nice pair of cotton shorts would be a good start.

What kind of shorts are best for big thighs?

Women generally have wider hips and thighs than men, which means that many women have difficulty finding shorts that fit properly. Shorts that are too tight will make your thighs, hips and rear-end look wider, so avoid squeezing your legs into shorts that are skintight. If the shorts you try are loose-fitting and too long, find a pair that will look better with a hem at the bottom or hip pocket, which will give you a better fit.

What shorts are most flattering?

When shopping for plus size shorts, the first thing I focus on is material. Look for shorts made of stretchy, sturdy material that won’t sag or become baggy when worn (though note that this is a common problem for plus size bodies).

Digging a little deeper into the construction, I look for plus size shorts that are well-made and offer additional support. I also prefer shorts with two fabric panels in the front, creating two separate pockets for each of your cheeks. The classic American Apparel shorts have long been a go-to for me; they are externally constructed with two panels (or more) and a thick, almost cotton-like fabric. You can wear and wash these shorts for years.

What tops to wear with shorts female?

There are far more options for tops than bottoms. Tops can be chosen based on your activity. For hiking I like long-sleeve band t-shirts. They have good UV protection, the t-shirt material is comfortable and the sleeves provide a bit of privacy for the mid-section in case I need to take a bathroom break. For the city I prefer cool tops with fun patterns or bright colors, although solid colors also look great.

What often looks neat on taller girls can be unflattering on petite girls. Call me crazy, but I tend not to like vertical stripes on anyone, let alone a short girl. I’ve always been drawn to horizontal stripes, but I’m sure there are plenty of bad choices in this department.

Conclusion

It might seem obvious, but picking the right size can make the difference between a good and a bad fit. Be mindful that your booty is the curvy part of your body. Although that’s an endearing feature, it's important that your shorts are comfortable and flattering. If you are built like one of those colorful beach balls they sell at carnival stands, you may want to go a size up.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Lee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda ShortBest OverallLee Women's Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda Short
Just My Size Women's Plus Cotton Jersey Pull-On ShortsBudget PickJust My Size Women's Plus Cotton Jersey Pull-On Shorts
Lee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Cargo ShortUpgrade PickLee Women's Plus Size Flex-to-go Cargo Short