Late Summer Sales: Fat Kid Shorts Edition

Friends! While the fashion world might’ve decided it’s time to think fall, those of us sweating it through the beginning of August know better. And every time around this year I start running out of ideas with regards to my summer clothes – even pistachio-colored shorts eventually get boring. Luckily, the fashion world’s obsession with being ahead of schedule means that those of us out here in the real world get to score some deals on some new things to help us make it through the rest of the summer months.

I’m always on the lookout for fat kid pants that suit my fashion – it’s extra hard when you get up above a 38 or 40 to find what you need. Here are three options to try something new. Did I miss something? Do you have a review? Leave it in the comments!

1) Polo Ralph Lauren Big and Tall Bradbury Shorts ($46 on sale at

Light blue seersucker shorts to the knee.

Polo Ralph Lauren Big and Tall has a ton of really nice, preppy-pastel shorts in different cuts. There’s the Bradbury, light cotton shorts in four colors (light blue, pink, green, and a blue and white seersucker stripe); Macy’s (linked above) has them on sale in up to a 48″ waist. Dillard’s has the same line up to a 56″ waist, although they seem to be stocking fewer colors and they’re not on sale. I recommend looking at either website for the whole line of Polo Ralph Lauren shorts and seeing what you like; Dillard’s seems to have more in stock above a 46″ waist. WHAT TO WEAR THEM WITH: anything. A cute button-down or polo shirt for casual fashion; a navy blazer and crisp white oxford for nighttime. These shorts were made to go with bowties. I treat my pastel shorts like neutrals and pair them with everything I own and they’ve never led me astray.


2) Dickies 13″ Multi-Use Pocket Work Short (sale prices vary by color, via dickies_shorts_red_front

I can’t quite tell if these are going to be cute or not in real life. I’ve looked for them a few places, to see if they have potential or not, and haven’t been able to find a pair to see, but have spent a lot of time looking at pictures on Google and feel convinced enough to recommend them. Here’s what I know that makes me include them: 1) they come up to a 60″ waist; 2) even at 60″ there are multiple colors, although the selection takes a hit after 38″; 3) one of my favorite shorts of all time has a 13″ inseam and they are over the knee short pants and I love them; 4) Dickies is a great, durable brand and if you’re like some people, you give your summer clothes a real workout. Someone out there must have experience with these firsthand; anything you’d like to add? WHAT TO WEAR THEM WITH: I like this look on the right – kind of skater/punk/weirdo. (Where’s the wallet chain?) You could do it like the picture – skater shoes or boots, long socks – or pair them with a really killer pair of sneakers for long baggy pants chic.

3) American Eagle Prep Fit Short ($25 on sale at

Bright turquoise shorts.I was shocked – shocked, I say – when I realized that American Eagle sells virtually their whole pants line up to a 48″ waist. None of this “only a few styles, and in less cute colors” business that a lot of other retailers do. In fact, perhaps because their market seems to be mostly pre-teens, I find that the bigger sizes stay in stock longer; I will also say that I had to order a size down from my usual, so I wouldn’t be surprised if folks with a 50″ or even 52″ waist could make these work. Their stuff is cheap, and it’s not super well-made, but again – cheap. Also, look at that blue! Look at it! They’re flat front, to just above the knee. Classic.  WHAT TO WEAR THEM WITH: I say these are perfect t-shirt shorts because the light fabric makes them relatively casual. A ribbon or canvas belt (and note that AE also sells THOSE up to a 48″ waist), beat-up boat shoes (or, if you must, sandals) , sunglasses, and done. I would also make these nightwear – button down shirt with the collar open, ascot at the waist, and dressy shoes. I only recommend that look, though, if you like to stand out and you don’t mind sweating.

4) LL Bean Plain Front Shorts ($40 on sale at LL Bean yellow shorts

I think of LL Bean as dad clothes for a certain kind of dad: a little fuddy-duddy, Northeastern, load-the-kids-in-the-station-wagon-and-hike dad. I never had this dad, which maybe explains why I am so open to the charm of their well-made basics. I like these shorts; I especially like the color, a yellowish khaki; not quite plain old khaki shorts but still classic. Only up to a 46″ waist, but I also find LL Bean runs a little large. WHAT TO WEAR THEM WITH: I say keep it classic summer daywear. Boat shoes, oxford shirt, and – because lord knows we must – some cute neckwear and/or a good straw hat.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Let us know what you think!

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  • These look like great choices. Thanks for thinking of us fat kids! Do you have any advice on which of these options might work better for my big butt and hips and smaller waist? Always a problem with menswear shorts. Thanks!!

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