The Best Shorts to Wear Under Dresses and Skirts

Wearing shorts under dresses aren’t only appropriate if you’re a little girl! Grown women can (and shall I say should!) wear shorts under dresses from time to time. 

Not only do shorts provide added comfort and coverage, but they also prevent any accidental exposure from a gust of wind or from a shorter dress or skirt or chafing that can occur with bare legs.

I personally love wearing shorts under my dresses and skirts and do it all the time! When it comes to wearing dresses, finding the right pair of shorts to wear underneath can be a game-changer. 

Below is a dress that I wore shorts under! I was at the Amazon conference and this dress was just a tad too short for comfort so I had these shorts (number 1 on the list below) to make sure I felt comfortable and didn’t accidentally show anything something they shouldn’t see! 😉

woman in white bodysuit, jumper dress, cowboy boots and miu miu bag

3 Types of Shorts to Wear

There are a few different types of undergarment shorts out there. So which kind is right for you? Here’s a look at the 3 most popular styles.

1. Bike Shorts

Bike shorts are a popular choice for wearing under dresses because of their snug fit and longer length. These spandex shorts provide ample coverage and prevent any chafing or irritation that can occur from bare thighs rubbing together.

Plus, workout shorts are versatile and can be worn with a variety of dress styles, from flowy maxi dresses to fitted bodycon short dresses.

2. Slip Shorts

Slip shorts are similar to bike shorts, but they have a smoother, more seamless design that’s perfect for wearing under clingy or tight dresses. They’re made from lightweight, breathable materials like nylon or spandex, and often have a high waistband to prevent any rolling or shifting.

These seamless shorts can also be great for smoothing out any lumps or bumps, creating a sleek silhouette under your dress.

3. Boy Shorts

For those who prefer a looser, more relaxed fit, boy shorts can be a comfortable option for wearing under dresses. They’re usually made from soft, breathable materials like cotton and usually have a wide waistband that sits comfortably on your hips.

Boy shorts are also great for preventing any chafing or irritation, especially if you’ll be walking or moving around a lot.

woman wearing yellow dress and miu miu bag

Tips for Choosing the Right Shorts

When choosing shorts to wear under dresses, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the perfect fit and maximum comfort. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Size up: If you’re between sizes or unsure about which size to choose, opt for the larger size. This will prevent any uncomfortable squeezing or rolling, and ensure a smooth, comfortable fit.
  • Look for moisture-wicking materials: If you’ll be wearing your shorts for an extended period of time, look for materials that are designed to wick away moisture and prevent any unwanted sweating or discomfort.
  • Experiment with different styles: Don’t be afraid to try out different styles of shorts to find the one that works best for you. Everyone’s body type is different, so what works for one person may not work for another.

Best Biker Shorts to Wear Under Dresses

BEST SHORTS TO WEAR UNDER A DRESS

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1. Sunzel Bike Shorts

Sunzel 8" / 5" / 3" Biker Shorts fwith Pockets, High Waisted Yoga Workout Shorts
$23.99

Womens spandex shorts moves with: buttery soft, four way stretch fabric, provide lasting comfort and sweat-wicking coverage. Sunzel has options with a 3- or 5-inch short inseam and a 8- or 10-inch knee length long inseam, depending on the style you’re looking for.


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The Sunzel Bike Shorts with tummy control are comfortable lightweight shorts that can double as a full-coverage undergarment. These are the ones that I wear most often!

The tummy control of the elastic band waist helps to enhance the natural curves of the body while the barely-there seams reduce chafing and irritation. They’re made of extra soft material that breaths which is perfect for those warm summer months.

2. Old Navy High-Waisted Jersey Biker Shorts

High-Waisted Jersey Biker Shorts For Women

The leggings you love just got better! Now with a heavier-knit fabric and a thicker, more supportive waistband.


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These biker shorts from Old Navy are a great choice for a slightly thicker kind of shorts. Made from soft, stretchy jersey material, they offer a snug fit that flatters the figure while allowing for easy movement.

With their sleek and stylish design, these biker shorts can be worn underneath dresses and skirts, or paired with a variety of tops and accessories for a chic, casual look.

3. Halara High Waisted Biker Short

Womens High Waisted Tie Dye Biker Short
  • High rise designs that offer support & comfort, without sacrificing on style.
  • Featuring a side pocket for maximum convenience.
  • Tie-dye designs that are always fun & always cute.


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The Halara High Waisted Biker Short is a fashionable and comfortable piece of activewear that is perfect for any workout, or for wearing underneath other clothing.

Made from a soft and stretchy blend of polyester and elastane, these biker shorts offer a snug and flattering fit while allowing for easy movement.

Best Slipshorts to Wear Under Dresses

4. Jockey Generationâ„¢ Women’s Wicking Slipshort

Jockey Generation Women's Wicking Slipshort
  • Offers smoothing, non-constricting coverage
  • Wicking fabric with breathable mesh panels for cooling comfort
  • Longer legs and Seamfree design help prevent chafe
  • Cotton-lined gusset for extra comfort
  • Perfect under skirts, dresses and pants
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The Jockey Generationâ„¢ Women’s Wicking Slipshort is a practical and comfortable undergarment. The moisture wicking fabric is designed to wick away moisture, ensuring that the wearer stays dry and comfortable throughout the day.

The slipshort features a high waistband, a thigh-length inseam and a cotton liner gusset, offering extra coverage and support for those who want to prevent chafing or discomfort all-around.

5. Shapermint High Waisted Body Shaper Boyshorts

Shapermint High Waisted Body Shaper Boyshorts
$23.99

Our 360 slimming body shaper boyshorts have silicone strips to keep them from rolling or sliding out of position. The waist shaper for women helps keep your tummy tucked and gives you a butt shaper.

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The Shapermint Essentials All Day Every Day High-Waisted Shaper Shorts are a must-have undergarment for women who want to smooth and shape their silhouette.

The high waist design provides extra support and coverage, while the seamless construction ensures that the shorts remain invisible under clothing. They can be worn all day, every day, and are ideal for a variety of occasions, from work to social events. 

6. Spanx Ahhh-llelujah® ‘Fit to You’ Everyday Short

Ahhh-llelujah 'Fit to You' Everyday Short

 Soft, smooth, and so comfy, this non-shaping, anti-chafing Ahhh-llelujah® short was designed for everyday wear. With 400% stretch fabric, the Ahhh-llelujah® Fits to You Everyday Short is designed to adjust perfectly to your body while retaining its shape.

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The Spanx Ahhh-llelujah® ‘Fit to You’ Everyday Short is a comfortable and versatile undergarment that is designed to provide a smooth and seamless appearance under any outfit.

Made from a blend of nylon and spandex, these shorts offer a snug and supportive fit that helps to shape and lift the body. 

7. Skims Seamless Sculpt Mid Thigh Short

Skims Seamless Sculpt Mid Thigh Short

This mid waist short hits at the mid thigh and is the perfect solution for strong tummy and waist control with extra compression along the back thighs for a lifted look. Features large round butt pockets for a defined butt, an interior silicone underband to prevent rolling, and an open gusset. Fits true to size.

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The Skims Seamless Sculpt Mid-Thigh Short in Sienna is a stylish and comfortable shapewear piece that is designed to enhance and sculpt the natural curves of the body. Made from a seamless and stretchy blend of nylon and spandex, these shorts offer a snug and supportive fit that smooths and lifts the body.

The mid-thigh length of the shorts provides extra coverage and support, making them a great option for wearing under dresses, skirts, or any other outfit.

8. Yummie Bria Comfortably Curved Smoothing Short – Seamless

Yummie Bria Comfortably Curved Smoothing Short - Seamless

Perfect for everyday wear, this short features a long, 2-ply leg hem to help prevent rolling along with graduated control to smooth your waist and tummy.


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The Yummie Bria Comfortably Curved Smoothing Short is a comfortable and practical shapewear piece designed to provide a seamless and smooth appearance under any clothing.

Made from a seamless and stretchy blend of nylon and spandex, these shorts offer a snug and supportive fit that sculpts and lifts the body. 

9. Undersummers Classic Shortlette

Undersummers Classic Shortlette
$33.00

Our signature Premium fabric is lightweight, soft, stretchy, silky and oh-so comfy. It allows legs and clothes to glide without pilling. 95% Poly/5% Spandex, exclusive of trims, cotton gusset. 

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Whether you’re running errands, headed to work, or just lounging at home, the Undersummers Classic Shortlettes offers comfort and style without sacrificing functionality.

These slip shorts are made with a combination of lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics and feature a patented design that provides both coverage and freedom of movement. They can be worn under dresses, skirts, and even shorts, making them a versatile and practical addition to any wardrobe.

Best Boyshorts to Wear Under Dresses

10. Tommie John Women’s Cool Cotton Boyshort

Tommy John Women's Cool Cotton Boyshort
  • Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric keeps you 2-3x cooler and dries 4-5x faster than regular cotton. Designed for daily wear.
  • Waistband that won't roll, bunch, or pinch.
  • Cool Cotton gusset for extra freshness and breathability.
  • Fabric: 86% Pima Cotton, 14% Spandex


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The Tommie John Women’s Cool Cotton Boyshort is a comfortable and stylish undergarment that is designed to keep the wearer cool and comfortable all day long.

With their comfortable fit and breathable material, these boyshorts are a great option for everyday wear, from work to leisure.

11. Alo Icon Ribbed Boyshort

Icon Ribbed Boyshort
  • Super-soft, ribbed jersey boyshort
  • Cool logo waistband
  • Designed & uniquely fit to flatter every size
  • Wear tested by our in-house team for the perfect fit


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The ribbed design of the Alo Icon boyshorts adds a touch of texture and style, while the high-waisted design provides light support and extra coverage. These boyshorts can be worn under a wide variety of clothing, and are a great option for a variety of activities, from yoga to running to lounging.

12. Underoutfit High Waist Boyshort

Underoutfit Shapewear for Women Tummy and Love Handle Control- High Waisted Boy Shorts
$22.99
  • Lightweight, Breathable with Moisture Control
  • 90% Nylon, 10% Spandex
  • Machine Wash


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The Underoutfit High Waist Boyshort is a comfortable and practical undergarment that is designed to provide a seamless and smooth appearance under any clothing.

They offer a soft and stretchy feel that gently hugs the body. The high-waisted design provides extra support and coverage, while the seamless construction eliminates visible panty lines and provides a flattering silhouette under any outfit.

13. Aerie Real Chill Cotton Lounge Boyshort

Aerie Real Chill Cotton Lounge Boyshort

Soft, breathable & made for everyday. These boyshorts are better for our planet, too!

  • Comfy Real Good cotton
  • 2" inseam


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Made from a blend of cotton and elastane, these boyshorts offer a soft and breathable feel that is perfect for all-day comfort.

The relaxed fit of the shorts provides a loose and comfortable feel that is great for lounging or wearing out and about, while the wide waistband provides a secure and supportive fit that is both comfortable and flattering.

14. Victoria’s Secret Logo Cotton High-Waist Boyshort Panty

Logo Cotton High-Waist Boyshort Panty
  • Cotton-modal blend 
  • Soft logo elastic waistband with stretch
  • High rise 
  • Full back coverage, shows curves 
  • Machine wash 


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These boyshorts offer a soft and stretchy feel that gently and stylishly hugs the body. The Victoria’s Secret logo is prominently displayed on the waistband, adding a touch of sporty style. These boyshorts are perfect for wearing simply as underwear, or for adding a little extra coverage under dresses and skirts.

Wearing the right pair of shorts under your dress can make all the difference in terms of comfort, coverage, and confidence. Another great option, especially if you want to do some sucking in, is shapewear! Here’s some of the best shapewear for your lower belly pooch that would be great under a skirt or dress!

Whether you opt for bike shorts, slip shorts, or boy shorts, just remember to choose a style that fits well, feels comfortable, and works with your dress style! Which of these options would you choose to wear under your favorite outfit?

Author

    by
  • Jen Biswas

    Jen has styled women for photo shoots, fashion shows, board meetings, work trips and most importantly, every day life! She's been hired to style many homes as well. Her aesthetic aims to make style approachable and practical, and most of all fun! She's a mom of 3 who loves frozen cookie dough, plants and a generous pour of creamer in her coffee. Her biggest joy is helping others find joy in personal style through practical tips and inspiration. She loves to share all of her styling secrets on Paisley & Sparrow! Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!

1 thought on “The Best Shorts to Wear Under Dresses and Skirts”

  1. We need biker-type shorts that dresses will glide over and not stick! I’ve been wearing these bike shorts for years, and now all they have out are the ones that dresses stick to so they hang up over your butt! I see ther “Undersummers Classic” appears to be non-stick, but there are no colors, like purple, red, orange, blue, etc., that match up with the dresses.

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