8 Dos and Donts When Buying Hot Pants

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8 Do's and Don'ts When Buying Hot Pants

Hot pants show off great legs and certainly draw attention. These bottoms are a fun, sexy look that can go retro or modern. The term "hot pants" was first used in the 1970s during the Disco Era. Skintight spandex hot pants were a favourite of dance divas, often appearing in flashy metallics and bright colours. These super-short shorts even showed up in offices, often to the dismay of disapproving professionals, who at first did not know how to react to this new fashion. While hot pants today are frowned upon in most corporate settings, they certainly make a style statement at the appropriate venue.

Unfortunately, hot pants are one of those garments that cannot be worn with equal success by all women at all times. There are some basic guidelines that should be followed before showing this much skin outside of sporting environments. A woman wishing to try hot pants should first understand what they are and then try her best to follow the eight do’s and don’ts listed here.

What Are Hot Pants?

The first key to buying and wearing hot pants is to understand what they are. Hot pants, as with most short trousers, are typically defined by the length. The following table gives a brief breakdown of trousers style names by inside leg length.

Pants Style


Hot pants

Inside leg is less than 5 centimetres


Anywhere from upper to lower thigh

Bermuda shorts, walking shorts, dress shorts

Just above the knee

Clam diggers, pedal pushers

Stop just below the knee or above the calf

Capri pants

Varies from just below the knee to slightly shorter than cropped

Cropped Pants

A few centimetres above the ankle or 7/8 length


Cover the ankle bone

Hot pants are the shortest of the short shorts, often covering little more than modestly cut swimsuit bottoms. When the legs are cut at an angle from the inside leg up to the outer hips, hot pants appear even shorter.

1. Do Be Age-Appropriate

The Kate Mosses, Madonnas, and Lady Gagas of the world may be able to get away with them until they are 90, but mere mortals need to be aware that no matter how shapely their figures, h��t Be Afraid to Wear Heels

While the covering up on top rule should be followed, hot pants look terrific and appropriate with sky-high heels. High-heeled footwear dresses up the entire outfit, lifting it up from a casual shorts look to a bona fide fashion statement. Accordingly, the top should be slightly dressier; a pretty blouse or even a jacket looks great.

8. Don’t Forget the Legs

The hot pants look is all about the legs. There is not much point in wearing them if the skin on one’s legs is not in optimum condition. For most women, a coat of self-tanner hides minor imperfections, evens skin tone, and gives a slightly healthier look. Most people’s legs are paler than the rest of their body, so a light bronze glow simply helps the leg colour blend in with the rest of the skin. Alternatives to self-tanner, which takes a few hours to fully develop, include instant bronzers and leg makeup. Just be sure to apply these before the hot pants and make sure the products are completely dry so that they do not rub off and stain those fabulous hot pants.

Legs should be silky-smooth and hair-free. Always wax, shave, or use a depilatory immediately before dressing in hot pants, and apply a very rich lotion or body oil to impart a soft sheen, again being careful not to contact the fabric.

Where to Find Hot Pants

Hot pants are not considered a classic item, so their availability waxes and wanes with fashion trends. When they are in style, hot pants can be found at most progressive retailers: department stores, boutiques, design houses, and independent clothing chains. Vintage hot pants may be found at consignment shops, thrift stores, or at yard sales. Online auction are another good source for hot pants.

How to Buy Hot Pants on eBay

There are two basic ways to find women’s hot pants on eBay. The first way is to do a keyword search from the homepage. You can type in something as general as "womens hot pants" or as specific as "silver stretch hot pants."

The second way to find hot pants is to return to the homepage and navigate through the fashion portal by clicking on subsequent categories. For example, after fashion, you would go to women’s clothing, and then shorts, and finally select the style of shorts, which is hot pants in this case.

With either method, you can use category filters to further narrow down the results by brand, colour, material, and so on.


On the right woman, at the right place, and at the right time, hot pants can be a very appealing and fashionable look. However, they are not an item of clothing to be pulled on casually and worn anytime. It takes forethought to prepare for wearing hot pants, including being extremely mindful of grooming and hygiene and being considerate of the time, place, and potential audience. A woman should consider her age and body type before putting on hot pants; while they can look good on women of all sizes, hot pants should really only be worn to show off a tight, toned body, large or small. Women should also be careful not to show too much skin by wearing a tiny top, but this is not to say that attention should not be drawn to the legs. Indeed, baring the legs is the whole point of wearing hot pants; taking care to make the skin silky and wearing leg-lengthening heels completes the look perfectly.

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