Spring may have just begun, but we’re already daydreaming about the summer ahead. We’re counting down the days when we can trade in our soft sweats for short shorts—and denim shorts are a true summer staple. Like regular jeans, denim shorts are versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on our mood and the occasion. And these days, they come in hundreds of different cuts, styles, and washes.
However, with the new season approaching and the possibility to venture out more than last summer (fingers crossed), it may be time to step up our denim short outfits. Other than pairing it with the same t-shirts, here are 12 fun ways to style your denim shorts this summer. Warning: scrolling through this list may tempt you to buy a few new pairs.
For those still taking Zoom calls from home, you know the drill: professional from the waist up, casual from the waist down. However, why not be casual and stylish? DL1961’s denim shorts provide a put-together look that still offers comfort. The top’s silkiness dresses up the shorts without being formal, while the clay earrings give the look a pop of color.
Cottage Core Vibes
The cottage core trend is still going strong this summer. But if you want to switch up your look from nap dresses, try pairing your favorite chunky cardigan with some pintuck seamed shorts, giving you an old-school vintage vibe. Round out the look with oxfords, and you’re ready to go on an adventure in the forest—or on one of your daily walks where you listen to folklore.
LBD Gets A New Look
For those who’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color, we have the outfit for you. Good American’s black denim shorts can be dressed up when paired with an oversized black blazer dress. Add a statement belt and some black heels (or combat boots), and you’re ready to hit the town. Little black dress, who?
Outdoor Brunch Ready
Summer means the return of outdoor dining and the possibility of seeing friends for brunch (while still following the CDC guidelines, of course). Express’s pleated denim shorts bring some structure to your look, while the blazer adds a pop of color. Add a handy phone bag to keep all your essentials together.
First Date Fun
After months of virtual dating, it may be time to meet up in person. Bring on the romantic vibes with Astr The Label’s lavender puff sleeve bodysuit paired with the light wash of Levi’s ribcage shorts. Pull the look together with lavender sandals.
A "French" Look
If you fancy yourself a Francophile, incorporate some classic elements into your wardrobe by adding a few french fashion staples like a scarf and three-quarter-length tee to your outfit. This is an easy outfit that you can wear almost everywhere: like the grocery store, coffee runs, and even just hanging around your house.
Gingham is always fun for summer, and this picnic patterned top pairs well with these nautical shorts, creating a vintage-inspired look. Wear the outfit with these red heels (and teach yourself how to walk in them again) for a flirty summer look.
Name a more iconic duo than a white tee and denim shorts? We’ll wait. Elevate the classic ensemble with H&M’s lace-detailed high-waisted shorts. Add a straw hat for some whimsy.
While you may not be able to travel to Hawaii this summer, you can bring the summer vacation vibes to you with Marine Layer’s Hawaiian button-down shirt. Pair it with cool distressed shorts from Paige and some sunnies for a vacation vibe—even if you’re just relaxing on your fire escape or backyard.
If you wear flannel shirts year-round, then you’ll love this look. Throw on your favorite oversized flannel, cute distressed shorts, and Birkenstocks for an effortless look when doing your early morning errands.
While we may be dreaming of a vaccinated summer, we still have to wear our masks for the time being. Thankfully, face masks pair well with denim shorts. Dazey LA has some truly great masks with shirts to match. Wear your mask, tank top, and cut-off shorts to create a super cool look that’s easy to style.