Men's Style Inspiration  / Summer Outfit Ideas for Men  / How to Wear Colorful Men's Shorts this Summer

How to Wear Colorful Men's Shorts this Summer

It's time to trade in those comfy sweats for cool, colorful shorts.

Men's summer shorts outfits
Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.

As summer temps heat up, it's time to trade in those comfy sweats for cool shorts. Freshen up your warm-weather wardrobe by adding 2020's invigorating colors. These fresh new hues will elevate your mood (and your look) as much as a trip to the spa or a solid workout. We talked to trend-forecasting service WGSN to find out which shades and patterns to keep an eye on.

WGSN's experts say that new blue-cast tones and warm, earthy hues can create a restorative, comforting feeling—a somewhat washed-out, dusty palette that nicely complements classic neutrals. But there are also some poppier colors in the mix that feel absorbed right out of a bright summer scene. Newer styles also go way beyond solids, coming in a wide range of lively and sophisticated patterns. 

All these options wear perfectly with a classic white T-shirt, navy polo, or even just bare, tanned skin. Don't be afraid to have some fun by mixing these shorts with the season's equally colorful patterned shirts and graphic tees. 

Color Code

Swap out winter's dark, moody neutrals for fresh color that's easy to wear. Bring on a solid palette that features slightly washed, darkened brights that pair effortlessly with light, refreshing shirts.

Sunshine citrus

Our favorite hues to kick off the season are sunny oranges and mellow yellows. Fresh as a summer cocktail, shorts in these shades offer a slightly nostalgic quality, reflecting the sunset's rays at golden hour. We like them best paired with nautical stripes and bright, clean whites, but washed khaki shirts in linen or cotton also look great.

Cool blue

This season's blues are brightened with a touch of green, with pale aquas and rich teals reflecting the cooling hues of a swimming pool or the ocean. Grab a pair of these to cool things down even if you're stuck on hot city sidewalks. The watery hues offer a fresh alternative to the classic indigo and navy blues you're used to wearing. Dare to mix shades, creating a fresh, tonal look.

Poppy pastels

This season's subdued pink and purple hues feel less like a floral palette and more like selections from a vintage auto show, embodying a sort of restrained horsepower. They're both soothing and sensual to wear and to be seen in. Try mixing either shade with lightweight sweaters, pique knit shirts, or classic sweatshirt-grey henleys.

Pattern play

Updated seasonal patterns offer easy, spirited looks to brighten overheated days and nights, and offer a fresh new vibe to solid classic shirts that may already be in your wardrobe.

Ombré maneuvers

Choose your two favorite shades from above, shake in a cocktail shaker, and allow to settle. As natural as a summer sunrise, ombré effects create a kind of soft tension, blending some of your favorite colors to create one great motif. Wear a complementary solid top with trim that accents one of the colors.

Retro tune

Hard to believe, but yes, Y2K, turn-of-the-century looks are now considered a throwback, and they're having a moment. Tie-dye and holographic effects are making a comeback, as are chromed or metallic finishes. Pair these shorts with a modern graphic tee to keep it feeling current. 

Artistic canvas

Why let graphic tees have all the fun? From logo repeats to cartoon characters and photographic art, shorts are your new palette for self-expression. Usually showcased in activewear collections, these styles are great for staying out late on summer nights (even if that just means watching your favorite DJ from the comfort of your living room). Pair an all-over print with a single graphic T-shirt or a coordinating shirt for a head-to-toe statement. 

Island dreaming

Some of the most expressive patterns of the season include Japanese wood-cut prints, neat, contained paisleys, and Hawaiian-themed florals. Think souvenir jacket embroidery patterns made more tonal, relaxed, and easier to wear. These sophisticated motifs are great for dressier occasions, pairing handsomely with a camp shirt and even a neutral linen blazer for a casual evening out.

Blending in

Camouflage patterns have stepped up beyond their military roots to become a new classic, available in motifs that vary from designer-specific shapes to actual hunting or military service markings. The look can have an authentic, armed forces vibe when worn head-to-toe. But we also like camo shorts paired with a solid white or olive drab T-shirt for a "Top Gun" look, or a crisp, white button-down for a neo-preppy theme.

Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.