Shorts are a key part of the classic summer uniform—they're what most of us change into when we get home and out of before we leave again. But they tend to fall into our casual rotation, worn with T-shirts and not much else. That doesn't have to be the case. With the right styling, these warm-weather favorites can go just about anywhere, opening up a whole new world of summer outfit options. Our personal stylists created four looks to show just how versatile this summertime staple can be.
For weekend errands or casual meetups, knit shorts can't be beat. Just remember the cardinal rule: they can feel like your favorite pajamas, but they shouldn't look like them. This year's crop of cute options makes it easy to stay on the stylish side of that line. This outfit skews a little sporty with a muscle tee and baseball cap, while the crisp stripes and white sneakers play up summer's preppy trend.
Day to Dinner
This outfit strikes a tough-chic balance, from the dressed-up top to the frayed, faded cutoffs. The cut is key to the denim's versatility. A high waist and long, loose legs ensure a flattering fit that'll take you from an afternoon downtown to a dinner date with a quick swap of shoes and accessories.
Shorts are a little unexpected at the office—and that's what we love about them. A pleated pair like this is the perfect alternative to skirts for summer, with long, full legs that swing with every step. Keep the look polished with a softly structured blazer, minimal accessories and sleek flats.
When it comes to exercise, comfort is key—but you might as well make it look good too. Bike shorts have both bases covered. They're up for any activity, and they make it easy to add some color to your workout wardrobe. We played this pair up with an animal-print sports bra, a pretty-in-pink jacket and a sneaker that ties the whole look together.