Shorts can be the unexpected star of your wardrobeif you know how to style them. While shorts have always been a staple for casual outings, the right pair can also work in dressier circumstances, like the office or even cocktail hour. Read on for our guide on how to wear and style women's shorts for different outfits.
How to Style Denim Shorts
A true classic. The casual cheekiness (sorry, we couldn't resist) of denim shorts is all part of the lasting appeal. Style them with a breezy white button-down and sneakers, or a boho long-sleeve top. You can also make denim shorts a little more formal with an oversized blazer and heeled sandals.
Great for: Everybody. Because, like jeans, they come in unlimited rises, fits, and washes, you can find a flattering pair for any shape.
How to Style Trouser Shorts
Meet your perfect match for work. Add a hint of femininity by pairing them with a puffsleeve blouse, or go for a chic menswear-inspired vibe with a matching blazer and belt. Opt for lush fabrics like leather or summer-weight wool to give your outfit polish.
Great for: Since these shorts have a classic straight cut, they usually look great on hourglass body types, as they play up curves. Wider silhouettes help balance inverted triangles and fill out rectangular frames.
How to Style Chino Shorts
Since chino shorts often come in neutral colors, play off that and combine them with a polo or button-down for subtle preppy vibes. (Choose a low-heeled or embellished sandal for an unexpected twist that keeps the look from feeling too "prep school".) A striped black-and-white top is also a playful twist, especially when worn with a denim jacket with rolled sleeves.
Great for: The tailored lines of this warm-weather staple make them flattering for all body types, but they work especially well for women with longer legs.
How to Style High-Waisted Shorts
Choose something simple on toplike a plain white blouse or button-downto put all the emphasis on these statement-making shorts. For a cuter and more casual feel, wear high-waisted shorts with your favorite graphic tee tucked in. A classic color palette, such as black with white, is the easiest way to pull off this silhouette.
Great for: Hourglass and apple body types, as it accentuates the waist.
How to Style Tie-Waist Shorts
Tie-waist shorts are high on comfort, since they're usually made with fabrics such as poplin and linen. Dress up your tie-waist shorts by wearing a blouse (tucked in, of course) with an oversized collar, or go more casual with a crop top. High-neck tops are particularly flattering with this style of shorts.
Great for: They're usually a little roomy, making them perfect for athletic body types who want to show off strong legs. The defined waist is also great for hourglasses and apples.
How to Style Paper-Bag Shorts
The more formal version of tie-waist shorts, as they're usually a bit more tailored and sit higher on the waist. To keep it cozy and casual, a soft tee or fitted crop top is all you need to make paper-bag shorts shine. An oversized blazer gives a nighttime twist. However you style it, monochromatic color palettes keep the look long and lean.
Great for: Pear shapes who want more coverage and waist definition or inverted triangles who want to balance a broad shoulder.
How to Style Linen Shorts
You can create a variety of outfits with linen shorts, but mixing texture can create some of the best ones. Choose a lightweight sweater , or opt for a romantic Victorian-style lace top for contrast. For a clean look for work or other formal events, add a linen blazer in the same color.
Great for: Apple body types, as the relaxed silhouettes and flowy fabric comfortably contour the body.
How to Style Long Shorts
Long shorts, or Bermudas, can be a secret style weapon on warm days. Keep things casual with ripped denim Bermuda shorts, a slim black tank, and flat sneakers, or go luxe with some longer oversized leather shorts and a thin cashmere sweater. A bit of height in your footwear keeps the Bermuda short feeling feminine but avoid going too high. A kitten heel strikes the perfect, modern balance.
Great for: They create a lengthening effect for pear-shaped body types, with a hemline that hits on the lower thighs to help balance your top half.
How to Style Rompers
Rompers are one of the most fun summer shorts outfits for women. Choose a patterned romper with long sleeves for a formal lookall you need to do is add a statement necklace and you're good to go. Rompers in a single hue like black or white are casual and cute and you can wear them with your favorite sneakers. A longline jacket or cardigan always works well on top, and it can add a bit of coverage for legs.
Great for: Everyone. The all-in-one approach makes getting dressed up easy, and the silhouette flatters a range of body types.
How to Style Bike Shorts
Biker shorts are the perfect match for graphic tees and sweatshirts for a casual athleisure vibe, but you can also dress them up with a structured blazer belted at the waist. Layered gold necklaces and boxy handbags make biker shorts appear more stylish and expensive. It's a favorite street-style trick of celebs.
Good for: These trendy and comfy shorts flatter just about everyone. Since this women's shorts style is usually made with athleisure fabrics, they smooth and contour legs, hips, and thighs.