Put the word “tailored” in front of an article of clothing and that piece is instantly elevated. When applied to shorts, the casual spring staple goes from weekend-only to office and evening-appropriate. It’s that kind of versatility that makes tailored shorts newly appealing, and explains why stylephiles such as Gwen Stefani, Alexa Chung, and Julianne Hough are all fans of this new essential. Over the last couple of months, we’ve noticed a group of influencers wearing more structured shorts, and find their top-notch styling choices, from a bright monochrome shorts suit to a preppy stripes and denim mix, wholly inspiring. Keep reading for more ways to wear this key piece all season long.
WHO: Julianne Hough
WHAT: Visiting Good Day in Philadelphia to promote Safe Haven.
WEAR: NoNoo Royal Blue Cotton and Silk Octavia Blazer with Vest Detail ($460), Tailored Sybil Short ($295), and Georgette Blouse with Beaded Collar and Cuffs ($525); Monique Lhuillier shoes.
WHY: A black blouse with an embellished collar and strappy heels take a navy shorts suit from the boardroom to after-hours cocktails.
Get The Look: Elizabeth and James Heather Blazer ($495); Topshop Ponte Boyfriend Blazer ($70); Diesel Black Boxy Sequined D-Aidil Blouse ($200); Acne Bonnie Tailored Linen-Blend Shorts ($210); Dorothy Perkins Navy Button Detail Short ($25).
WHO: Gwen Stefani
WHAT: Out and about in Los Angeles back in November.
WEAR: Thierry Mugler Structured Blazer ($1282) and bag.
WHY: A clean, tailored silhouette keeps a busy plaid print feeling refined.
Get The Look: Smythe Pagoda Blazer ($595); Rochas Checked Woven-Silk Shorts ($1025); Sanctuary Grey Plaid Wool-Blend Cuffed Shorts ($29); Jeffrey Campbell Hanger Leather Raw Bootie ($165).
WHO: Olivia Munn
WHAT: Celebrating the opening of the Tommy Hilfiger West Coast Flagship store last month.
WEAR: Tommy Hilfiger Navy/Cream Plaid Blazer ($448), Blue/White Striped Cotton Oxford ($78), Runway Denim Short ($228), Leather Clutch ($128), and Runway Leather Platform Pumps ($378, all available at Tommy Hilfiger Flagship stores).
WHY: Denim shorts with a high-waisted fit and dark wash bring polish to preppy separates, like a striped shirt and heeled loafers.
Get The Look: J.Crew Boy Shirt ($88) in Stripe Linen; Urban Outfitters High-Rise Button-Up Short ($54); Forever 21 High-Waist Denim Shorts with Belt ($20); Lands’ End Hargrave Mid Heel Loafers ($99).
WHO: Karolina Kurkova
WHAT: Arriving at a private dinner during Art Basel in Miami Beach back in December.
WEAR: Elie Saab Stretch Crepe Jacket with Ruffle Detail ($1700), Blouse (price upon request) and Shorts(price upon request, available at Elie Saab stores); Kotur bag; Azzedine Alaia heels.
WHY: A vibrant monochrome short suit is playfully modern, but still feels sophisticated.
Get The Look: Alice + Olivia Elyse Blazer ($367) in Neon Pink; Halogen Three Quarter Roll Sleeve Blazer ($99); Equipment Signature Silk Shirt ($125); Topshop High Waist Jersey Shorts ($50); J.Crew 5” Chino Short ($45).
WHO: Joan Smalls
WHAT: At a screening of In Vogue: The Editors’ Eye in New York late last year.
WEAR: Maje top; Prabal Gurung shorts; Saint Laurent boots.
WHY: A leather top and brocade Bermuda shorts exude downtown insouciance, proving the look doesn’t always have to be so buttoned-up.
Get The Look: T by Alexander Wang Leather Back-Zip Tee ($550); Bailey 44 Vaca Faux Leather Tee ($174); Michael Kors Metallic Brocade Shorts ($795); Elizabeth and James Stevie Metallic Jacquard Shorts ($245); LC Lauren Conrad Brocade Shorts ($15).
WHO: Alexa Chung
WHAT: On the red carpet at the 2013 Brit Awards.
WEAR: Valentino top and shorts; Jimmy Choo shoes.
WHY: A matching top and shorts set translates into a chic evening alternative, especially when paired with ladylike heels.
Get The Look: Reiss Theo Tweet T-Shirt ($150) in Peppermint and Sally Pocket Front Shorts ($180) in Peppermint; Loft Floral Dream Print Structured Shell ($55) and Linen and Cotton Shorts ($45); Mango Boucle Shorts ($50).
Images of Olivia Munn and Alexa Chung, courtesy of Getty Images; Images of Gwen Stefani and Julianne Hough, courtesy of Splash News; Image of Karolina Kurkova, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency