This Affordable Basic Is the Easy Answer to Chic Summer Outfits

With the arrival of summer, I'm planning on making some tweaks to my outfits—including swapping out my jeans and instead, slipping into shorts. Specifically, black shorts, since they're such an easy basic to wear for the whole season. Right now, I've been spotting fashion people on my Instagram feed wearing them in a cool range of silhouettes. While denim cutoffs might be a go-to summer staple, I'm noticing the rise of other styles with everything from Bermuda shorts and linen versions to running and shorts. Seeing fashion girls styling so many chic outfits with black shorts, I feel reinspired for cool ways to wear them for the months ahead.

Whether you're looking for new outfit ideas for ways to wear the pieces you already own or you're looking for the new pieces to buy right now, I've got you covered. Ahead, see 12 ways insiders are getting dressed in black shorts outfits and shop under-$200 pieces inspired by their looks, starting at just $6.

Track Shorts


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

Yep, running shorts are the anti-sweatpant basic we're spotting all over Instagram and I'm very here for it. I love the idea of wearing them with a button-down and blazer like the outfit here.


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Just add a T-shirt and tube socks (yes, I promise everyone is wearing them) for an instantly cool look to wear at home.

Bermuda Shorts


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Bermuda shorts are one of the summer trends I'm most excited about. Worn with a bandeau top, this look is styled to perfection.


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

I also love the idea of wearing a pair of Bermuda shorts with a crop top and cardigan.

Linen Shorts


(Image credit: @anoukyve)

Lately, I've been seeing breezy linen pieces everywhere and have a hunch that the breathable fabric will be everywhere this summer. Here, a pair of linen shorts are the perfect complement to a button-down top and flats.


(Image credit: @nycbambi)

A sweater, belt bag, and square-toe flats are another sophisticated way to pull off linen shorts for summer. Stick to neutrals like the outfit here for a polished look.

Leather Shorts


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

If you're looking for a way to wear shorts right now that will carry over to fall, I'd recommend investing in a pair of long leather shorts. You can wear them with a ribbed tank top and style them with knee-high boots and a trench when the temperatures start to dip.


(Image credit: @endlesslyloveclub)

This pair from Song of Style is tailored to perfection.

Bike Shorts


(Image credit: @littleblackboots)

Yep, biker shorts are here to stay, everyone. They're honestly so versatile and can be worn for working out or dressed up.


(Image credit: @leiasfez)

Paired with a button-down and sneakers, this polished at-home look is so easy to pull off.

Denim Shorts


(Image credit: @emmarosestyle)

Nothing says summer quite like a pair of cutoff denim shorts like these. A simple white tank top or T-shirt is all you need to add.


(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

You can also try out a longer pair of denim shorts. This is a trend I've been seeing on the rise recently.

Next, read about the eight summer trends I'd order right now.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.