8 Outfits That Prove Denim Shorts Can Look Elevated

Here's the thing about shorts: They're not that easy to build an elegant outfit around—especially denim shorts, which are about as casual as shorts get. As someone who loves to wear denim shorts, I don't let this stop me. I like a summer outfit challenge. Given that the temperatures are in the 90s this week where I live (the sweltering South), I've been searching high and low for new ways to wear shorts, and my search was fruitful.

Just like everyone else, I want my outfits to have at least a hint of elegance these days, but elegance and shorts aren't usually in the same sentence. I'm here to change that. I found elevated denim shorts outfit ideas that'll see us all through until September. See for yourself by scrolling to shop eight denim shorts outfits that everyone will agree are elevated.

V-Neck Sweater + White T-Shirt + Belt + Denim Shorts + Sandals

Woman wearing a sweater with denim shorts.

(Image credit: @anoukyve)

Shop the Key Pieces

Blazer + Tank + Belt + Denim Shorts + Kitten Heels

Woman wearing a blazer with denim shorts.

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Shop the Key Pieces

Cardigan + Denim Shorts + Heels

Woman wearing cardigan and denim shorts.

(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Shop the Key Pieces

Button-Down Shirt + Belt + White Denim Shorts + Minimal Sandals

Woman wearing an all-white denim shorts outfit.

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Shop the Key Pieces

Black Cardigan + Cream Denim Shorts + Ballet Flats

Woman wearing a black cardigan with denim shorts.

(Image credit: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)

Shop the Key Pieces

Logo Tee + Denim Shorts + White Socks + Loafers

Emili Sindlev wearing a denim shorts outfit.

(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Shop the Key Pieces

Black Tank + Denim Shorts + High-Heel Sandals

Stylish woman wearing denim shorts and a black top.

(Image credit: @annabelrosendahl)

Shop the Key Pieces

Denim Button-Down + Belt + Denim Shorts

Olympia Gayot wearing denim shorts.

(Image credit: @olympiamarie)

Shop the Key Pieces

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.