When Fashion People Want to Look Effortless in Summer, They Wear This Simple Shorts-and-Shoe Pairing

Typically, I've thought of sandals and shorts as the kind of combination you reach for on blisteringly hot days when all you care about is staying cool. Sure, I'll throw shorts over a swimsuit and add some sandals when I'm on holiday, or toss the pair on with a t-shirt for running errands at home. But this duo never struck me as having the possibility of actually looking stylish. Oh, how I've been proven wrong.

Striking the perfect balance between practical and chic, the breadth of short and sandals styles that are trending this season means you're sure to find a look that you're actually excited to wear. It's all about matching the outfit to the situation.

@anoukyve wearing two-strap sandals with linen shorts

(Image credit: @anoukyve)

If you're hunting for holiday-appropriate outfits, explore the breezy options of boxer shorts and oversized button-downs paired with the casual flip-flop (opting for black or white versions will create the cleanest, most polished version of this look). If you want something a little more sophisticated, embrace the understated elegance of linen shorts by styling them with sleek black slides. Denim shorts—forever controversial—have also been enjoying a renaissance this summer, thanks in large part to the vast varieties of cut and silhouette available. Whichever pair you go for, you'll find them incredibly versatile, meaning you can mix and match with a variety of sandals, from the classic Birkenstock to the very on-trend fisherman sandal.

To help get you inspired, I've pulled these seven influencer outfits that are sure to encourage you to take a fresh look at the sandal-and-shorts combination.

See the Shorts-and-Sandals Looks We Are Copying This Summer:

1. Linen Shirt + Boxer Shorts + Flip-Flops

@ lucywilliams02 wearing flip-flops with boxer shorts and white linen shirt

(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: This is my absolute dream holiday look—and has me desperate to book a getaway ASAP. So many influencers have started swapping linen and denim shorts for breezy boxers, which just looks so effortlessly cool, especially when paired with a billowing oversized shirt and classic black flip-flops.

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2. Breton Stripe Top + Denim Shorts + Slides

@symphonyofsilk wearing denim shorts, Breton stripe top and black slides

(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Style Notes: This look exudes understated French sophistication. From the Breton stripe top to the basket bag to the easy yet elegant black leather slides, all of it strikes the perfect balance between effortless and refined.

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3. White Shorts + Waistcoat + Two-Strap Birkenstocks

@brittanybathgate wearing white shorts, grey tailored vest and black Birkenstocks

(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

Style Notes: Brittany always nails the sleek, minimalist aesthetic, and this outfit is a perfect example. Effortless yet polished, it's made up of a lot of wardrobe staples that you either already own, or will get plenty of use out of.

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4. Capri Shorts + Blazer + Chunky Sandals

@amaka.hamelijnck wearing chunky sandals, capri shorts and a red leather blazer

(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Style Notes: Ok, so they may not technically be shorts, but capri pants are not going anywhere, and can actually be a great option for those who don't want to go for the high hemline cutoffs. And with British summer weather being so unpredictable, you may find this layered look comes in very handy.

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5. White Shorts + Shirt + Heeled Thong Sandals

@smythsisters wearing long white shorts, button down shirt and heeled thong sandals

(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: If you like a little boost, consider swapping your flat sandals for a heeled thong pair. I'm obsessed with this all-white look, which could work for almost any scenario (minus any weddings you're attending). Don't forget the black belt to help break up the crisp white pieces.

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6. Denim Shorts + Vest + Fisherman Sandals

@francescasaffari wearing Bermuda denim shorts, two-tone tank and fisherman sandals

(Image credit: @francescasaffari)

Style Notes: Thanks in large part to The Row, fisherman sandals are well and truly back in fashion. Francesca's outfit proves what an easy, everyday sandal they can be for summer wear, adding an understated sophistication to this tank top and denim shorts look.

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7. Linen Shorts + Tank Top + Flip Flops

Shorts and sandals outfits

(Image credit: @marina_torres)

Style Notes: Sometimes the simplest outfits are the best, especially when the temperature rises. Marina's easy linen shorts and vest duo pairs perfectly with casual flip flops and proves that you can look effortlessly chic without trying too hard this summer.

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Freelance Fashion Editor

Jess Kelham-Hohler is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist. She has been a contributor for Who What Wear UK since 2023. Currently based in London following six years in Washington D.C. and New York, she was previously the Digital Editor for Soho House & Co, an international group of private members’ clubs for creatives. She has interviewed a range of artists, creators and more, including Alighieri founder Rosh Mahtani, photographer Misan Harriman and fashion editor Lindsay Peoples Wagner. Today, she writes primarily about fashion, travel and culture for various publications, and has worked as a copywriter and content strategist for brands such as Belstaff, Olivela and Equinox.