Here's How to Style Denim Shorts Like a Parisian

Denim shorts are one of the most hardworking staples in my summer closet. While I don’t usually wear them into the office, I do wear them on pretty much every other casual occasion in between, from beach days to brunches to working from home to meeting with friends. They’re easy, cool, practical, and always reliable. But I’ve learned it’s how you style denim shorts that makes all the difference in your summer ensemble. By nature, they’re inherently casual, and one wrong styling step can make your whole outfit feel, dare I say, sloppy. Luckily, I’ve learned plenty of styling tricks from none other than the fashion people who basically embody the word “chic”—French women.

In fact, Parisians have proven that denim shorts are not just reserved for lazy days at the beach. Denim shorts can, in fact, look altogether polished (yes, I said polished!) if paired with the right pieces. Think a tweed jacket, ballet flats, a basic white tee, and elevated accessories.

Keep scrolling to see how stylish French women are wearing their denim shorts this summer and shop their looks with my picks below.

Button-Down + Ballet Flats



A pair of elegant ballet flats will elevate even the most casual denim shorts. Pair with an oversize button-down for the perfect casual-chic balance. 

White T-Shirt + Slingback Pumps + Luxe Handbag



Add an elevated touch to a simple white-tee-and-denim-shorts outfit by pairing it with luxe-looking low heels and a designer bag—preferably with a pop of color.

Floral Camisole + Espadrilles + Straw Bag



Brace the heat in style, and pair a silky floral camisole top with high-waisted jean shorts. Finish the look with espadrilles and a raffia bag for a very French look.

Tweed Jacket + Belt + Ballet Flats



Dress up your denim for a meeting, a fancy lunch, or an evening out by belting a longer-length pair at the waist and adding a chic tweed jacket. Luxe ballet flats are the perfect finishing touch to your polished ensemble.

Neutral Tank Top + Cushy Slides



A neutral-hued tank top and slides will pull together casual denim shorts in an instant.

Pretty Puff-Sleeve Blouse + Neutral Accessories



Nothing adds charm to staple denim shorts like a pretty puff-sleeve blouse—perfect for brunch with friends. Keep your accessories simple in neutral hues.

Preppy Sweater + Colorful Strappy Sandals



Pair an off-white preppy sweater with similar-hued denim shorts, and keep the look interesting with a pop of color for a casual yet put-together outfit.