8 Trendy Items That Will Make Your Denim Shorts Feel Very 2023


Summer is closer than ever, and I'll be pulling my warm-weather wardrobe out of storage in the next few weeks. First on the list is denim shorts. If you made a list of the perfect forever summer wardrobe, I think denim shorts would be at the top. They never really go out of style, but it doesn't take an expert eye to see they've taken a backseat to other items like tailored and boxer shorts in recent years.

All that to say, I wouldn't be surprised if you found yourself in a rut when deciding what to wear with denim shorts to make them feel up to date. Naturally, I have a few ideas to make them feel fresh and, dare I say it, even cool for 2023. It all comes down to styling them with a few key items. Simple choices like accessories or shoes can make a world of difference. But don't just take my word for it. Keep scrolling to see proof.

Ahead, I'm sharing eight items that solve the mystery of how to wear denim shorts in 2023.

Ballet Flats


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

While sandals and sneakers may be your first instinct to pair with denim shorts, ballet flats lend a French-inspired touch to the staple to dress them up a tad.

Shop ballet flats:

Our denim shorts pick:

Big Shirting


(Image credit: @leasy_inparis)

Denim shorts, especially cutoffs, feel more polished when you pair them with a business-casual element like a button-down shirt. It's also the perfect outfit to pack for vacation.

Shop big shirting:

Our denim shorts pick:

Luxe Leather Belts


(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Another way to add instant polish? Adding a classic leather belt. It's such a simple addition, but it really pulls a look together in seconds flat.

Shop belts:

Our denim shorts pick:

Retro Sneakers


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Retro sneakers are the shoes of the year, so pairing them with classic denim shorts makes for a very 2023 vibe.

Shop retro sneakers:

Our denim shorts pick:

Leather Bomber Jackets


(Image credit: @annabelrosendahl)

If you're going to reach for outerwear, why not try something that feels especially fresh, like a leather bomber jacket? With basics like a white tee and sneakers, this combo basically styles itself.

Shop leather bomber jackets:

Our denim shorts pick:

Striped Tees


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Preppy style has never been more relevant than this year, with quiet-luxury and "old-money" aesthetics reaching a fever pitch. Tap into them with a simple striped tee that lends a classic feel to denim shorts.

Shop striped tees:

Our denim shorts pick:

Socks With Loafers


(Image credit: @hoskelsa)

Another unexpected pairing is casual cutoffs with academic loafers and socks.

Shop socks and loafers:

Our denim shorts pick:

Racerneck Tanks


(Image credit: @meganadelaide)

You'll want to keep a stockpile of racerneck tanks on hand this summer to wear with everything from trousers to skirts to, yes, denim shorts.

Shop racer neck tanks:

Our denim shorts pick:

Next: 3 Flat Shoe Trends Everyone Is *Still* Wearing With Jeans

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.