5 Chic Ways To Wear Denim Shorts This Summer and Still Feel Polished

Shorts weather has well and truly arrived. At this point in the year, those who rely on jeans to ground their daily outfits usually turn to denim shorts to fulfil the same duty. But for some reason, the latter is trickier to style.

Shorts are inherently casual, whereas jeans are easy to dress up and incorporate into smarter looks. Perhaps it's the fact that a lot more skin is on show, or it could just be the association with warm weather and the laid-back vibes that come with it. Whatever the explanation is, the good news is we're here with some tips and tricks to make your shorts outfits feel more polished.

So, instead of reaching for your closest white T-shirt (no one's judging—it's a solid combination), keep scrolling. Below, you'll find out exactly which tops and shoes will make your basic denim shorts seem so much more expensive.

1. Relaxed Shirt + Bermuda Shorts + Tie Sandals


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: It might seem obvious, but pulling out one of the smartest items in your wardrobe is a quick way to elevate your denim shorts. Yes, we're talking about a button-down shirt.

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2. Waistcoat + Distressed Shorts + Fisherman Sandals


(Image credit: @marina_torres)

Style Notes: Linen waistcoats are one of this summer's best-loved buys, alongside fisherman sandals. The two just so happen to pair perfectly with denim shorts.

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3. Tank Top + High-Waisted Shorts + Slides


(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Style Notes: Keep it simple and wear your shorts with a tank top, but not just any tank top. We're favouring styles with interesting necklines like Emmanuelle's, and tan slides to complete the effortless look.

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4. Blazer + Stonewash Shorts + Trainers


(Image credit: @kristaperez)

Style Notes: I'm sure we sound like a broken record, but blazers really seem to solve all outfit dilemmas. Add an unexpected touch of cool to the high-low combo in the form of white trainers.

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5. Breton Tee + White Shorts + Flip-Flops


(Image credit: @francescasaffari)

Style Notes: When in doubt, do as the French do. A Breton top always shows you're in the know, sartorially speaking, especially if you pair it with the season's hottest sandals.

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Next Up, The 9 Most Expensive-Looking Pieces on the High Street This Week

Freelance Fashion Editor

Bébhinn Campbell is an Edinburgh-based fashion and lifestyle writer and editor. She started her first blog at age 14 and went on to intern at print and digital publications in Berlin and London, including Dazed & Confused and Indie magazine.

A job at a fashion startup took Bébhinn from Ireland to Scotland in 2019, where she now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter covering everything from travel and interiors to styling advice. As a contributor to Who What Wear, Bébhinn always keeps her eyes peeled for emerging trends and looks worth writing about. She prides herself on her ability to cut through the noise and identify solid investment buys, exciting new brands and fresh takes on classic design.

In her spare time, Bébhinn enjoys perusing Edinburgh’s best vintage shops, working through her out-of-control book collection and watching dog reels on Instagram.