15 Fabulous Ways To Style Women’s Shorts This Summer
They’ve waited patiently, but now is finally the right time to talk about – nay, obsess over – summer shorts!
Summer Shorts 2021
Some of my favorite summer shorts have been in the background of my social media pictures and blog posts for quite a few months now, and so many of you have been asking questions about my shorts and how I style them. So, I decided to take the plunge and give one of the most versatile and hardworking summer staples their very own dedicated post. It would be rude not to…
How To Style Shorts
I love how easy it is to style shorts. They can be worn super-casually with just a simple vest top, cami, or bodysuit, or dressed up with a cute blouse and lots of accessories. Layering is another great trick when it comes to styling shorts, as it means there are hundreds of potential styling opportunities just waiting to be discovered. Shorts look just as powerful when paired with slides as they do with wedges, sneakers, and even stilettos (yes, really!) and I’ve been having fun with them all summer. And hopefully this post will inspire you to do the same!
What To Wear With Shorts
Summer is far from over for us – but I know the same can’t be said for other parts of the world that might only have a few more weeks of sunshine left, so I feel very grateful that there are still plenty of outings for my summer shorts before they’re put away for another year. Although, as you’ll discover as you read on, some of my shorts can actually be worn when the weather gets a little colder, which I’m super-excited about.
Let’s not waste any more shorts-obsessing time and get straight down to business. Here are some of my must-have summer shorts for the current season, and some of the ways I’ve been wearing them over the past few months.
Summer Shorts Outfits
Busy Mom Summer Go-To
I thought I’d kick things off with one of my most worn looks – the busy mom in summer look. I know all my fellow moms can relate to this…
When it comes to running around after your children – whether it’s cleaning up after them or making sure they’re always entertained with one activity or another – comfort is key. And these gingham biker shorts, which I’ve teamed with a loose graphic T-shirt and some white sandals, are one of my most comfortable pairs. Don’t let the tightness of these gingham shorts fool you!
I know that in among the chaos of running around after five children and sometimes even the fur child, I can still emit just a hint of style too, thanks to the playful pink color and the cute gingham fabric pattern that’s trending absolutely everywhere right now.
Busy mom life, but make it fashion!
One of the original purposes for shorts was for working out, right?
I still like to keep fit – even though I think running around after young kids should be made an Olympic sport – and this outfit is always on rotation on those rare opportunities I can actually work out. It’s also perfect for casual walks with the dog or weekend hikes in the mountains – the opportunities are endless!
Affordable Matching Workout Sets
It’s no secret that I love a matching loungewear set, but my love also extends to matching workout clothes too. Fashion gym wear is a trend for a reason! These workout shorts, which are available in a matching crop top are among my favorites. They come in hundreds of different color combinations, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t already have matching sets in at least five different colors.
You don’t have to go all-out to make a style statement. Sometimes, switching out a casual piece for something a little fancier is all it takes to totally transform an outfit. Take these lounge shorts for example.
They’re one of the most casual pieces in my entire wardrobe thanks to their elastic waist and super-loose and long fit. It would be very easy to continue the casual theme with this look by adding a simple tank top and some slides. However, I decided to dress up the golden yellow Terry shorts ever so slightly by teaming them with a mix print stripe and floral puff sleeve blouse, and some instantly recognizable Chanel sandals.
Comfort and chic style really do go together like peanut butter and jelly – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Summer Shorts For Ladies
Let’s go to the beach!
Is it just me, or does anyone else get really excited just looking at beachwear? Lining up my beach clothes from the night before fills me with joy – even more so when my beach clothes consist of cute bikinis, swimsuits, and of course, flattering kaftans and other types of beach cover-ups. Which of course, includes beach shorts...
Comfortable Summer Shorts
Heading to the beach in your late thirties when you have young children is worlds away from attending the beach in your early twenties. Think less sitting on a lounge chair and sipping cocktails while working on your tan, and more playing with your and sometimes even other people’s children, constantly topping up their sunscreen, and making sure everyone is having fun and more importantly, keeping out of trouble. Still, I wouldn’t change our family beach days for the world!
For this beach look, I’m wearing my white Terry shorts layered with black bike shorts (a great hack if you don’t want to feel too exposed on your journey to and from the beach) a Loveshack Fancy swim top and white sandals.
I love playing around with different fabrics, so the idea of knitted shorts is really fascinating to me.
Knitted shorts are great for wearing on those non-scorching days, especially as they can easily be layered with sweaters or cardigans to accommodate the weather. Knitted shorts mean that you can really experiment with footwear too, so I would also consider wearing sneakers or espadrilles – or maybe even another closed-toe shoe – just as much as I would consider sandals or slides.
On this occasion, I’m wearing my knitted marled sweater shorts with a rust colored ribbed tank, a cardigan in a complementary hue, and my Hermès Oran denim sandals. I love the earthy tones in this look for a more autumnal vibe to a still very summery outfit!
Sweater Shorts Set
Another matching shorts set, only this time it’s not a workout shorts and cropped top combo, but a more comfortable yet chic sweater shorts set instead. And I love them all equally!
Whoever said you can’t lounge around in style clearly never heard of loungewear sets, or indeed their summer counterparts, sweater shorts sets. There’s nothing I love more than relaxing at home or with friends in a chic yet super-comfortable lounge set, and this Free People sweater shorts set in a gorgeous on-trend blue color is one of my current favorites.
I’m on a mission to show that even the most comfortable of sweater sets can be dressed up to Parisian chic levels, so I’ve teamed my FP blue set with an oversized white button down underneath for that ultimate juxtaposition, and my Chanel ankle boots for a playful twist. This high low meet chic casual look is one of my favorites of this entire blog post!
Summer Shorts Trends 2021
Cycling shorts – or women’s biker shorts if you prefer that term – have really soared in popularity over the past few years, appearing on every recent runway from Fendi to Christian Dior to Chanel and many more in-between.
Sure, we were obsessed with them back in the 80s and 90s thanks to the likes of Madonna and Princess Diana – i.e. the ultimate style icon – but the trend which actually originated in the late 19th century has come back bigger and better than ever.
A Brief History On Cycling Shorts
As I mentioned earlier, cycling shorts originated in the late 19th century, when cycling became a common and very convenient mode of transport. As you can imagine, late 19th century clothing wasn’t quite designed for sitting on a bicycle and pedaling – especially as far as women’s clothes were concerned – so cyclists needed something very different to their everyday attire to accommodate their cycling needs. The first cycling shorts were a far cry from what we know and love today though, with the biggest difference being that they were actually made of wool. I can’t imagine going to my local spin class and getting my sweat on in a pair of wool shorts, can you?
Luckily, cycling shorts changed quite a lot since the Victorian era, and the world was slowly introduced to the more traditional styles in much more breathable and comfortable fabrics such as cotton, lycra, and spandex.
How To Wear Cycling Shorts In 2021
I could write about history for hours, but let’s move on! I do think a large part of their popularity in 2021 is down to their versatility. As I demonstrated above with my beach look, they’re great for wearing underneath super-short shorts, skirts, or dresses to preserve your modesty. They’re also great for playing around with silhouettes by teaming with oversized T-shirts or billowing shirts. There’s something really en-vogue about mixing both skin tight and voluminous silhouettes within the same outfit.
However, there’s also something very stylish about keeping things sleek and form-fitting too, which is what I went for with this current look. I’ve styled my black biker shorts with a Dior graphic tee, my Balmain blazer which I add to outfits that need an injection of crisp, slick sophistication, and my Chanel pumps.
Time for something a little different now, courtesy of some of my favorite cargo shorts.
I wanted to explore a different aesthetic for this look, and thought that something slightly androgynous with a hint of military vibes would be an interesting route to go down. I’ve chosen to wear my purple cargo shorts – which I regularly reach for when I want something casual yet tough and hard-wearing enough for a full day of activities – with a slate colored bodysuit, a white military inspired vest, and my Chloe brogues.
While I love the military inspired vest for giving the look a different dimension, the real hero of the look has to be the bodysuit, as it ties everything up together so wonderfully. If you read my last blog post, you’ll remember my obsession with women’s bodysuits and how many pairs of shorts I actually wore them with, so it was only a matter of time ‘til one appeared in this post. I love how this whole look has come together – I call it military chic…
Jean Shorts With A Feminine Blouse
Akin to jeans, jean shorts can be styled a multitude of different ways. Dressed up or down, there are so many different looks you can create with jean shorts, which is why I want to demonstrate a few here.
How To Style Jean Shorts
Jean shorts can be worn with pretty much anything. Although they appear very casual, they can actually be dressed up very easily, and the key, as always, is in the layering and the accessorizing. By adding a simple floral peasant blouse to my jean shorts, I’ve instantly transformed the look from super casual to something cute and feminine. I’ve accessorized with a statement belt to make the look appear even more polished, and completed it with some summery, on-trend Bottega Veneta board flats, and my sunglasses.
Jean Shorts With A Denim Jacket
Double denim is back, people!
Is Double Denim On Trend?
Double denim has been back for quite a few seasons now, and it isn’t going anywhere thanks to the resurgence of some of the greatest nineties and early noughties trends. I always loved double denim, and never thought Britney and Justin deserved the criticism they got for their matching double denim looks at the 2001 American Music Awards. (#FreeBritney)
But I digress. I wanted to incorporate a trend-driven double denim look into this post, and thought I would do so by going for the casual cool aesthetic. The jean shorts and a hoodie look is one of my favorite effortlessly cool yet comfortable outfits to just throw on. I’ve teamed my shorts with my Levi’s denim jacket, a cozy hoodie, Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots, and Dior sunglasses.
Denim Trend Forecast 2021
This is the perfect look for those colder days, as the hoodie and boots do a great job of keeping me warm. I love how adding another layer and some over the knee boots make it possible to wear denim shorts or short skirts in slightly colder temperatures!
I’ve been getting a few questions about Bermuda shorts, including their name and their origin, so here goes…
What Are Bermuda Shorts?
Bermuda shorts are also known as walking shorts or dress shorts, and the style became really popular at the turn of the century.
Spotting Bermuda shorts is relatively easy, as they simply come just above the knee. The women’s knee length shorts are a relatively tight fit, which is what differentiates them from cargo shorts that come in a similar length, but are typically baggier.
How Did Bermuda Shorts Get Their Name?
Yes, Bermuda shorts really are named after the place. Kind of…
According to my research, British military officers serving in tropical British colonies such as Bermuda, for example, wore the shorts – which at that time, only came in a suit-like fabric – as part of their formal business attire, alongside their blazers, ties, and knee high socks. They were long enough to still be smart – also thanks to the material – but short enough to help the officers cope with the scorching temperatures. Win, win!
Tourists who visited Bermuda at the turn of the century were unsurprisingly inspired by the shorts, and it wasn’t long until the trend took off in other countries around the world. And thus, the conservative shorts-trend was born!
How To Style Bermuda Shorts
And now, fashion! Let’s put down the history book to talk about the different ways to style Bermuda shorts. As they’re longer in length to traditional short shorts, it’s important to get the balance right so you’re not drowning in fabric or so you don’t feel too frumpy. At least that’s what goes through my head, anyway.
I’m a fan of dressing them up with semi-feminine pieces and opting for a touch of glamor and luxury. My go-to high/low smart/casual sartorial formula works really well when it comes to styling Bermuda shorts. On this occasion, I’ve teamed my Bermuda shorts with a cute puffed sleeve cream crop top, a Dior bucket hat, and my Hermès Oran sandals. I’m eternally thankful to those British officers from way back when for bringing this trend into my life!
Now onto a pair of shorts that definitely didn’t come from British officers. Not to my knowledge anyway…
I love leather shorts, as they can be worn in cooler temperatures and also be dressed up quite significantly. I’ve still gone quite casual with my look here, although it only takes a quick change of top and footwear to transform the look into something fancier. Let’s just say that women’s leather shorts definitely aren’t the shorts to wear when you want to exercise or hit the beach.
I’ve injected some color into my look with some rust colored leather shorts which I absolutely adore as an alternative to traditional black leather shorts. And I’ve accessorized them with some super-casual accompaniments such as a violet knit tank top, a windbreaker, and my LV black loafers. I would love to know how you would choose to style these shorts…
Knotted Tailored Shorts
Shorts are great for lounging around and exercising in, sure, but I would never overlook them when it comes to getting dressed up for something more formal. Tailored shorts exist for this very reason, as do shorts in heavier fabrics such as knitted shorts and the leather shorts I spoke about above.
My knotted tailored shorts are one of my favorite new purchases this summer, as I love how it’s possible to get dressed up and feel chic and glamorous in a pair of shorts. Even more so when they come with a matching blazer and can be accessorized with a crisp blouse.
My navy knotted shorts have come all the way from the United Kingdom, and are by a brand I only recently discovered called River Island. It was founded in 1948 in London, and I can’t believe I’ve been deprived of it for so long because I really like their stuff. Affordable yet good quality, with a mix of trend-driven and hard-working staple pieces. There are over 250 River Island stores in the UK, and I will be making it my mission to visit at least one of them the next time we fly there.
River Island Shorts
Although these River Island tailored shorts can really be dressed up to super-glamorous levels, on this occasion I’ve decided to go down the smart/casual route and team them with a cozy cream colored chenille sweater (I love how well the cream and navy colors complement each other) and my Chanel pumps.
Summer Shorts Set
Gingham Matching Shorts Set
This beautiful Gingham shorts and top set is actually what led me to the River Island site in the first place. I don’t know how I actually discovered this summer shorts and top set – but I think a late night, a cup of coffee too many, children tucked up in bed, and endless social media scrolling might have had something to do with it – but I’m eternally grateful.
Gingham is so en-vogue right now, and I just love everything about this pastel purple set. Cute and feminine, while being chic and trend-driven all at the same time – it’s not hard to see why I had to hit that “add to cart” button immediately. (Although in the UK, they call it a basket.) I’ve teamed the matching shorts and top set with my Hermès Oran sandals which juxtapose the white perfectly, and made the look even more feminine by adding a floral hair bow.
This is definitely not an ad, but I also want to rave about the shipping, as it only took a few days for my order to arrive, and the postage was free! (I ordered quite a few items, so postage over $100 is free, otherwise it’s just $10 to come to the US which I think is still very reasonable.) Again, not an ad, just a very happy customer!
Summer Shorts Co Ord
Chloe Pinstripe Shorts
Pinstripes always exude class and sophistication for me, and that also extends to pinstripe shorts.
My Chloe pinstripe shorts are definitely an investment purchase that are worth every single cent, as I know I will be wearing them for many years to come, regardless of the latest catwalk trends. I think these shorts are extremely timeless, and also versatile, so investing in them was a no brainer as there are so many ways to style them. Smart or casual, with high end or affordable accompaniments, there’s no end to the styling possibilities.
Tailored Shorts And Blazer
Alice & Olivia Matching Shorts And Blazer Set
I wanted to finish off with a strong and polished look, and thought my satin Alice & Olivia shorts and blazer set was the ultimate outfit for the task. Silky and sumptuous, this really is the matching shorts and blazer set that proves that shorts can rival LBDs and pantsuits in terms of classy and sophisticated outfits. I love the soft sage color of the shorts, as they are the epitome of fresh summer nights.
I kept the styling simple here, as I wanted to give the Alice and Olivia satin sage shorts and blazer set its time in the spotlight, so I added a white crop top and matching white Bottega Veneta heels. An effortlessly chic and stylish look to finish with; what would be better?
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post about how to style summer shorts just as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
‘Til next time…
Lots of love,
Lily x x