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Our Quick Guide to Styling Women’s Shorts

We should just admit it. Shorts are the unsung heroes of our warm-weather wardrobes. When styled correctly, they can garner attention and compliments. While shorts are a casual outing staple, the perfect pair can work in dressier situations, like work or even happy hour.

One of our favorite YouTube sensations and fashion icons, Emma Chamberlain, recently gave an irrefutable example of how stylish shorts can be. The YouTube celeb posted her day-2 Coachella look to Instagram, and we can’t help but rave about it. She rocked an outfit of red denim shorts, a red cropped top, chunky platform boots, and white sunglasses.

Lucky for you, shorts are easy to style, and you don’t have to go for a head-to-toe monochromatic look like Emma Chamberlain. Keep reading for our handy guide to styling and dressing women’s shorts for different occasions and outfits.

How to Style Trouser Shorts

Trouser shorts boast a more tailored cut and often stretch down to the knee. Because of these features, they usually flatter curves, making them ideal for people with hourglass silhouettes. If you have been blessed with curves, then trouser shorts, with their elegant tailoring and refined look, are for you.

It is no surprise that trousers shorts are the ideal choice for work. They already feature a cut that works best with other office-ready pieces. However, it would help if you considered teaming your pair with a matching blazer and belt for a menswear-inspired chic look or go for a puff sleeve blouse.

If you wish to give your outfits a more polished twist, focus on trouser shorts made of lush fabrics like summer-weight wool, classic chino, lightweight linen, jacquard, satin, or even leather. You’ve got plenty of options, which open your wardrobe to myriad styling opportunities.

Why not pair your trouser shorts with a white long sleeve blouse? The two items look fantastic married together, not to mention comfy. Complement your outfit with black suede-heeled sandals.

How to Style Denim Shorts

Denim shorts are a warm-weather wardrobe staple, and they’re great for pretty much anybody’s size, type, and sense of style. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that dislikes denim shorts. Like jeans, denim shorts are available in a dizzying array of fits, rises, and washes, so there’s a pair out there that will flatter your shape and appeal to your personality.

Denim is a classic, making these shorts effortless to style and wear. Their casual comfort and style are part of denim shorts’ lasting appeal. As a general rule of thumb, these denim bottoms go perfectly well with a boho-style long-sleeve tank top or a white button-down blouse for any casual occasion.

Is there a more laid-back classic than the combo of blue denim shorts and a white linen top? If it feels dressier for your liking, you can dress your outfit down with a pair of white leather flat sandals.

Do you need to level up your denim shorts and make them more formal? It’s easy: wear an oversized black blazer. The outfit is simple yet classy, and it’s easy to assemble when you have next to zero time. Introduce a pair of heeled sandals or black suede oxfords to amp up the ritz factor of your outfit. 

Want to throw a bit of pattern in the mix? Pair your denim shorts with a gray, tan, or beige gingham blazer. The duo will create a no-nonsense, well-collected look set for various occasions.

How to Style High-Rise Shorts

High-waisted shorts are naturally suitable for apple body and hourglass body types. They play well with the curves and flatter your shape, especially those with an apple-shaped bottom. Of course, these high-rise beauties help accentuate and glam up your waist.

When styling high-waisted shorts, you won’t go wrong with a simple top like a button-down shirt or a good ‘ol plain white blouse. These neutral classics play second fiddle so that your statement-making high-rise shorts enjoy all the spotlight. 

For a more casual vibe and a cuter look, tuck your favorite graphic t-shirt into your shorts. All in all, quintessential color coordination, like white with black, is a no-brainer way to get the most out of your flattering silhouette with high-waisted shorts.

How to Style Chino Shorts

Like cargo shorts, chino shorts give off that chic menswear-inspired vibe. They sport beautifully tailored hemlines that make a staple for any spring and summer wardrobe. Chino shorts flatter pretty much any body type.

However, these summer staples work best for tall women or anyone with longer legs. That’s probably why chino shorts are often associated with off-duty basketball and volleyball looks.

Chino shorts shine brightest when paired with button-down tops and polo shirts, giving your overall outfit a subtle preppy twist. The reason for this is that most chino bottoms are available in neutral hues like camel, tobacco, tan, beige, and even gray.

As well as playing off their neutral colors, introduce a pair of embellished sandals or low-heeled shoes for a surprise twist that prevents you from looking like a private school student. If you are feeling a little adventurous, you can add a playful touch to your chino shorts with a striped black-and-white tank top, then put on your favorite denim jacket with sleeves rolled down.

A brightly-colored coat or blazer will also look superb when teamed with chino shorts in a laid-back outfit. If you want to scale back the dressiness of this outfit, consider wearing white leather low-top sneakers.

How to Wear Baggy Shorts

Paper-bag or baggy shorts offer the classic loose fit that works best for pear body types and women who need more waist definition or coverage around the area. If you wish to balance a wide shoulder due to your inverted triangle shape, you can’t do better than a high-quality pair of paper-bag shorts.

Baggy shorts barely offer any lift, so that’s something to keep in mind when shopping and styling them. On the other hand, paper-bag shorts are a more formal cousin of tie-waist shorts, as they rise higher on the waist and are a little more tailored than the latter.

When it comes to styling baggy shorts, a fitted crop top or a soft t-shirt may be all you require to keep them casual and cozy. If you want to add a layer to fend off the nighttime chill, consider wearing an oversized cardigan, coat, or blazer over the tee. Either way, styling your paper-bag shorts in a monochromatic color palette will transform your outfit into a lean and long look.

How to Wear Tie Waist Shorts

Most tie-waist shorts use drawstrings to make altering the fit more effortless and hassle-free. They are, therefore, a bit roomier, which makes them ideal for athletic body types or someone who wants to show off their powerful legs and toned skin. These adjustable bottoms boast a well-defined waistline, making them excellent for apple and hourglass body types.

Tie-waist shorts are often very comfortable and cozy since they are made from skin-friendly buttery-soft materials like linen and poplin. For this reason, you can dress them up by tucking in a beautiful short-sleeve blouse featuring an oversized collar. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a crop top if you are gunning for a casual outfit. Tops with high necks and cropped designs are typically flattering and befitting with tie-waist shorts. However, if business casual or smart casual is your desired look, you can wear your tie-waist shorts with a black or white slim-fit button-up shirt with cuffs.

Overall, you can wear tie-waist shorts with sneakers for a refreshing and youthful look; ballet flats for utmost elegance; knee-high flat gladiator sandals for super-chicness; or suede heels for a minimalist look.

How to Style and Wear Bermudas (Long Shorts)

Long shorts can help create a heightening effect for people with pear body types. At the same time, their low hemline can come in quite handy in balancing one’s upper half. However, women often have mixed feelings about these long beauties, with most of them assuming that they aren’t sexy or feminine enough.

Tailored minimalism is perhaps the most effortless way to style long shorts. Keep things simple by selecting partner items with a neutral color palette or clean lines. A simple tank top or graphic tee and a woven leather belt are all you need to finish your ensemble.

The good news is that Bermuda shorts are cross-seasonal, so that you can layer them up with chunky knitwear, a blazer, or a faux fur coat. Slide sandals should be your go-to footwear for warm-weather, but swap them for knee-high boots come fall.

Whip up a luxurious look by pairing a cashmere sweater with a pair of posh oversized leather Bermudas. Platform shoes can add a feminine touch to longer Bermuda shorts, but don’t go overboard with the height. A pair of well-made kitten heels will strike the perfect, stylish balance.

How to Style Linen Shorts

Linen is famous for being breathable, airy, and lightweight, the perfect fabric for hot weather. However, the fabric tends to wrinkle, giving it a classic casual look. The flowy material and relaxed silhouettes of linen shorts should contour apple body types snugly.

Linen shorts are ultra-versatile, and you can create an unlimited number of outfits with them. Mixing and matching textures and prints can help create the most incredible looks.

You can choose a simple neutral-colored tank to go with khaki linen shorts. A pair of black slides, a bandana, and a black leather crossbody handbag are great for finishing this ensemble. A lightweight sweater is another good choice, as is a boho lace top for some extra contrast. 

A typical combo consists of black linen shorts and a white button-down shirt. Complete your outfit with brown sandals, a brown leather tote bag, and a silver necklace. Work in a black and white striped top and espadrilles to spice things up.

Consider wearing your shorts with a linen blazer in a similar hue for a clean ensemble ready for the office or formal circumstances.

How to Style Bike Shorts

Bike shorts are comfortable, trendy, and flatter virtually any body type. That’s why they are great for everyone. Typically made of athleisure fabrics, bike shorts hug, contour, and smooth thighs, hips, and legs.

If you are looking for the perfect match for sweatshirts and graphic t-shirts, look no further than bike shorts. These pieces are great for creating a casual loungewear vibe. But don’t worry if your occasion calls for something more formal; you can dress up your bike shorts with a structured blazer or coat.

Moreover, boxy crossbody leather handbags and layered gold necklaces help make these comfy shorts appear more expensive, sophisticated, and stylish. You have probably seen your favorite celebs rock this style on the cheap.

How to Style and Wear Rompers

Rompers make getting dressed easy and fuss-free, thanks to their all-in-one design. More than that, their flattering silhouettes help contour a wide range of body types and shapes.

If you are looking for a stylish pair of summer-friendly shorts and easy to style, you should set your eyes on rompers in your favorite color, hue, or print. For a formal look, go for a long-sleeved patterned romper. Introduce a statement-making necklace into the mix, and you’re set for the occasion.

For a cuter and more casual look, choose a pair of rompers in solid colors like white, black, or blue. Add a pair of your favorite low-top sneakers to keep things fresh and youthful. An oversized cardigan or a long-line jacket is an excellent choice and provides more coverage for your legs.


If you’re a big fan of shorts, this summer’s fashions are for you. Don’t be afraid to try out the latest trends and styles. You can play around with colors, patterns, cuts, and rises, no matter what type of short you prefer, Bermudas, short-shorts, rompers, chinos, denim, or linen shorts.

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