How to Style Denim Shorts (and not look basic)

Looking for easy-to-follow tips on how to style denim shorts the right way? You’re in the right place. Who likes short shorts? Actually, not everyone… And I totally get it. If you don’t look like Jessica Simpson circa 2005, denim cut offs can feel a little daunting, risqué even. We’ve all seen the girls on the high street with their butt cheeks hanging out the bottom of a pair of shorts – have they no shame?! That being said, I don’t know where you are but it’s starting to get hot as hell in England and shorts definitely feel like the perfect staple piece for the summer so here’s how to get it right:



how to style denim shorts outfitPicking the Right Pair…
I’m personally a big fan ofboyfriend shorts likethose I’m wearing here because they’re loose fit and incredibly comfortable – more room for ice cream! I do love the look of high waisted cut-offs though – trés sexy. Just make sure that whatever you pick, you can move in them. Summer always finds us in the most acrobatic of situations – legs crossed on the grass in a friend’s garden, side squatting onto outdoor bench tables, running to get the last loungers on the beach. When trying on your shorts, bust out all your best moves so you know that you have the full range of motion – there’s nothing worse than being cut in half by shallow shorts or worse, realising you only have room to eat one halloumi burger at your next BBQ. God fordbid.

If you’re going for loose fit shorts, consider a belt too. There are few things less classy than stooping to scoop up your sunnies that have dropped and realising (or not realising as is so often the case) that you have a builder’s bum. With jeans we can so often get away without a belt because the fitted thigh means they don’t have room to slid down. With loose shorts this isn’t the case. A belt will not only keep you safe from any flashing mishaps but it’s an added accessory that will make your outfit look more thought-out and thus more polished.

jade mercedes fraser showing how to style denim shorts

Remember the Offset Rule
Much like football, great styling is all about showing skill and making good decisions whilst still following a set of established rules. Rule number one when it comes to how to style denim shorts, or anything skimpy for that matter, is to offset it with something more covered. The general rule is go for showing legs or boob, never both. So when I wear short shorts I usually opt for a loose shirt, v-neck cotton t-shirt or a pretty bardot top. You can certainly still have sex appeal with a cold shoulder or a touch of cleavage, just don’t go giving the whole game away.

Part two of the offset rule is to mix and match textures and styles for an ‘I just threw this on and it works’ look that doesn’t suggest that you read up on how to style denim shorts before you planned your outfit. It also stops you from looking like every other person who paired their shorts with a pretty little cami top. Instead, mix casual and smarter pieces that have a running them tying them together. It might be the colour tone or perhaps some matching metallic accents. In my case it was the blue colour. When it gets chilly out, I love to layer mine with a blazer to smarten things up. Not only is it unexpected, it’s great for going from beach to bar in the evening when you want to look more dressy than you did in the day.

public desire affordable black court shoes

High Heels Work Wonders
For me, the finishing touch of how to style denim shorts is always a pair of heels, preferably court shoes if the situation permits. The pointy toe elongates your leg, giving you a few extra inches of glory and the foot position of heels naturally makes your calves tense so you appear more muscular and defined. Not just that but I feel like heels instantly make me feel more confident. I don’t know if it’s being taller, knowing my legs look more toned, feeling more stylish overall or something else but I always feel much more fabulous with a pair of heels on.

Just No Flip Flops
Please. I just wrote such a huge chunk about my hatred of flip flops that I’ve realised I need to make a separate post about this to really make my case. For now, I will just point out that their casual style and general lack of structure makes any outfit instantly look more… sloppy. Therefore, if you’re just not feeling heels but want to keep it classy, a pretty pair of sandals is a much better way to go to keep your denim shorts look stylish and chic.

how to style denim shorts in a non basic wayjade mercedes fraser of rich little poor girlI hope that this have given you some fresh ideas on how to style your denim shorts in a non-basic way. Next time you go to reach for your faithful flip flops and cami top combo remember these rules!

Did you catch my last post? 5 Golden Rules of the Bottomless Brunch