If the arrival of summer shorts season makes you less than excited, you’re not alone. We often dread that time when we’re forced to pack away our winter denim and re-introduce our legs to the sun. It’s easy to feel overexposed, uncomfortable and constrained in a pair of shorts, but we’re here to help. Whether you’re headed out for a casual afternoon of errands or dressing for a summer night out on the town, we’ve created an easy-to-follow guide to summer shorts along with all you need to complete the looks.

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Summer Shorts


For casual outings like running errands, grabbing lunch with friends, taking the kids on an adventure at the science center or zoo, or window shopping with the gals, a pair of light and comfy shorts are the perfect go-to. We’ve found two ideal options. (SB TIP: When accessorizing these outfits, we suggest keeping it simple. Grab your favorite small hoops or studs, a simple watch or bangle, sunnies and a crossbody bag.)

The first activity-friendly look is pretty and polished with a short sleeve blouse ($65) that can be worn any time of year, a pair of black pull-on shorts ($39.50) in a length that keeps us from feeling overexposed and some on-trend espadrille sandals ($79.95) that are equally stylish and practical. The second features a fun zodiac tee shirt ($59.50) paired with ultra-lightweight linen shorts ($49) in a flattering olive green shade, all finished with a pair of cute and versatile colorful sandals ($69.50).

summer shorts

Here are two casual looks featuring comfortable, lightweight shorts. The white blouse is $65, the pull-on black shorts are $39.50, and the black espadrille sandals are $79.95. The zodiac tee is $59.50, the olive green linen shorts are $49, and the colorful slide-on sandals are $69.50. Images: Nordstrom/Madewell

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A good pair of denim shorts is a must during spring and summer, but it seems that many styles are either too short, too tight or too uncomfortable. Luckily, we’ve found two options — a Bermuda length in a dark wash, and a mid-length in a lighter wash — that can fit into many versatile looks. For accessories, consider stepping up from your casual looks with some statement earrings, stacked arm candy and a dainty necklace.

Our first denim shorts outfit pairs a light, fashionable striped blouse ($59) with some dark-wash Bermuda-length (yes, this is back in style!) shorts ($79) and a pair of simple, stylish sandals ($68.95). Our second denim shorts outfit features a flirty ruffled top ($69) paired with mid-length shorts ($59) and a pair of slightly wedged asymmetrical mules ($159). These shoes are available in multiple shades and are a fantastic easy-to-wear summer staple!

summer shorts

Here are two ways to rock denim shorts this season. This striped blouse is $59, the Bermuda-length shorts are $79, and the tan sandals are $68.95. This ruffled top is $69, the mid-length shorts are $59, and these asymmetrical mules are $159. Images: Nordstrom


A dress, skirt or white denim are top choices when heading out for a summer night on the town, but why not add in a nice pair of shorts to the rotation? It can be difficult to picture shorts as a dressier style, but you just have to find the right pair, add in some nighttime-appropriate accessories and voila! When shopping for dressy shorts, go for a high-waisted pair with a belt or tie detail and structured feel to ensure they’ll look just as upscale as your winter trousers. For accessories, we suggest drop earrings with some sparkle, a few rings and your favorite necklace.

Here are two looks for a summer night out. The first ensemble is a bit edgier with a pleated black tank ($89) that will keep you cool without showing too much skin, a pair of fun, vibrant orange shorts ($55, this is a hot color this season, but this pair is also available in black) and some strappy black heels ($99.95). The second look is a more timeless, conservative choice with a quarter-length sleeve blouse ($74), navy shorts ($69.50) with a feminine tie, and on-trend wedge block heels ($99.95). Both shoes are great day-to-night additions to your footwear collection.

summer shorts

Here are two ways we’re styling shorts for a warm-weather night out this season. This black tank is $89, the orange shorts are $55, and these strappy heels are $99.95. This white blouse is $74, the navy shorts are $69.50, and the wedge heels are $99.95. Images: Nordstrom

Enjoy the upcoming sunny days — in shorts!


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