Sure, slip dresses and rompers are as effortless as it gets when it comes to summer style essentials, but what warm-weather wardrobe would be complete without a few stellar shorts options? They’re the perfect partner to this season’s hottest silhouettes, including off-the-shoulder shirts and classic tees. Be it a night out on the town or a lazy afternoon spent hangin’ in the hammock, a good ol’ pair of shorts has you covered. And that’s exactly why at least one pair should find its way to the top of your must-pack list when prepping for your summer vacay. We’ve hunted down 31 Insta-worthy options that will take you through the rest of the summer in style, whether you have an exotic escape or a staycation in the works.
For a Poolside Staycation or Beach Day
1. Basta Surf Resort Wear Baja Short ($198): Surf’s up! Maybe kimonos and classic coverups just aren’t your style, and that’s totally cool. These playful tassel shorts make the perfect partner to any bright bikini or sassy one-piece. Just add lazy girl-approved pool slides and oversized shades, then proceed to hit the beach in style.
2. Ella Moss Luanda Tie Front Shorts ($148): Whether you’re barbecuing on the beach or seeing the sights in a small seaside town, these are the eye-catching shorts you’ll want to take along for the ride. Play it cool with a basic tank and strappy black sandals, or flirt it up for after-hours fun with an off-the-shoulder top and embellished block heels.
3. Topshop Tall Cactus Shorts ($60): Have a quirky cactus print, will pull it out for any and every occasion. Boardwalk strolls and clam bakes instantly become a chance to show off your style prowess when you whip out this prickly pair alongside a streamlined bodysuit, flatform sandals and statement ear jackets.
4. J.Crew Cotton Short in Retro Floral ($60): Feeling a bit of denim fatigue? Snap up these fabulous flowery shorts instead for an instant wardrobe refresh. Team ‘em with classic Breton stripes and boat shoes for a casual cocktail cruise along the bay, or pair with a silk cami, cherry red lipstick and glitzy drop earrings for dinner under the stars.
5. & Other Stories Coral Embroidery Shorts ($85): Cue the vacay vibes: These cool coral shorts were made to kick back and relax by the seaside. By day, they make the perfect companion to bell-sleeved tees and messy topknots for leisurely lunch dates or boutique hopping. After-hours, they become the key to a next-level night-out ensemble, especially when paired with a metallic tank and minimalist geometric baubles.
6. Finds Printed Stretch-Crepe Shorts ($216): A stint in paradise may not be in the cards this summer, but these rad tropical shorts are a vacay in and of themselves. Slip ‘em on with a bright red tank and wide-brim hit for a backyard hang sesh with a light-hearted feel.
7. Free People Lolita on the Beach Set ($168): Aloha! Turn up the heat on your off-duty style with tropical shorts that call to mind swaying palm trees and crystal blue waters. Toss ‘em over a flirty swimsuit on your way to the beach, or team them with a strappy tank, Birks and modern gold earrings for a casual coffee date with your crew.
8. Baum und Pferdgarten Nedia Pajama Shorts in Stripe ($177): These fuss-free board shorts are the next best thing to rockin’ your PJs in public. Play up those carefree vibes with a lightweight boyfriend button-down and metallic slides. Round out the look with a sleek silver bracelet and a structured crossbody bag.
9. Missguided Palm Print Short ($24): No warm-weather wardrobe is complete without a palm print piece or two. Usher in casual summer days by adding these lush belted shorts to your getaway must-pack list.
For a Festival
10. Mango Embroidered Cotton Shorts ($60): You might not be one for fringe, but a stint at the main stage calls for a getup with undeniable free-wheelin’ flair. These embroidered bottoms easily achieve festival babe status, but won’t cramp your style, especially when paired with a silk tank and metallic choker.
11. Madewell Adirondack Short Overalls in Washed Black ($118): Leave home without your trusty shortalls in tow? You wouldn’t dream of it! Stand out in a sea of flowy boho frocks by popping on this laid-back pair with a cropped mock neck tank and flatform kicks with undeniable ‘tude.
12. Noisy May Tall Retro Floral Print Shorts ($26): English garden style blooms aren’t the only way to rock florals this season. Add these mosaic-inspired shorts to your festival lineup to instantly inject any free-spirited getup with bright color and serious panache. Balance out the look-at-me design with toned-down separates like a black denim jacket and fresh white kicks, or take it there with a high-octane halter and fiery red clogs.
13. Missguided Faux Suede Fringe Panel Shorts ($36): Can a wardrobe sans suede even be considered festival ready? Feast your eyes on the fringe-flecked shorts that will have you feeling like a rockstar while you sway to the beat. Crochet tops and round mirrored sunnies are highly encouraged.
For a Big-City Break
14. Mother Denim Vagabond Cuffed Shorts ($248): These rad denim shorts put a whole new spin on this season’s graffiti trend. Perfect for a gig or pounding the pavement, their sassy patches and vibrant paint splatters serve up a serious dose of tough-girl edge.
15. C/meo Collective Charged Up Short ($160): Rooftop soirees and cocktail cruises are calling your name, but everyday denim shorts just aren’t going to cut it. Step up your style game with streamlined geometric bottoms that were made for socializing under the stars. Style with sculptural sandals and bombshell waves for a look that reads big-city chic.
16. Mango Cotton Striped Shorts ($60): Save the Breton stripes for the beach. A much-anticipated urban adventure isn’t the time to let your style sensibilities down. Try a little pattern play for maximum impact during an afternoon of sightseeing or gallery hopping by teaming these bold striped stunners with a flowery top or boxy graphic tee.
17. J Brand Mila Leather Shorts ($195): Slay, girl, slay. These sophisticated leather shorts aren’t messing around. Whether you’re breaking it down on the dance floor or lying low on the terrace, you’re guaranteed to turn a few heads when you slip out in these bad boys.
18. A.L.C. Lucile Shorts ($365): With their oversized grommet detailing, belted waist and patch pockets, these runway-inspired shorts feel like a work of art. Bust ‘em out for a first Friday art walk or a slam poetry sesh with a cold-shoulder blouse, pointed-toe slides and asymmetric earrings for an effortless ensemble that straight-up stuns.
19. Leith Stripe High Waist Shorts ($52): NYC, here we come! Between museum adventures and scouting out celebs, you could use a pair of shorts this show-stopping on standby. Teamed with bright mules and a handful of dainty stacking rings, these black-and-white striped bottoms are a force to be reckoned with.
For an Active Getaway
20. BDG Dolphin Gym Short ($39): The summer fun starts now! These red hot gym shorts were practically made with waterfront shenanigans (like showing off those serious spiking skills) in mind. Gear up for an active beach day by teaming them with metallic Tevas and a one-piece for a getup that can kick it both on and off the sand.
21. Topshop Foiled Running Short ($38): When you’re not catching waves and channeling your inner surfer babe, slip into a pair of sleek metallic runner shorts that read cool girl in training. Put the chic in sporty chic by styling them alongside a sheer tank and crossover flatform slingbacks for a much-needed after-hours chill sesh.
22. Hurley Dri-Fit Printed 5-Pocket Beachrider ($55): Don’t let their funky floral print fool you — these lightweight shorts are made to move. Take them along to a bootcamp on the beach or toss ‘em on for an afternoon of sea kayaking and soaking up the sun — either way, you can’t go wrong.
23. Ivy Park Logo Running Shorts ($26): Show-stopping swimsuit: check. Strappy sports bra with after-hours potential: double check. The only thing missing from your fab fit getaway? Laid-back separates that you’ll definitely want to cozy up in after a long day of running, hiking and SUP yoga. These soft jersey shorts will certainly do the trick. And if they’re good enough for Bey…
For a Glamping Adventure
24. Mango Printed Shorts ($50): Perfect for an overnight under the stars (next to the sea, no less), these feminine floral shorts are downright dreamy. Midweek, pair them with a simple silk tank, gilded slide sandals and layered pendants for a standout look, then give them an into-the-woods edge come the weekend with a cotton tee, an oversized denim jacket and lace-up ankle boots.
25. One Teaspoon Superfreak Lace Up Cutoff ($108): When all else fails, a good ol’ pair of denim shorts will always do you right. Case in point: This lace-up pair that will take you from leisurely walks through the woods to roasting marshmallows by the fire. A leather wrap necklace and a flowery kimono may or may not be in order.
26. The Great Rope-Detailed Denim Shorts ($235): Put the glam in glamping with next-level denim shorts that will put your tried-and-true cutoffs to shame. The streamlined cut and rope detailing lend these bottoms a subtle preppy-meets-boho vibe that would look ah-mazing with a crocheted tank and classic bandana.
27. English Factory Check Shorts ($64): When you think outdoorsy, gingham probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind — but maybe it should be. Go off the grid with these retro-inspired shorts that bring to mind simpler (pre-Snapchat) times. Team them with Stan Smiths and a cold-shoulder blouse.
For a European Escape
28. Finders Keepers The Way Short ($140): Keeping it simple is easy when you have a pair of swoon-inducing shorts like these on standby. Dressed up or down, they’ll turn heads night or day, whether you rock ‘em with block heels and a sophisticated silk top or babouche slides and a cotton tank.
29. Giambattista Valli Striped Jacquard Shorts ($340): Sipping limoncello by the sea on the agenda? Take these sunny yellow shorts along for the ride. Paired with a ruffle-trimmed top and a floppy straw hat, they exude mid-century glamour (with a modern twist, of course). Cat-eye sunnies and a bright red pout are non-negotiable.
30. Endless Rose Eyelet Shorts ($85): Fact: These flirty eyelet shorts make everything, from frolicking in the lavender fields of Provence to exploring cobblestone streets, that much better. To really make them stand out, just add a bright crossbody bag and graphic off-the-shoulder top.
31. Mimi Chica Stripe Tie Waist Shorts ($38): Oh, these old things? Striped shorts that look equally as on-point with espadrilles and t-shirts as boyfriend button-downs and block heels are good in our book. The belted detailing adds a little extra panache, so you can pare down on the accessories front — which is key if you’re saving some of that precious suitcase space for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
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