8 Grown-Up Pairs of Shorts That Keep You Cool and Covered

It’s times like these—90 degrees and humid—that remind us how we feel about wearing shorts: conflicted. (Um, when did they get so short?) These eight picks are reasonably modest—even for the office—but still totally chic.

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paper bag waist nordstrom

Paper-bag Waist

Highlight your middle while also maintaining ample coverage with shorts that have some sort of detail at the waist, like a paper-bag tie. Stick with a loose silhouette that moves, and tuck in your top to maximize the waist-flaunting powers. 

sequin bermudas express3

Sequined Bermudas

What’s not to love about sparkly, athletic-inspired shorts in the silhouette du jour? We’ll take a pair for every day of the week.

detailed hems loft

Detailed Hems

Scalloped, ruffled, embroidered…fancy-hemmed shorts are the new slip dress: They’re equal parts unexpected and elegant, and they’re totally appropriate for a weekend brunch or happy-hour drinks.

Loft ($60)

high waisted swing shorts eloquii

High-waisted Swing Shorts

Smooth and waist-cinching up top, flowy and flirty below, in an eye-catching tropical-punch hue. This is summer dressing at its finest.

linen bloomingdales


The structured fit makes these look polished (and so cute when paired with a striped tee).

mid length denim cutoffs anthropologie

Mid-length Denim Cutoffs

OK, we’re not saying you can wear denim cutoffs to work, but this is a fun off-duty option that won’t make you feel like a teenager. Look for a pair that reaches at least halfway down your thighs and top it off with a loose-fitting blouse.

skort bloomingdales


This ’90s hybrid is back (and more stylish this time, we swear). We’re loving this one’s tweedy texture and asymmetrical wrap shape.

animal print macys

Animal Print

Leopard is the new neutral, if you haven’t heard. Mix things up from the midi skirts everyone else is wearing and opt for a slouchy, not-too-short pair. (Matching blazer optional but encouraged.)

clarissa buch

Miami Editor

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor based in Miami. Focused on food, lifestyle, and travel, her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Bon Appétit, and...