Putting together jean shorts outfits that feel both stylish and grown-up is no easy feat. All too often we feel like we end up leaning too far in one direction, either towards Daisy Duke’s sexy cowgirl aesthetic or SNL’s mom jeans vibe. But it is definitely possible to make this summer wardrobe staple feel chic. Here, 12 jean shorts outfits to copy ASAP before the summer comes to an end.
12 Jean Shorts Outfits That Are Actually Super Chic
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
1. start With A Loose Tee And Minimalist Sneakers
Why mess with a classic? The key to making this combination look as chic as possible is to choose a T-shirt with a fit that’s loose but not so oversized that it overwhelms your frame or drops below the hem of your shorts. Finish the look with sleek sneakers or sandals (save the platform soles or funky high-tops for another day) for a chic and easy ensemble.
2. go For Mismatched Denim Washes
Wearing multiple denim pieces at once can be somewhat tricky to pull off. But one foolproof method is to choose two completely different washes—i.e. bright white and medium blue or deep blue and sunwashed gray but not light blue and dark blue. Add a pop of color in there as well to further differentiate between your jacket and your shorts.
3. opt For A Silk Cami Over A Cotton Tank
For really hot days, swap your beloved cotton tank top for a dressier silk cami to give your shorts a more elevated feel. (Cotton or linen is great for casual wear, but if you’re dressing to impress, a luxe fabric—that’s just as breathable—is the way to go.) Add in some minimalist accessories, like simple strappy sandals and a single chain necklace to keep things light but chic.
4. tie-dye + Cut-offs Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Boho
Both raw-hem shorts and tie-dye prints are classic summer staples we love to wear. But if you want to look more Manhattan and less Woodstock, you absolutely can. Just stick with dark-wash denim that has minimal distressing (i.e., no holes, just a raw hem) and tie-dye pieces that aren’t your typical T-shirt. We’re talking silky button-downs, Polo shirts, puff-sleeve blouses or a simple fitted long-sleeve tee. Complete your look with a few bright pops of color by way of luxe-looking accessories.
5. wear Bermuda Shorts With Posh Staples
We’ve found Bermuda-length shorts (aka, those that hit right at the knee) look best when paired with dressier pieces, like crisp button-up shirts or silk blouses and sleek sandals or heels. In fact, wearing a heel, however small, can help make sure all that denim doesn’t make your legs look shorter, so be sure to break out the pointy-toe kitten heels or wedding guest sandals.
6. clean White Or Black Denim Works Best With Dressy Blouses
The best way to make denim shorts feel truly posh is to opt for non-distressed denim in either a bright white or deep black wash and pair it with a nice blouse and simple sandals. Denim will always feel pretty casual, but in a neutral hue it can look much more elevated and therefor go better with the fancier tops in your wardrobe.
7. use A Blazer As A Jacket
A lightweight linen or cotton blazer can be a great summer jacket alternative to heavier materials, like leather or more denim. (We think light neutral hues like beige or off-white work better than darker shades or vibrant patterns.) Also, be sure to choose a blazer with a looser fit and that hits somewhere between mid-hip and the hem of your shorts—any lower and it might look sloppy, and higher will likely throw your proportions totally out of whack.
Shop similar styles: American Eagle Stretch Mom Jean Shorts ($50; $45); Madewell Cotton Bandana ($15; $8); Susana Monaco Crop Top ($78); Madewell Breezewoven Larsen Blazer ($148; $100); Gorjana Lou Link Necklace ($125)
8. monochrome Ensembles Help Lengthen Your Torso
For those with petite frames or short torsos, tucking a white shirt into matching white jean shorts (or blue with blue, black with black, etc.) can help lengthen your proportions to make you appear taller.
9. don’t Sleep On Longer, Looser Silhouettes
A short, tight Daisy Duke-style silhouette may be a classic, but shorts featuring wider legs and longer hems are swiftly growing in popularity. Play around with different lengths that hit anywhere between mid-knee and mid-thigh to see what flatters your leg shape best. Then revel in the improved comfort by pairing them with an oversize Polo or Hawaiian shirt.
10. tuck A Silky Button-up Into Roll-hem Shorts
Think of this as a sort of upgrade on your favorite T-shirt-and-shorts combination. If you’re not one for a full tuck, you can always opt for a French tuck or even knotting the loose ends of your shirt at your waist.
11. don’t Shy Away From Brighter Hues
Colorful denim is having a moment again and we find it’s actually easier to pull off green, pink or orange shorts than it is full-length jeans. And our favorite way to wear them is with more bright hues for a supremely summery effect.
12. transition Your Shorts For Fall With A Cropped Jacket And Backless Loafers
The official start of fall doesn’t automatically mean fall weather, so don’t put those shorts into storage just yet. Instead, style them with some backless loafers or ballet flats and a cropped jacket that hips right at your waistband for an outfit that feels autumnal but won’t have you overheating.
Why You Should Trust Us
PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.