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Summertime brings sweltering sunny days, long magical nights and the return of (gulp) shorts. If figuring out how to wear shorts outside of the gym while still looking like a chic adult feels harder than the Sunday crossword, don’t fret—we’ve got you covered. Read on for our top six rules of wearing shorts so you can be prepped and ready for your most stylish summer yet.

RELATED: 18 Summer Outfits to Wear on Repeat from Now Through Labor Day

how to wear shorts in 2022
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1. Shorter Hems and Dark Washes Highlight Your Legs

Got awesome gams you want to show off? Got a wider middle you’d rather not draw attention to? Go for a short inseam in a dark color to draw the eye downward in a grown-up, polished way. We like a high-waist style, which nips you at the middle before widening at the hip to streamline your silhouette.

Shop similar styles: Everlane The Way-High Canvas Shorts ($60); J.Crew Linen-Cupro Shorts ($98); Eloquii Flared Shorts ($80); Reformation Arden Shorts ($128)

how to wear bermuda shorts in 2022
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2. Bermuda Shorts Should Hit (At Least) Two Inches Above the Knee

There’s a delicate art to Bermuda shorts and a very fine line between chic and frumpy. In order to nail this look (which happens to be a huge trend this summer) opt for a pair that hits at least two inches above the knee and is cinched at the waist, rather than sitting at your hips. This simple rule will save you from feeling swallowed alive if your legs are short, or like an awkward dad if you have long stems.

Shop similar styles: Madewell High-Rise Long Denim Shorts ($85; $75); L.L.Bean Bermuda Shorts ($49); Open Edit Linen Blend Shorts ($49); Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Denim Shorts ($58); H&M Bermuda Shorts ($25)

how to wear cutoff shorts in 2022
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3. Balance Sexy Shorts with Breezy Tops

If you’re rocking some Pamela Anderson-inspired, barely-there cut-offs or snug-fitting bike shorts, pair them with a loose, oversize top to add more dimension above your waistline. It’s all about creating a balanced look that won’t leave you feeling too exposed or drowning in a sea of fabric.

Shop similar styles: One Teaspoon Rollers Low Waist Denim Shorts ($108); American Eagle Outfitters ‘90s Boyfriend Shorts ($60; $42); Good American The Bombshell Shorts ($99); We The Free CRVY Vintage High-Rise Shorts ($78)

how to wear a shorts suit in 2022
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4. Sport Matching Blazers and Shorts 7 Days a Week

Just because your favorite summer set is office appropriate (at least for more creative, casual fields) doesn’t mean you can only wear it Monday through Friday. Swap your button-up blouse, loafers and work tote for a crop top, sporty sandals and vibrant mini bag and you’ve got yourself a weekend-ready look with a dose of posh.

Shop similar styles: Express One-Button Boyfriend Blazer ($148) and Tailored Pleated Shorts ($60); Eloquii Linen Stripe Blazer ($140) and Linen Stripe Shorts ($80); River Island Plus Blazer ($130) and Plus Shorts ($67); Banana Republic Linen Blazer ($230) and Linen Shorts ($100)

how to wear patterend shorts in 2022
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5. Say Yes to Matching (or Mismatching) Patterns

Contrary to popular belief, patterns and colors are your friends in the shorts department. The trick is tailoring said patterns and colors to your personal style and body type. If you’re looking for a slimming effect, opt for a pinstripe that will elongate you. If you’re on the short side, stay away from a light top and dark bottoms, which can cut your body in half. Instead, go for a patterned co-ord or a neutral all-over monochrome.

Shop similar styles: Solid & Striped Oxford Shirt ($178) and Charlie Shorts ($148); Madewell Gingham Check Shirt ($82) and Gingham Check Shorts ($55); Fashion Union Wallpaper Floral Shirt ($48) and Wallpaper Floral Shorts ($45); Faherty Malibu Boyfriend Shirt ($128) and Malibu Shorts ($98)

how to wear shorts in 2022 with boots
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6. Remember that Rules Are Made to Be Broken

Look, this is your life and you only get to do this once (as far as we know). If your legs are “too short” or “too big” or “too skinny” for a certain style, we say go ahead and buy them anyway and throw all the “shoulds” out the window. Worst case scenario? You throw on a blazer for instant sophistication.

Shop similar styles: J.Crew Mid-Length Denim Shorts ($80; $70); Abercrombie & Fitch Curve Love Dad Shorts ($65); Everlane A-Line Shorts ($68); Mango Mom-Fit Shorts ($40); Old Navy High-Waisted O.G. Shorts ($40)

RELATED: The 6 Rules of Wearing Sneakers in 2022

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