The summer short trends to know

The best summer shorts to buy now and wear all summer long

Posted by for Fashion

All products on this page have been selected by the editorial team, however Stylist may make commission on some products purchased through affiliate links in this article

It’s summer, which means one thing: get those legs out of hibernation. 

You’d be forgiven for equating the summer months with just dresses and, well, dresses alone. But the warmer weather also makes way for breezy summer trousers and their vertiginous counterparts, shorts.

For anybody who has some painful memories attached to the wearing of shorts (see: chafing), it’s with good news that we deliver the fact that shorts of all different shapes and sizes are big news for summer. After all, having spent much of the last year swaddled in sweats, our legs are crying out to make their summer debut.

Over the past few weeks, fashion platform Lyst, which analyses the behaviour of online shoppers to track consumer demand, noted a spike of searches for shorts of 36%. “Short hems are amongst this season’s fastest rising trends,” the platform noted in correlation with its findings.

If you’re unsure where to start in the short sphere, fear not. Look at this as your definitive guide to short-wearing. 

Denim shorts

Denim shorts, a summer stalwart, don’t have to be teeny-weeny Daisy Dukes. In fact, longer styles have enjoyed a comeback in recent years, lengths which sit nicely above the knee in a nod to the 90s love-in with cut-off denim shorts. The best thing about denim is that it goes with everything; there’s not a pattern, gingham, nautical or otherwise, that doesn’t go hand-in-hand with it. Whether you opt for true blue, inky black or creamy ecru, denim shorts are a summer staple you’ll never regret.

  • Levi's 501 original shorts

    Levi's 501 original shorts
    Levi's 501 original shorts

    A denim OG, buying a pair of Levi’s, whether it be jeans or indeed shorts, is never a bad idea. Their enduring appeal stands the test of time, and this true blue pair of denim cut-offs is proof.

    Shop Levi’s 501 original shorts, £25

Linen shorts

As synonymous with summer as a Solero on a balmy day, linen is a foolproof fabric option for summer, and it needn’t just be confined to shirts and trousers. In fact, linen shorts ought to be everybody’s go-to for when the weather is just that little bit too hot for anything else and all we want to do is cool down and look good while doing it. In that case, wearing linen shorts may well be the next best thing to being naked.

  • Jigsaw linen shorts

    Jigsaw linen shorts
    Jigsaw linen shorts

    Thought linens were only ever crafted in bland beiges? Think again. This pair of Jigsaw linen shorts are perfect for city-dwellers and country folk alike and will make the perfect accoutrement to a fitted T-shirt and some smart sandals.

    Shop Jigsaw linen shorts, £60

Tailored shorts

Whoever said that shorts weren’t for the workplace clearly had never been introduced to tailored shorts, which are, quite frankly, perfect for a return to the office. Not that the internet isn’t already aware of the virtues of tailored shorts; according to Lyst, searches for them have increased by 17% in the last year. Wear with a crisp fitted blouse or T-shirt and wedged espadrilles for optimal appeal.

Sweat shorts

If you’ve built up a codependent relationship with elasticated waistbands over the past year, then you’ll be thrilled to learn that sweat shorts have been elevated just in time for our reemergence into the world. No longer just the preserve of gym bunnies the world over, sweat shorts are now being endorsed by the fashion crowd, who wear theirs with classic white T-shirts and cotton poplin shirts. You’ll never have to sacrifice style for comfort again.

  • Cos sweat shorts

    Cos sweat shorts
    Cos sweat shorts

    Have you ever seen such a chic pair of sweat shorts? Nor have we. Clash with a crisp colourful T-shirt and a pair of chunky sandals and some beaded bling to really nail the trend.

    Shop Cos sweat shorts, £35

Silk shorts

No longer just used to craft billowing and floaty dresses, silk has been reimagined this summer for shorts. Indeed, silk shorts are as fashion-forward as their dress counterparts and are surprisingly simple to style. Simply pair with your favourite top, whether it’s a T-shirt, a blouse or a fitted peplum top, and a pair of chunky sandals, and off you go. 

A-line shorts

For those among us who favour short and flirty lengths, the renaissance of A-line shorts this summer ought to whet your appetite. They’re at their best when paired with a fitted top of some sort and some elevated shoes, to balance their fitted silhouette, but truly, the beauty of shorts really lies in their versatility, so you do you.

  • River Island white structured shorts

    River Island white structured shorts
    River Island white structured shorts

    A crisp pair of white shorts will never do you wrong and this fitted pair is proof. Keep it summer-friendly in neutrals for the ultimate warm weather look.

    Shop River Island white structured shorts, £36

Cotton poplin shorts 

Comfort has infiltrated yet another form of shorts, this time it’s the humble boxer, which has seen its status elevated. The way the fashion set are wearing them is by pairing them with a matching cotton poplin shirt in the same colour as a nod to the ‘I woke up like this…’ trend.

  • Djerf Avenue Breezy shorts

    Djerf Avenue Breezy shorts
    Djerf Avenue Breezy shorts

    It says it in the name: these shorts, and their matching shirt counterpart, are easy-breezy and possibly the most straightforward piece you could usher into your wardrobe.

    Shop Djerf Avenue Breezy shorts, £79

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: courtesy of brands.

Share this article