Best women's shorts for summer: Linen, denim and more

11 best shorts for summer, from lightweight linen to beloved bike styles

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Who wears short shorts? We wear short shorts! And long shorts, cycling shorts, linen shorts, poplin shorts and many more.

Shorts are quite the summer style staple, coming out year after year as soon as the weather starts to heat up. Whether you’re a die-hard denim fan or prefer the breeze of lightweight linen there are thousands of options to choose from no matter your style or budget.

Cycling shorts skyrocketed to fashion fame thanks to Princess Diana back in 1995, and have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years with the likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid rocking the style. And they’re certainly back again this summer, along with linen co-ords, boxer-style shorts and the oh-so-sophisticated suit shorts too. So there really is something for every occasion, whether dressed up with heels and a blazer, pared back with flip-flops and a vest or styled with a simple trainer and T-shirt for fuss-free style. 

This summer we’re seeing plenty of graphic prints, genderless cuts and the occasional colour block too. While we’ll never again make the mistake of wearing denim shorts and tights – how we cringe at our past fashion faux pas – it seems like anything goes when it comes to the leg-bearing bottoms this season.

No matter if you’ve had one beloved denim pair since your Ibiza raving days, whip out the holiday hotpants year-in year-out or prefer a much more modest wide-leg style, there’s no harm in taking a peek at what else is out there. Who knows, you may surprise yourself with a new style. And we’ve listed our favourites from H&M, Cos, Warehouse and more to get you started. Just please don’t add the nylon tights. 

  • Mango printed cotton-blend short

    Woman wearing shorts and shirt co-ord in red and white floral print
    Women's shorts for summer: Mango printed cotton-blend short

    These 100% cotton shorts are sure to keep you cool all summer long. Whether paired with the matching shirt or a simple white T-shirt, you’re sure to score effortless style points with the modern floral print. 

    Shop Mango printed cotton-blend short, £45.99

  • Cos oversized drawstring shorts

    woman wearing pink side leg shorts with white T-shirt and white shirt
    Women's shorts for summer: Cos oversized drawstring shorts

    Pretty in pink, these linen-cotton blend shorts are sure to be a go-to summer style staple. Loose-fitting, they’re perfect for any occasion from daytime errands to summer barbecues, and the near knee-length cut adds a more modest twist. 

    Shop Cos oversized drawstring shorts, £45

  • Asos Design Curve crop co-ord beach set in zebra print

    woman wearing zebra print short shorts and cropped matching shirt
    Women's shorts for summer: Asos Design Curve crop co-ord beach set in zebra print

    Certainly on the shorter side, these shorts are fun, fierce and a little bit flirty. Whether paired with the matching shirt or worn alone with a bikini top on holiday, they’re sure to add a bit of spice to your poolside look. 

    Shop Asos Design Curve crop co-ord beach set in zebra print, £20

  • H&M ribbed cycling shorts

    woman wearing long black cycling shorts with black sports bra
    Women's shorts for summer: H&M ribbed cycling shorts

    No matter if you’re actually cycling or wearing them purely for the look, cycling shorts are an effortless summer staple. Pair with an oversized sweatshirt for true Princess Diana style or with a sports bra as pictured for a real athletic look. 

    Shop H&M ribbed cycling shorts, £9.99

  • Dickies Victoria short

    Woman wearing yellow Dickies short with grey cropped T-shirt and trainers
    Women's shorts for summer: Dickies Victoria short

    Currently rising to fame for its trousers on TikTok, Dickies is one of the most sought-after brands of the summer. These loose-fitting cotton shorts bring a pop of summer in the banana-yellow colourway and will take you from hiking up mountains to having picnics in the park. 

    Shop Dickies Victoria short, £22.50

  • & Other Stories printed belted linen shorts

    woman wearing white shorts and crop top with blue floral print
    Women's shorts for summer: & Other Stories printed belted linen shorts

    Fabulously feminine, these floral shorts are more on the sophisticated side of the shorts style. Belted for a more formal look, the linen shorts would work perfectly for a garden party look or wedding guest outfit when paired with the matching top. 

    Shop & Other Stories printed belted linen shorts, £65

  • Warehouse stripe tie-waist shorts

    woman wearing long wide leg black and white striped shorts with black vest top
    Women's shorts for summer: Warehouse stripe tie-waist shorts

    Bringing all the drama with incredibly cool-girl vibes, these long wide-leg shorts are a real statement piece. Whether wearing to the office, a wedding or just day-to-day for head-turning style, you’re sure to be noticed in these for all the right reasons. 

    Shop Warehouse stripe tie-waist shorts, £24

  • Fanfare Agnese colour block swirl shorts in navy, white and lilac

    woman wearing navy, lilac and white colour block shorts and matching crop top
    Women's shorts for summer: Fanfare Agnese colour block swirl shorts in navy, white and lilac

    Circular fashion label Fanfare up-cycles old materials into new designs in a bid to help our forever mounting waste. Made in the UK from organic cotton, these colour block shorts add a fun twist to the classic boxer style. 

    Shop Fanfare Agnese colour block swirl shorts in navy, white and lilac, £89

  • River Island red gold trim shorts

    woman wearing read shorts and blazer with gold bikini top
    Women's shorts for summer: River Island red gold trim shorts

    The summer version of a tailored suit, these blazer/short combos are sure to see you through every warm-weather formal occasion, whether it be a wedding or just to the office. In a deep rust colour, these shiny shorts are incredibly sleek with a gold front detail to add a touch of glamour. 

    Shop River Island red gold trim shorts, £36

  • Next towelling lounge shorts

    woman wearing striped towelling shorts and T-shirt set
    Women's shorts for summer: Next towelling lounge shorts

    In a perhaps surprising style trend, towelling seems to be high on the list for holiday wardrobes and beach days, and it’s easy to see why. Soft on skin, all the while helping to soak up the pool water from your damp bikini, this easy-to-throw-on short and shirt set is rather adorable. 

    Shop Next towelling lounge shorts, £20

  • H&M linen-blend pull-on shorts

    woman wearing white and green palm print long shorts and white shirt
    Women's shorts for summer: H&M linen-blend pull-on shorts

    Another longer-length option, this pair of H&M shorts is more on the modest side and will certainly help with dreaded thigh chafe. Made from a more sustainable material – a linen and viscose mix – its palm print is making us want to get on a beach stat. 

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