Chic summer shorts: 9 of the best styles that will make you say goodbye to denim cut-offs forever

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Shorts are a summer style essential, and this season they’ve had a chic makeover. Goodbye denim cut-offs, these are the only styles we want to wear.

When thinking of summer shorts it’s easy to jump straight to short shorts; those denim cut-offs made de rigeur by celebrities at Coachella and Glastonbury, think Kate Moss circa 2005 strutting through the festival fields. It’s an aesthetic we all know and love, but the bleached denim and Hunter wellies look is one that we’re ready to put to bed. There’s no denying that shorts are still the summer style essential, but we’re craving something a little more chic. 

We’re looking for shorts that look and feel every bit as laidback as denim, but are sophisticated enough to wear in the city as well as at the beach. We want a cut that celebrates our body too, with a longer length, looser cut and just the right amount of structure. We’ve asked and this summer, fashion has listened, blessing us with a generation of tailored shorts. 

For summer 2020 denim has taken a back seat and this season designers are experimenting with new, luxe fabrics. From tweed at Chanel to colourful linen and statement prints at Versace, the most-wanted shorts this season are bold styles that stand out from the crowd. Best of all, unlike their denim counterparts, these tailored styles are versatile enough to wear for every occasion. With the addition of an oversized blazer, these pairs will take you straight to an informal meeting or evening event, but are still laidback enough to wear with a crochet swimming costume and rattan bag at the beach. 

Still not ready to say goodbye to denim? Milanese label MSGM has revisited the classic summer fabric and reimagining it as a sophisticated long line short.

Whether you’re looking for stand-out colourful style or the classic chambray pair that exudes French Riviera chic, we’ve found the best shorts to buy now and wear all summer long. 

  • Topshop

    Tailored shorts don’t need to feel stuffy, especially when worn in a statement shade of fuchsia. Wear with a relaxed white t-shirt or take your shorts into evening with the addition of square-toed heels and a coordinating blazer, also available at Topshop.  

    Shop Topshop pink shorts, £39

  • Zara

    If you’ve been under the impression that summer shorts = denim, then it’s time to experiment to break out of your style rut. These green tweed shorts feel just as playful as denim, but are chic enough to wear in the city as well as at the beach. 

    Shop Zara tweed bermuda shorts, £25.99

  • MSGM

    Still loyal to denim, but looking for a grown up alternative to cut-offs? With a belted waist and oversized fit leg, this high-waisted style is endlessly chic. Add a crisp white shirt, gold jewellery and leather sandals for a look that captures the louche spirit of the French Riviera in the 50s. 

    Shop MSGM high-rise belted denim shorts at Matches Fashion, £235

  • Weekday

    Longline shorts are the perfect city style. Lightly tailored for a draped fit, this pair doesn’t feel too fussy to wear with a racerback top or a crochet swimsuit for a beach look that you can wear straight to dinner too. 

    Shop Weekday Lyon shorts, £30 

Images: courtesy of brands

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