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What to wear with shorts

a woman walking along the beach in chino shorts.

Every woman's wardrobe should contain a collection of different types of shorts. If you know how to wear them, these often understated staples of warm weather collections are ideal for a wide range of different occasions. More practical than skirts and dresses, and cooler than full-length trousers, the right pair of shorts can be worn for formal events, as well as casual occasions - it all comes down to what style you opt for, what you chose to pair them with, and how you style your look up using accessories.   

So, if you struggle to know what to wear with your shorts, sit back and let Chums help you out. From what type of shoes best complete your summery look to which tops go best with shorts, read on to find out everything you need to know to look and feel great in your favourite shorts.  

What goes with shorts?

No matter whether you’re looking for tips about how to wear shorts when you’re over 60 or just some basic styling pointers, the key to looking great and feeling as comfortable as possible in this clothing classic is knowing what to pair them with. Well, this all comes down to what type of shorts you’re dealing with. Below we take a look at some of the most popular styles of shorts exploring which types of tops and footwear go with each best.

What top to wear with shorts


-       Chino shorts 

Typically displaying a neutral colour, chino shorts are best paired with a classic polo shirt or a casual button-down blouse, which can help create a sophisticated yachtie look. Bold shades and tops featuring stripes or other multi-coloured patterns can also look great with chino shorts, providing a sharp and stylish contrast.   

-       Denim shorts 

Whether you’re sporting knee-length cut-offs or three-quarter length ‘jorts’, denim shorts are as versatile as they are timeless. Thankfully, this makes them a simple item to pair with. For a more casual look, simply throw on a t-shirt or cool vest top. Alternatively, if you are heading out with friends or family, why not combine your favourite denim shorts with a baggy button-down shirt, boho top or neutral-coloured blouse. When it comes to denim, you can’t really go wrong!     

-       Linen or cotton shorts 

Ideal for when temperatures really start to rise, linen or cotton shorts are not only great at keeping you nice and cool, they are also highly versatile. The key to styling any type of cotton or linen item is remembering to mix textures when it comes to accompanying items. For example, pair your favorite linen shorts with a lace top or, if the weather permits, a lightweight cable sweater. For formal events, finishing your outfit off with a matching linen blazer can also look great.   

-       High-waisted shorts 

When it comes to high-waisted shorts, your entire outfit should be focused around this statement-making item. With this in mind, opt for a plain white tee or a simple button-down blouse in a neutral colour that won’t draw attention away from your stylish shorts.  

-       Bike shorts 

As stylish nowadays as they are sporty, tight-fitting bike shorts can be worn as both leisurewear or as part of a more formal ensemble. For the perfect relaxed look, match bike shorts with your favourite graphic tee or gym sweatshirt. If you’re wearing bike shorts as part of a ‘going-out’ outfit, simply combine them with a smart t-shirt or vest top and a high-shouldered baggy blazer to create an effortlessly cool look.    

What shoes to wear with shorts


 -       Chino shorts 

There are two types of footwear that can look equally as good with chino shorts. For more casual occasions, opt for a pair of simple leather deck shoes. If you are going for a dressier look, you can’t go wrong with a pair of low-heeled sandals which can effortlessly transform a casual outfit into a smart and classy ensemble.    

-       Denim shorts 

The beauty of denim shorts is they can be styled up and down with ease. For a chilled and casual appearance, simply pair your denim shorts with white trainers or American high-tops. If you are looking to dress up a bit more, opt for heeled sandals for that smart look.   

-       Linen or cotton shorts 

Naturally smart items of clothing, linen and cotton shorts work well with more formal footwear options. If you are looking to dress down for a casual event, try matching your linen shorts with simple slip-on ballet flats. Alternatively, go for a pair of leather or suede wedge sandals for dressier occasions.   

-       High-waisted shorts 

A very fashionable item right now, the great thing about high-waisted shorts is how many styles of footwear can be paired with them. For casualwear, combine these slimming classics with a pair of trainers or strappy sandals. If you are looking for something a bit more jazzy, high-waisted shorts can also look stunning with simple heels.  

-       Bike shorts 

To live up to your new sporty look, match your bike sports with classic trainers or baseball shoes. Alternatively, completing a more dressy-look can be achieved by pairing bike shorts with stylish lightweight espadrilles. The choice is yours!  

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