Mid-thigh shorts are popular with my clients, but most of my clients don’t feel pulled together when wearing them with basic tees. My suggestion is to style the shorts with a pretty top and casual flat footwear that’s dressier than flip-flops. The visual effect is relaxed and casual, but more grown-up and polished. 

Here are four outfit ideas to get you started. Choose any colour palette across solids and patterns. Pick short lengths that make you feel fab.

1. Elaborate Knitted Top, Denim Shorts & Slip-Ons

Choose a knitted top made of jersey with some kind of detailing, like a peplum, hem frill, or exuberant sleeve. This example has ruched sleeves with ties that create an interesting effect with a pair of denim cut-offs and slip-ons like sneakers, espadrilles, or d’Orsay flats. Wear the top semi-tucked or untucked.

Eloquii Cuffed Jean Shorts

2. Dressy Shorts & Blouse with Slides

Choose dressy shorts, like a high-waisted style or a paper bag silhouette, and pair them with a dressy blouse made of eyelet, lace, or something silky. Tuck or semi-tuck the top to showcase the waistband of the shorts. Add flat slides to dress down the look. A straw bag adds a trendy yet classic and beachy touch.

Topshop Polka Dot Shorts

3. Shorts & Boho Blouse

This is the easiest version to pull together. Combine a pair of simple shorts with a breezy boho-lite blouse. Wear the top untucked and not semi-tucked like the model. Finish off the outfit with flat sandals or espadrilles, and a casual bag.

Athropologie Utility Stretch Shorts

4. Patterned Shorts, Knotted Top & Sneakers

Combine a pair of patterned shorts with an elaborate knitted top that you can knot at the hem to create some structure. That way you don’t need to tuck or semi-tuck the top, or let it hang and look tent-y. Finish off the outfit with sneakers. Here, the white top and sneakers match, pulling the look together. The silky shorts add textural interest and the sneaks throw in the athletic touch. A fun juxtaposition.

Eloquii Floral Print Drawstring Shorts

I don’t wear shorts of any description since I’d much rather wear a casual dress with casual footwear. That said, if a fabulous pair of knee-length shorts came my way I’d give them a whirl with a boho-lite blouse.