The height of Summer calls for breezy, casual, and comfy outfits when you’re not at the office. I’ll wear swooshy flared midi dresses and the odd skirt in relentless heat, but you might wear shorts. If so, here are four fun ways to wear shorts casually that are a little different to the basic shorts + tee + flip flops formula. Note that it’s awfully hard to find stock photos of models styled with untucked tops, but feel free to leave your top out the way you prefer to wear it. Choose any colour palette.

1. Denim Lace and Layers

Combine a pair of lace-edged denim shorts — or basic denim shorts — with a tee or blouse. Finish off the outfit with a gauzy or open weave long cardigan that’s longer than the shorts, and flat metallic slides. The breezy cardigan comes in handy when you move from heat to air conditioning, or things are cooler in the morning and evening.

Lane Bryant Denim Girlfriend Short with Lace Hem

2. White Shorts and Patterned Top

This is my favourite of the four because I like long shorts, and when they’re white it’s even better. Combine a pair of long white shorts with a pattered tee, knit top, blouse or shirt. Finish off the outfit with casual trendy flat shoes like Birkies, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Think mules, slides, fashion sneakers, sporty sandals, platform sandals, or classic flat sandals. Wear dark denim shorts (or clamdiggers) if white is not your thing.

James Jeans Beach Bum Bermuda Shorts

3. Patterned Shorts and Textured Top

Combine patterned shorts with more than just a solid tee or tank. Think slubby open woven knits, lace, linen tops, linen tees, a silk blouse, boho blouse, chambray shirt, or pattern mix with dots and stripes. Finish off the look with wedged espadrilles, platform sandals or sneakers. White sneakers look great with white tops.

Lane Bryant Girlfriend Chino Short

4. Silky Shorts and Tee

This is a dressier option but still very relaxed. Combine pleated and flared silky shorts with a tucked top that matches the shorts. Finish off the look with super casual thong sandals or gladiators. In this case, the pleated shorts with a defined waist look best with a tucked or semi-tucked top – just like we did in the ‘80s. Add jewellery, eyewear, headgear, bag and watch as desired.

Mango Tropical Print Shorts