Summer Shorts That Aren’t Too Short

Our editor shares 3 ways to style summer shorts for maximum comfort and confidence.
Six to Sunday

We remember a time when shorts were a bit of an afterthought—they were useful when you needed them but nothing more. There were gym shorts, bike shorts, and denim cut-offs, and that was about it. And with so few options that fit too few women, it’s no wonder that a lot of us skipped them altogether.

Well, we’re happy to report that the shorts category has blown up in a big way. They’re being made in a variety of colors and fabrications, in a myriad of lengths, and are meant to be paired with everything from concert T-shirts and sneakers to heels and a blazer (yup, a shorts situation could be your new summer suit).

Our advice? Leave the shorty shorts to the under-20 set, and get yourself a grown-up pair. Here are our picks for shorts that are short enough to keep you cool in the heat but long enough to keep the jiggly bits under wraps.

Warm weather, here we come.

Short Style For Something Casual

Shorts: COS ($89); Tank: Banana Republic ($30); Button-Up: COS ($120); Shoes: Thursday ($129); Bag: Lululemon ($58); Sunglasses: Anine Bing ($200); Bracelet: Open Edit ($22.50); Earrings: Mejuri ($48); Blush: Westman Atelier ($48)

Short Style For Something Elevated

Shorts: Old Navy ($36.99); Button-Down: Mango ($59.99); Striped Shirt: J.Crew ($49.50); Shoes: Steve Madden ($79.95); Belt: J.Crew ($49.50); Sunglasses: Krewe ($275); Lip Tint: French Girl ($20)

Short Style For Something A Little Dressy

Shorts: Weekend Max Mara ($265); Blazer: Banana Republic ($230); Tank: J.Crew ($79.50); Shoes: Kate Spade ($206) or Seychelles ($115); Purse: DeMellier ($460); Sunglasses: Bottega Veneta ($430); Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury ($25)

6” Summer Shorts

Old Navy. The high waist and burnt sienna hue elevate the ordinary.

Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Taylor Trouser Shorts

Banana Republic. The ultra-high waist and pleated front could mean these are office (or evening out) appropriate.

Banana Republic Cruise Pleated Cotton 6” Shorts

Spanx. From the folks who built an empire out of shape wear comes a short (and waistband) that fits to perfection. Insider tip? Size up in Spanx.

Spanx On-the-Go Shorts, 6”

COS. The orange hue puts the fun in summer, and the high, elasticized waist prioritizes comfort. Looking for something neutral? This also comes in white, black, and beige.

COS Elasticated Linen Shorts

8” Summer Shorts

Banana Republic. The longer length in a fluid linen fabric puts these on our luxe list. A wide waist band is super flattering.

Banana Republic Palma Linen Bermuda Short

Ralph Lauren. The relaxed fit, fluid fabric, and wear-with-all khaki color make these a no-brainer.

Ralph Lauren Relaxed Fit Long Pleated Linen Short

Akris Punto. If you like a little pattern play, you’ll love these full-leg, pleated, striped beauties.

Akris Punto Fiorellina Striped Wide-Leg Shorts

Grey/Ven. The perfect Bermuda length that’ll look as good paired with a T-shirt as they would with a white button down and blazer.

Grey/Ven Miles High-Rise Bermuda Shorts

Weekend Max Mara. Fitted through the waist and hips with an A-line leg shape, these shorts are oh so flattering, especially on curves and athletic legs.

Weekend Max Mara Cotton and Linen Bermuda Shorts

Weekend Max Mara. A classic trouser shape, in a shorts version, featuring the color of the moment: lavender.

Weekend Max Mara Ecuba Trouser Shorts

9”+ Summer Shorts

Loft. We’d call these skinny Bermuda shorts, and we like-y. Got great gams? Show them off (while keeping it classy) in these.

Loft Monroe Chino Bermuda Shorts

Ann Taylor. If you’ve got long, thin legs, these narrow Bermuda shorts are for you.

Ann Taylor The Boardwalk Short
Ann Taylor The Boardwalk Short - Curvy Fit

Vince. A great, skinny option if you’re short-waisted.

Vince Coin-Pocket Bermuda Shorts

Marina Rinaldi. Where plus meets luxury. The long length will take these from day to night (with a heel) in a jiffy.

Marina Rinaldi Linen Bermuda Shorts


All products featured on Six to Sunday are independently selected by our editors and contributors. We may get paid commissions on products purchased through our links to retailer sites. However, we recommend products based on our independent research and point of view, and the decisions we make regarding the products we feature on our site are always driven by what we believe our community will love, first and foremost.

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