12 Stylish Ways to Wear Denim Shorts This Summer

Summer is denim shorts season, and we couldn't be happier about it! If you love your comfortable, go-to denim shorts, but worry about looking sloppy or too casual, we're here to inspire you to take your shorts fashion up a notch. By choosing great pieces to wear with your shorts, including smart layers and the right accessories, you can look fashion-forward in jean shorts, while keeping your style looking real and effortless. Get inspired with our street style gallery of how to wear denim shorts this summer, including easy tips for how you can pull off these outfits on your own.

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Kimono and Denim Shorts Outfit

Jean shorts and kimono summer outfit for women
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Want to update all your casual summer outfits in shorts this year? Simply layer on a trendy kimono in a pretty color or print, as pictured here, to instantly update your outfits in jean shorts and show off your fashion cred at all your music festivals, parties and patio gatherings this summer. 

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Wear an Off the Shoulder Top

Off the shoulder top and jean shorts for summer fashion
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Wearing a trendy top is a great way to instantly update your go-to denim shorts this summer. We're loving the way a fashionable off the shoulder top makes these dark denim cut-offs look fresh for summer fashion. Choose a top in a lightweight fabric — bonus points if you buy one in a super trendy print, such as the gingham pattern pictured here. Add a great pair of sunglasses and easy-to-wear sneakers, and you've got a cute outfit for wearing to concerts, festivals, cottaging, parties and other casual hangs with friends this summer.

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Wear a Button-Down Shirt With Denim Shorts

Denim shorts and sneakers outfit for summer
 Juan Naharro Giminez/Getty Images

Here's a fun way to take your casual look in jean shorts up a notch, while still looking effortlessly cool. Try wearing a button-down shirt tucked into your favorite pair of denim shorts, or knotted at the front as pictured here. We'd choose a shirt in a soft cotton fabric, or even a chambray denim shirt, for an outfit that's perfect for concerts, music festivals and summer parties. Wear with easy sneakers and a cross-body bag.

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Double Denim Summer Outfit

Black shorts and denim jacket outfit for women
 Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Don't forget about black denim shorts for women, when you're making your summer fashion shopping list. A pair of black jean shorts can be worn with a black t-shirt as the basis for plenty of cute summer outfits, such as this cool double denim look with a classic jean jacket.

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Add a Biker Jacket

Woman wearing a leather jacket and jean shorts
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Denim shorts for women are a summer favorite not just because they keep your legs cool, but because they're super versatile. We love the way a pair of distressed denim shorts are styled here. A moto-style black leather jacket with zippers adds some edge to a basic summer outfit of shorts and a striped, long-sleeved tee. Wear with shiny black ankle boots and a black leather bag as pictured, for a look that's casually fierce from head to toe.

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Cute Casual Summer Outfit

Cute summer outfit with denim shorts
 Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Here's a lesson from street style on how, with a little bit of smart styling, you can turn a basic summer outfit in jean shorts into something cute enough to wear for casual dates and pool parties. Show off your assets in a plunging V-neck top, tucked into high waisted denim shorts for women that highlight your curves. A long pendant necklace is a great accessory when you're rocking a deep vee, as pictured here. Add a trendy fringed bag, and match your lipstick to a pretty pair of colorful slide sandals.

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Wear a Floral Top With Denim Shorts

Woman wearing floral shirt and denim shorts with high heel shoes
 Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

Here's a great way to dress up your denim shorts, when you want to look a bit more grown-up. A pretty, lightweight floral sweater and colorful high heels add polish to essential denim cut-offs. Wear this outfit for a casual summer date, or a day of shopping with girlfriends.

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Vintage Styling

Street style outfit in faux fur leather coat and jean shorts
 Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Are you a vintage clothing lover who digs showing off your second-hand fashion finds? We're loving the way this street style fashion influencer has put together a cute outfit in denim shorts and vintage fashion treasures, with an approach to styling that's part street, part collegiate, and totally unique for summer. A faux fur and leather coat over denim shorts shorts, worn with high heeled sandals over socks, is not for everyone —but it's pretty awesome, and is sure to make you stand out from the fashion crowd.

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Add Great Accessories

Fashionable summer outfit in denim shorts and a hat
 Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

As fashion icon Victoria Beckham has been quoted saying, sometimes the most important thing about an outfit is the accessories you add to it. Here's proof of that fashion rule, as seen on this street style influencer. A simple weekend outfit of a casual t-shirt and ripped jean shorts is suddenly more stylish, with the addition of a cute wide-brim hat, ankle wrap sandals, and a ladylike black purse. We'd wear this easy outfit everywhere from the antiques market to winery visits this summer.

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Wear a Vest Over Shorts

Street style denim shorts and vest
 Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Layering is a proven way to instantly dress up all your casual outfits, but what if it's too hot to wear a jacket? Take inspiration from this street style fashion influencer and try wearing a vest over your easy outfits in denim shorts and a casual white t-shirt. You could go for a colorful top layer for stylish casual days, as pictured here. Or try wearing a white tuxedo-style vest over your shorts and t-shirt outfits, when you want a more polished going out outfit this summer.

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Street Style in Denim Shorts

Street style outfit with denim shorts and thigh high boots and a boyfriend blazer
Christian Vierig/Getty Images 

How can you wear denim shorts to look sophisticated this summer? Here's a master class from street style in how to dress up a tank top and denim cut-offs, when you want to impress others with your fashion sense. Start by layering a boyfriend blazer over your shorts, which instantly makes them feel grown-up. You could stop here, with a pair of pretty sandals —or copy this fashion influencer and add a pair of trendy thigh high boots, for major outfit impact.

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Concert Outfit in Denim Shorts

Concert fashion woman in denim shorts
 Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Want an easy outfit for concerts and festivals when the weather is hot? Get dressed in five minutes flat and be ready for all your summer music events when you layer a colorful top in breathable, lightweight cotton over your favorite pair of denim shorts. Wear with sneakers and sunglasses, and a trendy cross-body bag to carry all your concert essentials, without weighing you down.