Style

Dapper Denim: The 6 Best Jean Shorts You’ll Wear All Summer Long

best jean shorts of the summer
Photo by David X Prutting/BFA/REX/Shutterstock
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* Denim shorts are a classic summer staple
* Designers have updated the style beyond “Daisy Dukes”
* Stylish, yet affordable pieces to wear for multiple occasions

It’s time to finally show off your legs after a long winter hidden under layers. Summer is the ideal season to break out those denim shorts you’ve come to love over the years.

But this year, it’s about more than just casual cut-offs (a.k.a. “Daisy Dukes”). Models like Gigi and Bella Hadid have sported denim shorts on — and off — the runways, while other designers are making styles suitable for a brunch date or casual meetings, too.

Break free from the boring and basic jean short trends of the past with these six bold and versatile styles. Before you know it, you’ll be rocking every holiday, barbecue, party or beach outing with shorts that will be on point all summer long.

1. Madewell Daisy Embroidered High Waist Denim Shorts

Best Jean Shorts of the Summer Image courtesy of Nordstrom

These flower decal jean shorts from Madewell are brand new but give off a vintage vibe and are bound to last you much longer than one summer. They are pretty and unique without being over-the-top or difficult to match with. The simple white daisy detailing and classic blue denim color make for endless outfit combos. Pair with a graphic tee and sneakers for a casual out-and-about or throw on a white blouse and platform sandals for a more formal get together.

  

2. Reformation Charlie Denim Shorts

Best Jean Shorts of the Summer Image courtesy of Nordstrom

These shorts are practically screaming Fourth of July barbecue. The red, white and blue vertical stripe pattern is flattering on anyone and gives the illusion of longer legs. It doesn’t have to be July 4th to wear these, either. Throw on a solid colored tee, long sleeve or even a bodysuit to make these shorts the star of your outfit. The priciest of the bunch, these shorts are still under $100. Spending a little more can basically guarantee long-lasting wear with little tear.

  

3. H&M Denim Bib Overall Shorts

Best Jean Shorts of the Summer Image courtesy of H&M

The best way to show off your fashion sense this summer is to bring back the classics, like these overall denim bibs. Seriously underrated, these are the ultimate in comfort, affordability and style — a combination that is best for lazy days at the farmer’s market, running errands or even heading to the beach. Bare it all with a pretty bralette underneath, a cropped tee or your favorite button-down paired with some slides or white sneakers to complete the look.

  

4. H&M Lace Up Denim Shorts

Best jean shorts of the summer Image courtesy of H&M

Lace up detailing is one of the biggest trends of this summer season, and these are a classy and cute way to achieve the look. The white shoelace accent spices up these medium-wash denim shorts, bringing a little extra oomf to your outfit while still being a staple piece. Pair with a floral crop top or a tied (or tucked in) tee with your favorite summer sandals for an effortlessly stylish summer fit.

  

5. Forever 21 High Waist Black Denim Shorts

Best jean shorts of the summer Image courtesy of Forever 21

Having a simple pair of black shorts is essential to any summer wardrobe. With just enough distressed detailing to keep them fashionable and five trendy exposed buttons, these $23 shorts are your new best friend. They can be dressed up by wearing a floral or lace blouse that can be tucked in, tied in the front or hung loose with a pair of platform sandals. They can also be dressed down with a cropped top or graphic tee and your favorite color-popping shoe.

  

6. Forever 21 Button-Fly Ivory Denim Shorts

Best jean shorts of the summer Image courtesy of Forever 21

The next best thing to a pair of black shorts is a pair of white ones. Or, in this case, ivory. These ultra high waist shorts from Forever 21 have black contrast stitching that pops and gives these simple shorts expensive looking detail, yet they’re less than $18. Different than the classic blue denim shorts, these can seriously be dressed up with a cute pair of heeled sandals and a fitted blouse, shirt or crop top that will help accentuate your waist.

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