Casual Shorts for Women: Summer is Here!

Summer's here and with it- the best seasonal looks of the year- are you on board?

by Lisa Ledoux

With the summer heat comes so many outings, vacations, and occasions!

Summer stylish business clothes. Gray brim hat, beige leather backpack, knee-length shorts with white narrow belt, white T-shirt, pinstripe business jacket. Clothing in blue tones.

And can you wear shorts for all of them? You bet!

But finding flattering, fashionable shorts that aren’t too frumpy can be tricky, especially if you’re like me, and over 40.

Tricky, but not impossible.

I’ll guide you through the what and how of shorts, like fit and length, what tops, shoes, and accessories to pair them with, and how to color coordinate your shorts outfits.

Fit and Length

There are many different types of fits, lengths, and styles for women’s shorts. Here are some popular ones:

  1. High-waisted shorts: sit at or above the natural waistline and can be fitted or loose. They’re great for creating a retro or vintage-inspired look and are often paired with crop tops.
  2. Denim shorts: come in various lengths and styles, ranging from distressed cutoffs to structured Bermuda shorts. They can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
  3. Bermuda shorts: are longer shorts that typically hit just above the knee or mid-thigh. They’re a great choice for mature or conservative women and can be worn in a variety of settings.
  4. Paperbag shorts: are a trendy style that features a high, cinched waistline with a gathered or ruffled fabric. They’re a great choice for a feminine and playful look.
  5. Culotte shorts: are wide-legged shorts that resemble a skirt. They’re a great choice for a chic and sophisticated look and can be paired with a tucked-in blouse or cropped top.
  6. Athletic shorts: are designed for sports and fitness activities, but they can also be worn for a casual and comfortable look. They come in various lengths and styles, from running shorts to basketball shorts.
  7. Tailored shorts: are structured and polished, often made from materials like cotton or linen. They’re a great choice for a dressier occasion and can be paired with a blazer or silk blouse.


Full body of smiling female in striped shirt and shorts holding handbag while walking along corridor with tablet on blurred background

What to pair shorts with??? Check out these sweet summer tops to help come up with a look: Best Loose Tops for Summer: Find Your Size Here!

  1. High-waisted shorts: For a vintage-inspired look, pair high-waisted shorts with a fitted crop top or tucked-in blouse. A flowy off-the-shoulder top can also create a bohemian vibe.
  2. Denim shorts: Denim shorts are versatile and can be dressed up or down. For a casual look, pair them with a graphic tee or oversized sweater. To dress them up, try a silk blouse or button-up shirt.
  3. Bermuda shorts: Bermuda shorts are a great option for sophisticated women who prefer a longer length. Pair them with a classic white blouse, tailored blazer, or printed tunic for a polished look.
  4. Linen shorts: Linen shorts are perfect for hot summer days. Pair them with a lightweight cotton blouse or cropped tank top for a breezy and relaxed look.
  5. Print shorts: If you’re wearing patterned shorts, keep your top simple to avoid overwhelming the outfit. A solid-colored blouse or basic tee in a complementary color will do the trick.
  6. Khaki shorts: Khaki shorts are a classic summer staple that can easily be dressed up or down. Pair them with a collared shirt for a preppy look, or a flowy peasant top for a boho vibe.
  7. Leather shorts: Leather shorts add edge to any outfit. Pair them with a loose-fitting blouse or oversized sweater for a balanced look that’s both chic and comfortable.

Remember, the key is to find tops and blouses that complement the style of your shorts and make you feel confident and comfortable.


Here are some tips on how to pair accessories like scarves and handbags with shorts:

a woman wearing a hat and yellow sunglasses, looks at herself in the rearview mirror of her car.
  1. Scarves can add a pop of color or texture to your outfit and are perfect for cooler weather. Pair a lightweight scarf with denim shorts and a tank top for a bohemian look, or a silk scarf with tailored shorts and a blouse for a more polished look.
  2. Crossbodies are practical and stylish, making them a great choice for pairing with most types of shorts. Choose a bag in a complementary color to your shorts and pair with a simple top for a chic and effortless look.
  3. Tote bags are perfect for carrying all your essentials and are great for beach or pool days. Pair a canvas tote with high-waisted shorts and a crop top for a casual and comfortable look.
  4. Clutches are perfect for a night out or more formal occasions. Pair a metallic or embellished clutch with dressier shorts like tailored shorts or pleated shorts, and a blouse for a sophisticated and elegant look.

For awesome purse finds see Neoprene Totes: Everything You Need to Know! and 25 Affordable Summer Purses for 2023. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can easily take your outfit from drab to fab with these simple accessories.


a woman wearing a hat and scarf, leans on the facade of a lakeside house and talks on the phone, while smiling.
  1. Canvas sneakers are a great choice for a casual and comfortable look. Pair them with denim shorts, chino shorts, or Bermuda shorts for a laid-back vibe.
  2. Sandals are perfect for hot summer days and can be dressed up or down. Pair them with high-waisted shorts, linen shorts, or print shorts for a breezy and relaxed look.
  3. Wedges are a great choice for a more dressed-up look. Pair them with a flowy blouse and dressier shorts like tailored shorts or pleated shorts for a chic and sophisticated look.
  4. Heels can elevate any outfit and create a more polished look. Pair them with a blazer and high-waisted shorts or Bermuda shorts for a more formal occasion.
  5. Flats are a versatile shoe choice that can work for both casual and dressy outfits. Pair them with tailored shorts, Bermuda shorts, or print shorts for a classic and timeless look.

And who can forget flip-flops?!? Check out these elevated Yellow Box Flip-Flops: Our Favorites!

Also, consider the occasion and dress code when pairing shoes with shorts – for example, flip-flops may not be appropriate for certain formal events, while heels may not be practical for a day at Disney- but these comfy heels might: Low Heel Sandals for Summer 2023!

Color-Coordinating Outfits

And here are some tips for color coordination to achieve a modern and sophisticated look when pairing shorts and tops:

vector illustration, infographics, color wheel, warm and cold colors
  1. Monochromatic look: Opt for shorts and a top in the same color family for a cohesive and streamlined look. For example, pair a white blouse with cream or beige shorts, or a black crop top with charcoal or navy shorts.
  2. Neutral pairing: If you’re unsure of what colors to mix and match, stick to neutrals like beige, white, black, and gray. These colors pair well with any other hue and create a timeless, posh look.
  3. Complementary colors: Choose colors that are opposite on the color wheel for a bold and eye-catching combination. Like, pair a vibrant orange blouse with blue or green shorts.
  4. Analogous colors: Choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel for a harmonious and subtle pairing. For example, pair a pale pink blouse with coral or peach shorts.
  5. Patterns and prints: When pairing patterned or printed shorts with a top, choose a solid-colored top in a color that complements one of the colors in the pattern- like floral shorts with a solid blouse in a flower color.

Have fun and experiment with different color combinations to find what works best for you and your personal style. To find out a bit more about color wheels, see: How to Use a Color Wheel for Professional-Looking Makeup Results.


Shop here today for shorts that fit perfectly and bring out your unique style in a way like never before. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

1.) SWEET POISON Women’s High-Waisted Shorts

2.) KOJOOIN Plus Size Elastic High Waisted Shorts with Pockets


3.) BETTE BOUTIK Denim Shorts for Women

4.) Viodia Women’s Bermuda Shorts with Pockets

5.) KINGFEN Women’s High-Waisted Elastic Waist Shorts

6.) Lee Women’s Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda Short

7.) Uusollecy Women Casual Pleather Shorts

8.) Lisskolo Women’s Casual Linen Shorts

9.) BETTE BOUTIK Women’s Drawstring Elastic Waist Shorts 

10.) Blazer Shorts for Women

11.) CHARTOU Woman’s Casual Wide Leg Culottes Shorts

12.) Kanu Surf Women’s Oceanside UPF 50+ Board Short

13.) Lee Womens Plus Size Relaxed-fit Bermuda Short

14.) BATHRINS Women’s Quick Dry Hiking Shorts

15.) YOCUR Womens Lightweight Shorts 

Be Bold

Women over 40 can look fashionable without opting for frumpy pieces and with the right fit and cut, you don’t need to be afraid of trying out new styles.

So, go ahead – BE BOLD in your fashion choices this summer because you’re never too old or too mature to make a fashion statement!!!

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