Helen Mirren once exclaimed, “I wouldn’t be seen dead in shorts!”
I adore Mirren and think she’s brilliant in every movie she’s in. But I have to disagree with her here. We’re thinking that maybe Dame Mirren hadn’t seen the current crop of shorts. For those of us still happy to be in the gam game, there’s a whole range of gorgeous styles: wrapped, ruffled, wildly printed, canvas, linen, denim, leather. For many people, shorts have definitely preempted skirts as a summer sartorial style choice.
Shorts (in the right style) can be worn to cocktail parties and to the office. Oh wait. Most of us are working from home. Well, then, you definitely can wear shorts to work, and they will be a nice upgrade from PJ bottoms on your Zoom calls.
We look for longer styles that would be flattering to women with more to hide, so to speak. But if you feel shorts are just too, um, short, try the skort, a popular fashion lovechild: shorts bred with a skirt. You’ll still feel all the freedom of shorts tempered by the modesty of that skirt panel.
Here’s my, ahem, short list of options for working the look this summer.
Editor’s Note: We realize that the women in these photos below are younger than our age group and more lithe than most of us. We are using photos from the brand’s website and therefore have no choice but to show these models. However, we think women our age can find a style that suits them among this selection.
Our Shorts Story
Click through the photos below (using the red arrows) to see all the styles we’ve picked out for you.
Show off your gams in this smart, crisp skort with an airy front vent. These shorts go anywhere, especially paired with a matching jacket. $88.
Testing, testing! Get great style marks with these beautiful Banana Republic Palma linen Bermuda shorts that are tailored for nearly every summer need you might find. Available in three hues. There’s nothing keeping you from top scores, at least not in your style life. $100.
Johnny Was is a favorite NextTribe brand, and we’re happy to see that they’re now making cool shorts. These lovelies are 100% linen. $160.
If you’re into leather as a fashion statement, go for these edgy, uniquely adventurous metallics. You’ll see yourself coming and going in these daring silver lame shorts. $237.
Super-comfy cargo shorts that are ready for wherever your work or errands take you. These utility-inspired, super-high-rise shorts have super-sized cargo pockets to hold your phone, wallet, keys, and anything else you might need on a saucy jaunt and then some. Water repellent, made for movement, and super cool, these Lululemon shorts come in three colors. $118.
These flippy linen shorts in a riot of paisley by Boden are an easy warm-weather option. The shirred detailing highlights the mid-rise waist and the breezy silhouette. $95.
These fun shorts may remind you of something you wore back in your high school days! Patch pocketed and in a pretty chambray blue wash that’s oh-so-wearable, these J. Crew shorts may become your absolute go-to for warm-weather wear. Other plusses include eco-friendly fabric, sourcing, and manufacturing. Winning in ALL the ways! $98.
Want a little more coverage in your blue jean shorts? This high-waisted pair with a washed effect and ripped detail from Zara are stylish and on trend. $49.
The Metro short from Ann Taylor is affordable and versatile with panache and aplomb, a traditional silhouette with a titch of stitch witchery for added eye appeal. Available in petite sizes, too. $65.
A more modest, prettier way to wear athletic wear. Pump up your performance in this high-waisted skort that pairs a mesh overlay with slim, fitted shorts from Venus Williams’ EleVen. $84.
Cool and classic in lightweight linen, these shorts are simply styled save for the frill of ruffle at the hems for a pretty, polished update. $79.
Nothing gives off the vibe of long summer days like these knee-length cotton shorts, embroidered oh-so subtly with white flower. $49.
For something you can wear every day (unless you’re a regular coffee spiller), there’s no better choice than one that fits really well. Everyone needs a good pair of white shorts for the summer, right? Made & Measure has the technology to make these denim Bermudas wrap your shape perfectly. $79.
A soft, super-feminine option from Mango, with a floral print and side pockets. $39.
We all know that shorts are the perfect office attire these days, whether worn for work from home OR the newly imposed back-to-office trend. Either way, Mango has us covered with the most adorable linen version that wraps up like a present with its drawstring tie. And, if needed, it sports a matching suit jacket. $60.
A leafy, scarf-inspired print outlines these loose-fitting shorts made from a linen blend. Easy to wear, but packs a tropical punch. $120.
These high-waisted shorts from Zara have a sleek nautical look with decorative buttons on both sides. $79.
Feeling kind of nostalgic? Short up in a kind of school-girl daze with pleated, pinstripe shorts that have a decidedly elementary uniform feeling. $140.
Lace up for some elegant outings in these gorgeous Bermudas from Anthropologie. $337.
Elevate your sunshine-ready wardrobe with this stretch-denim skort designed with handy pockets and a fun, frayed hem. $54.
With a cool paper-bag waist, standout belt, and lacy scalloped hems, these cotton numbers are effortless but still polished. $89.
This ruffled green-on-turquoise skort makes us want to dance with joy. From Zara. $49.
Soft Surrounding’s Bayside utility cargo shorts have a comfy-cozy elastic waist and made from a soft rayon blend. Lots of pockets, in two colors, and available in plus sizes, too. $40.