I've Worked It Out—This is How to Make Denim Shorts Look Grown-Up and Elegant

If I was going to point to one summer piece that is the subject of the fiercest debate, it would be the denim shorts. From the teeny tiny Daisy Dukes to the baggy jorts beloved by the likes of Hailey Bieber, it feels like every year a new slew of denim short trends roll around, with one side eager to embrace the look and the other side rolling their eyes. Historically, I’ve leaned more towards the latter group, but mainly because I never found a pair I thought looked remotely flattering. Sure, I owned a “just in case” pair to throw on over a swimsuit on holiday or to wear for a day of running errands on an unusually hot day, but I never actually thought they looked any good.

But recently, I’ve discovered that the world of denim shorts has evolved. Styles are no longer restricted to the rigid minis of my early Noughties youth. These days, designer brands and high street favourites alike have massively extended the options to encompass every personal style and body shape.

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Perhaps as a result of this, I’ve spotted more and more influencers showcasing fresh ways to style this summer staple. A not-so-quick scroll on social media has served up plenty of styling inspiration that proves that denim shorts don’t have to be limited to being a casual throw-on item. Sure, when paired with a t-shirt and trainers, they’ll only ever look relaxed—but swap the t-shirt for an oversized linen shirt and the trainers for the very on-trend Fisherman sandals, and you’ve got something altogether more put together and polished. Go for heeled sandals and a blazer and you’re even more elevated.