Style and Styling

3 Ways to Style: Denim Shorts

OR Jeans Shorts! What do you call them?

Happy day, reader dear!

As the weather warms and the jeans find themselves shoved to the back of the closet (or drawer), the denim shorts emerge from their winter hibernation–ready to take on summer! If you are a Pinterest oufit inspo searcher, you will find oodles (techinical blogger term) of looks! The majority of the looks fall into one tremendously popular summer style vibe: Boho, which is a combination of Relaxed and Feminine elements. (Often with some Creative thrown in!) But Boho isn’t the only way to combine Relaxed and Feminine! Summer and wear denim shorts doesn’t mean you have to Boho or Preppy.

Preppy? Yup. It’s never gone away. Scrolling for inspo, you’ll find myriad looks in this other popular summer style. Preppy is a colorful cross between Relaxed and Classic. Think primary and secondary color tees or polos with sneakers, boat shoes, or flip-flops. Think Sportif! Or Lilly Pulitzer. (And choose quality flip-flops, please!

What if Boho and Preppy don’t work for you? No worries! Let’s talk through about three looks and the personality styles that might combine to create them! Please feel free to Pin or share on social media any looks or information from the blog that you love, or think someone else would! Let’s get some other options besides Boho and Prep out into the world.

To start our styling…

This first look combines the Feminine feel of rounded ballet flats with the colors and button-down oxford of a Classic. The silk scarf and cabochon earrings trend more Elegant Chic. Roll your sleeves, or simply push them up; the choice is yours! If tying a scarf around your waist doesn’t fit or flatter, loop yours around a belt tab and let it drape, or tie it onto a straw or canvas tote for perfect summer ease. Need your piggies to breathe? Choose a pair of of leather sandals, no bling, simple and expensive looking! Here’s what I mean by looping it!

Need softer? With a little zing?

Here, Feminine ruffles on the shell pair with the Relaxed earthy colors and textures of the bracelets and jacket for a look that combines Feminine and Relaxed elements with none of the hippie feel Boho can conjure. Add a touch of Dramatic with animal print sandals and step out the door looking casually sleek and polished. A metallic clutch would take this right to brunch, a straw tote–almost anywhere else! Except maybe work. Alas.

Too soft, but dread Classic?

This woman channels her inner Rebel, but not in the get-in-your-face way. Think sweetly subversive… Pearls for a ladylike touch, black, grey, and white leather for edge. She’s happy to confuse you. She’s complicated and perfectly happy to be so. She’s imagining concerts and hanging out with friends…

If none of these three float your summer boat, you can also style any of the looks in 5 Ways to Style a White Tee and Jeans and substitute shorts for the jeans! Okay, maybe not the Business Casual look… Unless you’re working the Zoom Mullet!

So how about you? Do you call them Denim Shorts or Jeans Shorts? Could you see yourself in any of these looks? Which elements feel right, and which rub you the wrong way? There’s almost as much to be learned from what you don’t like as from what you do! What’s your favorite way to style your denim shorts? Or what personality styles would you like to see in combination? Do tell! I love to hear from you. There’s plenty of space in the comments below…

Stylishly yours,

PS: If you’re looking for a cute straw bag, I fell for all of these at Target earlier this spring… Sorry I don’t have links. They don’t pay me. This is simply because I loved them!


  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    I never reach for black but I am going to try it with my jean/denim shorts. Love the way you tied that scarf around the belt loop rather than using it as a belt. So fun. Might be a good time to invest in some smaller kerchiefs just for that purpose.

    • Liz K

      Thanks for popping by, Leslie! Those little kerchiefs are a fab way to add a touch of color and are easy to find on Ebay and at thrift stores. Look for 19 to 21 inch squares! That’s the average for a small neckerchief. Can’t wait to see how you style it!

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