As the weather gets warmer, I really look forward to swapping my jeans and sweats for the shorts I've stowed away all winter. But when the shopping mood hits me, I can't resist hunting down my new favorite pair for the season, and I'm constantly searching for stylish shorts that are actually affordable and work for a variety of summer activities.
Far beyond classic cut-offs, there are a ton of styles to choose from, whether you're seeking a pair that channels the trendy, high-waisted, retro vibe or something more tailored and work-friendly. If you're into athleisure and spend summer days hitting the trails or the pavement for morning runs, you can find a sleek new pair of running shorts that keep you cool and looking on point. If you prefer a simple, laid-back style, then a pair of relaxed boyfriend-fit shorts could be your go-to when the temperatures climb up.
No matter what your style preference is or the occasion you're dressing for, keep your summer style up to date and true to your own taste with a new set of shorts you'll want to rock all spring and summer long. Read on for all of the stylish and affordable shorts you'll want to snag ASAP.
Colorful, High Waisted Shorts For Festivals
If you've already booked up your summer with a line of concerts, then you need the festive wardrobe to match. These cotton shorts feature three percent spandex, which means that even though they hug your curves, you'll be comfortable enough to walk around all day. Plus, the fabric is wrinkle-resistant, so you can lounge on your blanket with ease.
Elastic Waist Shorts For Comfy Summer Brunching
Brunch is practically a weekend priority when the sun comes out. Outfit yourself for deliciousness with the comfortable elastic-waist band on these bright turquoise, relaxed fit shorts. Swinging black pom-poms on the hem take this patterned pair up a notch, and users say the fabric is seriously comfortable.
Laced Crochet Shorts For Swim-To-Street Days
These laced crochet shorts can be worn as a cute swim cover-up when you hop out of the pool, and you can even wear them when meeting Mom for lunch. They have a comfortable elastic waistband, and the cream color is great with any top you have. Pro tip: To keep these shorts looking cute all spring and summer long, wash by hand and hang dry.
Airy Gingham Print Shorts For Retro-Inspired Summer Style
If you love '50s-inspired, A-line summer dresses, cat-eye sunnies, and high-waisted swimsuits, then you'll love adding these retro-inspired gingham shorts to your wardrobe. They're a soft knit with a fitted waist, and they'll give you a relaxed, airy shape at the leg with thoughtful pleats for a little more movement. Match them with their corresponding gingham print shirt for an Audrey Hepburn-esque look, or pair them with your favorite boxy crop top.
Floral Sateen Shorts For Shopping The Farmers Market
These sateen shorts are printed with a shiny floral pattern, which will look perfectly in place while you check out the local flower selection. The material is a cotton and spandex blend for a comfortable fit, and deep pockets in front mean no annoying need to hold tight to your phone the whole time... unless, of course, you're Instagramming your shorts.
Flowy Front-Tying Shorts For At-Work Summer Style
These soft flowy shorts polish up your summer look, and the bow and simple cuffed hem add playful detail. Fans of the shorts say the material is super soft and a great bright color, and one woman said, "I am a new mom and was looking for shorts that weren't so tight or short, and these are perfect."
High-Waisted Denim With Crochet Panels For A DIY Look
If you want to look like you went total DIY on your denim cut-offs for festival season, then snag some shorts with crocheted panels on the sides and an exaggerated frayed hem. Even though the work was already done for you, feel free to soak it up when everyone in line for your favorite band is throwing you compliments on your cool shorts.
Linen Overall Shorts For Dinner With Your Squad
Overalls have definitely made a comeback in spring and summer fashion. Rock this loose and lightweight black linen pair over a fitted striped T-shirt for an easy and adorable look you can easily pull together. For extra comfort, the straps feature adjustable ties that lead to an eye-catching V-back detail. These overall shorts have front and back pockets — and who doesn't love a one-piece with pockets?
Romantic Floral Print Shorts For Date Night
Billabong S horts (Sizes S-L), $15-$19, Amazon
If you're often running late for date night with your S.O. because of a long day at work (or that extra episode of Netflix), having a pair of soft printed shorts you can just throw on is a must. These have a front-tie closure that hides the comfortable elastic band that actually lets you move. Just pair these floral shorts with your favorite soft tank and denim jacket, and you're ready for dinner and drinks.
Distressed, Slouchy Shorts For A Laidback Day
When all you have on your Saturday afternoon agenda is grabbing a latte and hitting the city for some window shopping, a pair of loose-fitting boyfriend-style shorts will look effortlessly stylish. This pair features simple distressed details and a roll-up hem that fits loosely around the leg. Just tuck in your favorite tee or button-down, slip on some sandals or simple sneaks, and head out for your low-key afternoon off.
Ditch Bulky Purses On Sweltering Days With Convenient Zip Pockets
On beautiful spring and summer days, walking around the zoo or botanical garden is always a fun (though sweltering) adventure. When you know you'll be spending the day being active outdoors but you still want to look your best, rock a pair of printed athletic shorts that boast mesh panels and temperature-control fabric. The best part? Side pockets and a back zip pocket give you the option to stash some extra cash, cards, or keys so you won't have to lug a bag around all day.
Nautical Stripe Shorts For Casual Fridays At Work
Casual summer Fridays: you and everyone else at the office basically live for them. These nautical striped shorts with comfortable stretch give you a seasonal pop of pattern, and they're a versatile length for battling indoor AC and sweltering outdoor temperatures. The two front zippers feature shiny metal hardware, and an invisible zipper in back makes it easy to slip them on and off. Pair with a cute pair of espadrilles and your favorite summer top to polish your look for the office.
Woven Drawstring Shorts For A Boho, Beach-Ready Look
O'Neill Marla (Sizes XS-XL) , $26-$20, Amazon
For your days at the beach (or the days when you just want to look like you're headed to the beach), throw on a pair of flowy woven shorts with an adjustable tassle drawstring. This pair has a cute boho print and a unique crossover tulip hemline in the front that will have you channeling your inner beach babe.
Raw Hemmed High-Waisted Shorts For Outdoor Concert
If you're headed to a music festival, July 4th celebration, or another fun outdoor event this summer, snag yourself a pair of fun and trendy high-waisted shorts. This high-waisted pair has a worn-in look with raw hem edges and distressed details. As an added eye-catching detail, they also have a subtle classic Vans checkered print on the back pocket. High-waisted denim shorts lend a cool retro feel to any look that gives you instant style points when worn with a crop top, bodysuit, or a fun tucked-in band tee.
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Images: Pexels (1); Amazon (13)