The Best Tops to Wear With Your Shorts

Shorts may be the unofficial uniform of the summer, but there's a good chance you've been overwhelmed at the sheer number of options, shapes, and colors — quick, do you want 'em tight and high-waisted or baggy and boyfriend-style? And once you've got the shorts, what goes with them? The best words to keep in mind when choosing a top are balance and contrast. But let's get more specific.

The simple days of denim cut-offs are gone

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Shorts may be the unofficial uniform of the summer, but there's a good chance you've been overwhelmed at the sheer number of options, shapes, and colors — quick, do you want 'em tight and high-waisted or baggy and boyfriend-style? And once you've got the shorts, what goes with them? The best words to keep in mind when choosing a top are balance and contrast. But let's get more specific.

High Waisted Shorts

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Wear them with cropped tops. This pin-up style has become hugely popular over the past two summers, and form-fitting high-waisted shorts are a great mix of cute and coy. Wearing them with a cropped top is the freshest way to show midriff this season without channeling your inner-'90s Britney/Xtina (either one will do).

High Waisted Shorts

Wear them with a tucked-in shirt. Nothing says "I built this nation with my two hands and looked good doing it" like a crisp button down tucked into a pair of high-waisted shorts. A fitted, tucked-in top will emphasize your waist; a baggy, tucked-in top will emphasize your hips and legs.

Micro-shorts

Wear them with something oversized. One of the cutest ways to wear this edgy style is with a baggy, boyish top. Don't be afraid to do a bro tuck (tucking the front of your shirt into the waistline). See? Balance.

Micro-shorts

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Wear them with something formal. Bet society didn't see that one coming, huh? People expect to see micro-denim dressed a certain way (with a "99% Angel" t-shirt, I'd imagine), and you went and classed it up with a blazer. Too cool for school, indeed.

Dress Shorts

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Dress them up, duh. Pair pleated dress shorts with a vintage button-down if you want to look put-together but still stand out from the hordes of suits.

Dress Shorts

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Wear them with red-carpet formalwear. A going-out top works well with dressy shorts as a chic alternative to sequined miniskirts or whatever all your friends are wearing.

Knee-Length Shorts

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Channel Annie Hall. In case you've missed all the fashion buzz surrounding it, Bermuda (or knee-length) shorts are back. This is one of those trends that forces you to work a little harder to avoid looking like a mom from a bad '80s movie, but if you nail it, it's so worth it. Pair these shorts with a blazer and a button-down — add a vest and a tie, if you'd like — to bring Annie Hall's androgynous chic to the office.

Knee-Length Shorts

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Wear them monochrome. Keep these shorts light to both look and feel cool. An all-white outfit is a great way to channel summer while still remaining a little covered up.

Boyfriend Shorts

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Wear them with something girly. Baggy, slightly-destroyed shorts have been come to be known in the biz as boyfriend shorts, intended to mimic the look of a girl stealing her guy's extra-comfy clothes. Contrast the casual denim with something that shows a little skin.

Boyfriend Shorts

Wear them with the attitude to match. Cuff them, pair with a striped tank, and slip on some fantastic white sandals. Make them your own! Just be cool, baby.