'X Factor' Judge Cheryl Cole Masters Sporty-Chic Style — Follow Her 3 Rules for Nailing the Look

You know all of those amazing intentions you have at the beginning of the season for creating a killer, fashion-forward summer wardrobe full of cute (and affordable) crop tops, on-trend short overalls, and the most adorable midi skirts you ever did see? Well, if you’re anything like me, all of your style efforts (kind of literally) melt away as soon as the heat rises and you find yourself wanting nothing more than to live in your favorite lightweight tank top and trusty old gym shorts.

And while I wouldn’t quite advise that if you have any hope of staying particularly fashionable this summer, there is a hot fad perfect for the season that lets you rock some of the most casual looks and pieces out there, but in a totally trendy way: sporty-chic style.

Filled with athletic looks, loose fits, lightweight fabrics, and all the Maria-Sharapova-on-her-day-off vibes your could ever desire, the sporty-chic style makes for the ideal mash-up of casual meets glam for summer. And if there’s one star who knows how to rock the look the right way, it’s The X Factor UK judge Cheryl Cole, who's been sporting the style again and again lately at X Factor auditions and industry events. So if you’re ready to copy the British beauty and singer’s sexy and sporty look, just follow these three rules for nailing the style.

1. Show a subtle sliver of skin

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Think a striped club tee and track pants scream "soccer coach?" Not when you pair these pieces — like Cole did with her Joseph pants and Karl Lagerfeld top at the Capital Summertime Ball — with a sexy hint of skin. Try picking a pair of sporty pants or shorts that hit right along your hip bone, then complement them with a loose-fitting, slightly cropped top and a smoking-hot pair of heels for a sizzling summer-night-out style.

2. Sport one hue from head to toe

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Even the most basic t-shirt and trousers combo can get a sporty-chic step up when you go monochrome from head to toe, like Cole did in her Stella McCartney ensemble at the X Factor London auditions. Copy her look by choosing a relaxed, cropped pant and oversized tee in the same hue, then accessorizing with a statement necklace and a bright or neutral heel.

3. Mix styles that are short and sweet

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When you're wearing a relaxed fit up top with a draped T-shirt or loose-fitting mesh tank, a short and flirty bottom is just what you need to keep your sporty look from going too casual. Follow Cole's lead by choosing a sky-high, pleated skirt or fun printed short to keep your basic tee from looking boring, then pair it with a playful heel and sheer details to inject another hint of feminine style.

Get the Look:

T by Alexander Wang football tee, $105, nordstrom.com

Milly drawstring skirt, $121, saksfifthavenue.com

Vince printed shorts, $245, bloomingdales.com

Ella Moss mesh tank, $75, ellamoss.com

MADE Fashion Week for Impulse t-shirt dress, $50, macys.com

Splendid cropped pants, $118, splendid.com

DKNY sleeveless dress, $213, bloomingdales.com

Kate Spade New York silicone-strap watch, $175, saksfifthavenue.com

Ellen Tracy drawstring track pants, $80, macys.com