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How To Wear Shorts

A stylist’s strong argument for making them your summer go-to

By Kate Darvill

Why is it that so many of us stop wearing shorts post-school? Probably because they’re (unfairly) perceived as a harder piece to pull off than skirts or dresses.

This doesn’t have to be the case. It’s counter-intuitive, but shorter shorts – which show more leg ­– are generally more flattering and easier to wear. Longer lengths are good if you want a bit more coverage; I think the main thing to consider is that they end around the knee. I also tend to steer clear of bold prints and keep to more neutral, subdued tones that feel sophisticated.

Look 1: Monochrome


Country Road vest, $279; Bassike tank, $140; Zara shorts, $69.95; Adidas sneakers, $180; St. Agni bag, $479; Local Supply sunglasses, $95

I love a paper-bag finish, whether it’s on a short, skirt or pant. It draws the eye to the waist and the paper bag gives the illusion of a smaller waist at that. All you need to do is add a simple top like this white tank, tucked in, and your look is done.

This black sleeveless jacket from Country Road makes these shorts appropriate for a casual work look or a chic weekend look. I’ve added some black sneakers but you could add a black leather loafer here to keep it more polished.

Look 2: Tonal


CAMILLA AND MARC shirt, $300; Marle shorts, $156; & Other Stories flats, $169; Shevoke sunglasses, $180; Longchamp bag, $230

These classic linen shorts from Marle are the perfect staple for summer. I’ve added an oversized shirt with cooler short sleeves from Camilla & Marc and have chosen to keep the look neutral with a beige colourway. I wanted to feel easy and effortless, so I’ve loosely buttoned the shirt, leaving it pretty open, and added this fun Le Pliage knitted mesh bag from Longchamp, which I love, but a basket would work just as nicely.

Sandy-coloured sunnies from Shevoke and cream flats finish the tonal look. Cream or white flats are a great investment as you’d be amazed at how versatile they are. Country Road also has a great pair that I’ve bought recently.

Look 3: Feeling rosy


Gorman top, $79.20; COS shorts, $150; Gorman bag, $39.50; Birkenstock sandals, $194; Lack of Color hat, $134

This is my “daggy-mum vibe but make it cool” look. Ha! I love these longer Bermuda style shorts from COS, which does a great tailored cut at affordable prices. They finish just at my knee, which means my calves still have some shape. I’ve added a knit top in a soft colour and have half tucked it so it feels relaxed, but you can still see the waist band to give you some definition.

The classic bucket hat is kept fresh in straw from Lack of Colour and love how it frames the face with its graphic shape. Add some comfy supportive Birkenstocks, which I have always found controversially cool, and a fun oversized printed bag from Gorman.

Look 4: Elevated


JAG tank, $90; JAG shirt, $100; Claudie Pierlot shorts, $308; Oroton blazer (similar here); Country Road clutch, $179; St. Agni mules, $379

Shorts are a great option for work when you want a cool alternative to a skirt. A shorter, tailored option with a classic jacket looks fresh and modern for the workplace. I’ve unbuttoned the shirt here and added a white tank for a pop of freshness. You could add some bold, gold jewellery pieces to take this into a look that works for night.

My only advice is that if you want some extra height, keep your heels low. High heels and shorts are one of those trends from the 90s we don’t need to bring back any time soon. So keep it to chic flats or a kitten heel when wearing shorts, day or night.

Styled by Kate Darvill

Photographed by Isa Sanchez



BY Kate Darvill

Kate is a stylist, fashion editor and mum of five

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