DO indulge in summer whites.
Tailored shorts in crisp white have a way of making everything else—from a basic blouse to an old tee—look totally polished.
DON’T wear head-to-toe prints.
While fashion fanatics might consider onesies cool this season, wearing patterned shorts and a matching top is another story entirely. Leave this jokey summertime look to the ice cream man.
DO balance out a billowy top with straight-leg shorts.
Thigh-high shorts in dark, serious shades keep colorful A-line tops from looking like Granny’s muumuu. Love the black-and-yellow color combo!
DO avoid panty shorts at all times.
We’re big fans of boy-short underwear, but shorts that look like underwear are a definite Don’t. The ass-vertising only makes things worse.
DO bring back your denim cutoffs.
With their old-school vibe and slightly rebellious sense of cool, denim cutoffs are the white T-shirts of shorts—basic and easy and they go with almost everything. If you want to DIY them, take a pair of scissors to an old pair of jeans, cut them at the knee, then snip off inches, bit by bit, until you get the length you want.
Just DON’T go too short.
Pockets are like panty lines: They should be totally invisible at all times. The white pocket triangles poking out under her cutoffs are a warning sign that the shorts are way too short.
DO ease into sporty shorts.
Not into the micro-shorts? Worry not. Long board shorts look just as cool, especially when paired with a hip surfer-girl tee. To flatter hips and thighs, try a dark pair that fits close (but not too tight) to the body.
DO skip the knee-high shoes.
Wearing boots with shorts—or wacky, super-tall sandals like these—will only make your legs look squat. You also might get a few “What was she thinking?” looks.
DO beware of balloon shorts.
Love her top and the color combo she’s got going on, but the thick, fitted cuff on her bloomerlike shorts make her hips seem wider than they are. Shorts that slightly taper out at the hem are friendlier to all body types.
DON’T be afraid to have fun with color.
Once you have a few basic shorts in your wardrobe—black, tan and denim—test out a fun color, too. While not everyone can pull off her scrunched-down camo boots, her playful lemon-color cutoffs are totally crush-worthy.
DO invest in a pair of bright sporty shorts.
Still don’t think you can hit the town in a pair of neon shorts? Then save the super-bright hues for working out: A cool outfit in a pulse-raising color is a darn good reason to visit the gym.
DO remember that pants are not shorts.
While you might think nobody will be able to tell the difference between legit shorts and your rolled-up sweats, trust us, they can. Love the just-rolled-out-of-bed hair, but a getup like this one might make you look like you’re sleepwalking.