Chic Ways To Wear Shorts In Spring 2023

In the midst of our current 2000s-style resurgence, we've thankfully managed to leave cargo shorts and flip-flops in the past. Though culture is still recovering from those plaid Limited Too Bermuda shorts, length is one of the factors we're ready to play with when it comes to the shorts we ride, play, and relax in this spring.

There are ways to style all lengths of shorts for whatever the day holds. Plus, we might finally forget the idea that shorts are somehow less work-appropriate than skirts. Whether you're trying to copy Selena Gomez's Bermuda shorts on a budget or just can't wait to ditch bike shorts for good, it's time to mix things up in 2023. And as we adjust to the warmer weather on the horizon, we can welcome a playful new attitude toward thrift-able, classic, and comfortable shorts styles. So, whatever style feels the most up your alley, there are chic options for spring.

A blazer and shorts is a classic look

Shorts paired with a chic blazer, basic tee, and loafers can give you the dark academia look you've been craving, without making you look like a British schoolboy. You can pair tailored shorts from Express with a button-up and loafers or Mary Janes for the smart style If it's a chillier spring day, throw on some tights. And once you've mastered your aesthetic, you can experiment with the pieces' effect on your movement and overall silhouette. 

The silhouette is yours to play with

This spring, we're finding new ways to flatter our shapes, and a monochromatic look is a cheat code for feeling elongated no matter its structure or how snugly the pieces fit. You can go with cute high-waisted shorts of any length to create a line from the waist down. And, when you pair long shorts with the right boots or heels, you can get the elongation of the leg you'd have with the short-short look along with the long shorts' extra coverage.

Keep things light with linen

Spring heating up our daily walks means we can use some extra ventilation, and we may be reaching for lightweight materials more and more in the next few months. A paired linen look is perfect for going from a lunch picnic to an afternoon at the museum, and it gives major summer energy with the extra air of authority that comes from the mature energy of the fabric. You can try out linen dad shorts for the ultimate breezy vibe or go for a cute matching plaid set to achieve warm-weather professionalism.

You can make long shorts feel classic

The all-black look lends itself perfectly to any edgy style, and if you're feeling hesitant about Bermuda-length shorts — which may remind you of a middle school lost and found — your first step should be finding a sleek and subtle option in a finer material. With a few embellishments and paired with a black top, you can pretty much do whatever you want with accessorizing long black shorts to be sure you're putting your best foot forward. Urban Outfitters has a chic longline short in black, and H&M's twill Bermuda shorts come in black, cream, and light green as you get bolder with your long short needs.

A pop of color complements tailoring

Shorts can be chic and casual at the same time when they're one of multiple statement pieces in an outfit. With bold colors, you can introduce a motif into your outfit that can be repeated via your shirt design, a hat, bag, or shoes. Banana Republic's camo green linen Bermuda shorts are a great option, as well as COS's bright green shorts, which you can pair with a sweet white tee or power clash with a busy pattern or bright color.

The adventurer look is hot

Though Nickelodeon's "The Wild Thornberrys" positioned older sister Debbie as the more fashionable character — rocking cargo pants, a belly shirt, and a cute flannel on top — there's no reason we shouldn't rock Eliza Thornberry's cute cargo shorts this spring. Another version of these explorer shorts is Everlane's tourist shorts in blue, which can be rolled up when you aren't in the mid-thigh mood, and their buttons and large pockets are both cute and practical. Bronson's khaki Bermudas also provide army-quality material and a convenient way to cinch the waist.

Denim shorts are coming back

You may be feeling done with skin-tight jean shorts that ride up and cause chaffing, and there's no real reason to have pockets sticking out below our hemlines a la Vanessa Hudgens at Coachella. Gap offers plenty of options for mid-length denim with varying levels of rips and stringiness perfect for different occasions, or you can go with the A-line look from Everlane. Whether you're feeling rocker-chic or going for wholesome mom-on-the-weekend energy, jorts are a versatile and comfortable go-to for the spring. We can also wade into our artistic era with jean shorts that can stand paint stains and rips when we start spring projects.

More is more with masculine layering

The potential of the men's shorts section is a well-kept secret in thrift stores, and once you figure out the sizing that feels good to you, the possibilities for your spring fashion don't have to keep to antiquated gender boundaries. Plus, raiding the men's button-ups is one of the best ways to have lightweight pieces to pair with t-shirts, tanks, and wrap around your waist all spring long. Asos' shorts come with a cute pleat to provide extra structure to your fit and pair well with pretty much any other elements of men's fashion you'd hope to layer over them.

Sporty can be chic

Don't be afraid to go sporty with your shorts, but make it clear that you're out and about with style in mind with accessories. Go with soft cotton logo-print shorts for prime sportiness, or pick a pair of quilted shorts — a good transition piece that gives off athletic yet chic vibes depending on how you style them. However you channel your sporty side, shorts make it easy to stay on the move, and you can look good doing it.

Patterns are for the bold

Last but not least, we love playing with patterns to create a bold yet classic look. Leopard print shorts or a knee-length look from Ganni is a great choice to add some flare to your outfit, or you could go all out with a camouflage short from Alexander Wang. You can also mix things up with a tartan pattern, but make sure it doesn't bring you back full circle to Limited Too and your middle-school fashion mistakes.