Why We’re Saying Yes to Denim Shorts All Year Long
Jean shorts, aka jorts, never really went away. But suffice it to say they’re having a moment. They can be found on the runways, IRL, and most likely, in your closet. Whether you like them baggy, fitted, high-waisted, cropped, faded, or fringed, denim shorts aren’t unlike jeans: they’re wardrobe mainstays that you can turn to time and again.
Earlier in the year, it seemed like boxer-style women’s shorts would dominate the summer. And truthfully, they did. But while trendsetters readily embraced the silhouette, they weren’t about to leave behind their beloved summer denim shorts. Most of the fashion set flocked to baggier cuts paired with cropped or fitted tops plus sandals or sneakers. Still, that’s far from the only way to wear denim.
Since women’s shorts come in a variety of cuts, colors, and materials, the options can seem endless. So, what’s out there and worth your time? And who’s wearing it? Let’s dive into some background on denim and discuss.
Intro to denim shorts
When it comes to denim shorts, you can either make your own from a pair of existing jeans, or buy them pre-hemmed. In the 1970s, when jean shorts first became popular in the U.S., only the former option really existed. Repurposing an old pair of denim seemed like a no-brainer, especially as styles evolved.
As more women began wearing denim regularly, so too did they start wearing jean shorts. Many of these styles hit mid-thigh or so, and were decidedly casual. It wasn’t until the end of the decade that short-shorts, or “Daisy Dukes” became commonplace for women. By the 1980s, clothing brands and manufacturers realized that denim shorts were big business and began creating their own, cleaner-looking, pre-hemmed versions.
From then on, summer denim shorts really became a part of the fashion firmament, with different silhouettes and styles gaining favor every few seasons or so. And while some looks remain of the moment, others are distinctly more timeless.
Celebrities & Influencers in Denim Shorts
Naturally, just like jeans, celebs love jean shorts. They can often be seen wearing the latest denim trends, or even starting their own. While some celebs tend to favor a particular silhouette, others are known to rock multiple looks depending upon their mood and the occasion. Take Hailey Bieber, for example. She’ll layer a blazer atop cuffed Daisy Dukes, or throw on a long, sheer blouse over frayed denim.
Other model/influencers like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner have been spotted in casual cutoffs paired with button-up tops. Meanwhile, both Hadid’s sister, Bella, and Meghan Markle have proven themselves fans of trendy, relaxed Bermudas. Whereas Bella’s were baggy-casual, Markle’s had a more polished vibe—go figure.
Types of denim shorts available
As mentioned above, fuller, more fluid silhouettes have been trending for a couple seasons now. Naturally, as jeans grew roomier, so too did shorts. Baggies come in a variety of styles, including cutoffs, Bermudas, and high-waisters. While the look is most often associated with casual dress, including shorts that nod to ‘90s-era skater and grunge styles, fuller jean shorts can still be dressed up.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, itty-bitty Daisy Dukes have also proven popular lately, especially among celebs. While the look is iconic, it may not be for everyone. The same can’t be said for Bermudas though, which have been one of the most sought-after styles of women’s denim shorts for decades. With their higher waists and longer inseams, Bermudas can be both flattering and versatile. Want a pair of shorts to wear to brunch as well as to the office? Bermudas are your go-to.
Classic cutoffs—think jeans one size too big that don’t sit too high or too low and don’t have a ton of stretch—are forever. (We’re talking about the kind you might fashion yourself.) Of course, there are great options for purchase, too, many of which mimic the lived-in look of vintage styles.
How to style denim shorts for different occasions
By virtue of their material, almost 10 times out of 10, denim shorts are going to be most appropriate in more relaxed, casual settings. If you do choose denim for the office, opt for a pair of Bermudas, and team them with a blazer and heeled sandals or boots. (Think of a cuffed Bermuda as the shorts equivalent of a pair of high-waisted, slim-cut jeans that seamlessly goes from work to weekend.)
While we probably wouldn’t wear denim shorts to a wedding (even a beach wedding) we would wear them to the beach. A staple of vacations, summer cocktails, and casual outings, denim shorts can be styled in a myriad of ways. A balanced silhouette is key. Think a slouchy sweatshirt paired with Daisy Dukes, a bodysuit teamed with baggies, or a basic white tee to go with those classic cutoffs.