It’s officially summer, which means hotter weather and, most likely, higher hemlines. What’s the easiest way to stay cool as mercury soars? Women’s shorts, of course. Now, not everyone immediately gravitates toward this particular type of bottom. Anything too tight, too unflattering, and yes, too short, can easily put people off. Fortunately, no one’s having to decide between, say, hot pants and shapeless cutoffs this go-round.
In fact, some of the season’s trendiest styles are also some of the most flattering: cuffed, Bermuda, and denim variations in different lengths, fabrics, prints, and silhouettes. There are a ton of great options to choose from, but it helps to narrow the field. So, what are some of the hottest shorts for women in 2022? Let’s find out!
The Trendiest Short Styles in 2022
In the last two years, comfort has been a major factor in choosing what to wear every day. Looser cuts, drawstring waists, and soft materials have all proved popular. What’s changed for 2022? To start, shorts aren’t just for day or downtime. Whereas shorts were once thought of as only appropriate for lounging, errands, and more casual outings, now they can be worn morning till night.
Longer shorts, like the ultra-popular Bermuda, are especially good choices for dressier occasions, including dates and weddings, or even the office. While this specific style looks great with everything from a fitted tee and sneakers to a cropped sweatshirt and platform sandals, it’s easy to up the ante with a more polished pairing: a coordinating blazer, silk blouse, or button-up top.
Beyond Bermudas, printed shorts in bold colors, leather and vegan leather shorts, and biker shorts are all popular options. And while these styles may not always notch the fancy factor, they too can be dressed up depending upon the occasion. Of course when it comes to casualwear nothing beats denim, and this holds true for shorts for women in 2022 too.
Are Denim Shorts Cool Right Now?
While the most sought-after cuts, washes, and lengths may change with the season, denim shorts remain a perennial. For 2022, higher-waisted and yep, Bermuda styles, are especially of the moment. (Pull-on and paperbag styles deserve a shoutout too.) While many of the same fashion rules that apply to jeans apply to shorts, there are a couple key points of difference.
First, go the extra mile for elevated style. If you’re aiming for a more polished look, ensure that your top, shoes, and accessories balance out any casual vibes, especially if your denim features fringe or distressed detailing. Platforms, block-heel sandals, and blazers lend instant high-style cred. Second, keep the silhouette in mind and flatter your figure. Tuck in a tee or blouse, add a waist-cinching belt or pair denim shorts with a cropped or cutout top.
How to Wear Biker Shorts
While we’ve all seen people wearing itty-bitty spandex shorts on social and IRL, you may be wondering whether biker styles could work for you. The answer’s yes! The key is to think of them kind of like you would your fave leggings. Since biker shorts tend to offer compression, they fit and flatter in a lot of the same ways. Plus, they’re still one of the coolest styles of shorts for women in 2022.
Whether you’re slim, curvy, tall, petite, or anything in between, you can wear biker shorts. The key, first and foremost is to find a style you’re comfortable with. Anyone looking to cover up a bit more can opt for a lengthier cut or a higher waist. Pair them with a loose-fitting button-up or a baggy denim jacket and heeled or platform sandals for an extra-elongated leg. Of course, you can also pair your biker shorts with a cropped tee or sweatshirt, a cutout tank, or a matching stretchy top. Add sneakers or thongs for instant casual-summer cool.
How to Wear Baggy Shorts
Baggy or oversized shorts have also emerged as one of the season’s biggest trends. Just as with figure-hugging biker shorts, baggier styles require you to play up proportion and balance the silhouette. Because baggy can often equate to laid back, and doubly so with a short, it’s important to consider a few things when seeking out your next perfect pair. First, opt for a top that complements your bottoms. That could mean something abbreviated that shows a hint of skin, or something that cuts close to the body.
Shorts for women in 2022 that are more athletic-inspired pair well with plain and oversized tees (think ultimate 90s) and look especially of the moment. Looser-fitting printed shorts can work well with similar styles of tops, as well as with plain tees and tanks in neutral hues. To note, overly baggy styles are probably still best left outside the office or dressier occasions. So, whether you’re prepping for a meeting or a meetup, consider alternatives like Bermudas and cuffed shorts.
How to Wear Cutoffs
So, what about the shorts you made from an old pair of jeans? Or the delicately fringed, lightly distressed pair you just scored? Are cutoffs in style? The answer’s yes, and truthfully, cutoffs will probably never not be in style. That said, some of the coolest pairs right now feature a higher waist and/or a longer inseam (blame Bermudas!). While low-waisted pants and minis feature prominently on runways, for now cutoffs with a slightly more polished, grown-up vibe rule.
If you do opt for a lower-waisted pair, go with something baggier for a trendier silhouette (also, summer comfort-wise, baggy cutoffs really can’t be beat). Both classic- and looser-fitting styles will pair well with your closet staples: fitted tanks, cropped tees, and oversize button-ups. And again, as is true with baggy shorts, nix any ultra-distressed or super-slouchy cutoffs for evenings out. Or don’t—rules are made to be broken.
Longing to take those cutoffs from the couch to the cubicle? Just remember that not all workplaces are shorts-friendly, especially when it comes to the most casual styles. As a general rule, if you even have to ask yourself whether it’s appropriate, err on the side of caution and leave that denim in the drawer.
What Tops to Wear with Shorts
Now that we’ve singled out some of the best styles of shorts for women in 2022, it’s time to decide which tops to wear with them. Cuffed and Bermuda shorts look incredible with fitted, tucked-in tops. Ditto for breezier silk and satin button-ups—regular or French tuck. Biker shorts typically go well with either athleisure-inspired matching cropped tops or looser-fitting tees, button-ups, and jackets.
When it comes to denim, you probably have more leeway and fewer hard-and-fast rules. But, if you do want some guidelines, it’s usually a good idea to consider a balanced silhouette along with the occasion. For example, denim Bermudas may pair well with a long jacket and curve-hugging top for date nights, but wouldn’t be office-appropriate.
Classic cutoffs, meanwhile, are great for the day and will probably look good with a host of tops—everything from crewneck tees and one-shoulder tanks to baggy sweatshirts and cropped cardigans. Terry and pull-on styles will pair similarly and can be dressed up with a few statement accessories.
What Shoes to Wear with Shorts
To round out your shorts looks, let’s consider one final, crucial element: shoes! Wearing shorts for women in 2022 means taking into consideration everything discussed above: the cut, style, length, and, sometimes, color. To start, it’s likely you already have a white or black tee in regular rotation. The same should hold for classic kicks in a neutral tone. White is particularly great for summer, and whether you like traditional lace-ups, sleek, retro, or chunky styles, any of them will pair well with denim cutoffs, printed pull-ons, or drawstring shorts.
While biker styles look great with flat sandals, sneakers, and thongs, athletic-style shorts can be worn with flip-flops, slip-ons, and high tops. Love Bermudas? Then add a pair of chic leather slides for day, and a heeled sandal or platform espadrilles at night. If you’re headed into the office or dressing for a date night, a strappy sandal will strike just the right tone and balance the elongated cut with added height.