Wearing Shorts With a Shirt is a Summer Look I’ll Never Get Bored Of

Experimentation is rife.

We’re mid-way through summer and there’s one style I’ve visited again and again: wearing shorts with a shirt. It’s an easy way to level up a summer outfit and stand out among all the people wearing shorts and t-shirts.

The great news is that the explosion in the popularity of summer shirts means there are a ton of different ways you can wear the style. It’s no longer just a case of putting a linen summer shirt over a pair of chino shorts: experimentation is rife.

Here are some of the absolute best ways to wear a shirt with shorts.

How to Wear Shorts With a Shirt (and Look Great While Doing So)

The Easy Method: Wear With a Casual Shirt

Casual shirt shorts
The Brdwlk

The easiest way to pair shorts with a shirt is to keep the shirt you choose casual. Casual summer shirts are having a renaissance at the moment so there is no reason for you to not be able to find one you like. My absolute go-to is the Uniqlo U button-down polo-kneck shirt in the image above. It was designed in collaboration with Theory and is the perfect shirt to match with a pair of shorts.

Experiment With Bright Colors

Cuban collar shirt shorts
The Brdwlk

This summer has seen men’s wardrobes filling with colors. This is something you should consider when pairing shorts with a shirt. Whether that means grabbing a brightly colored shirt, brightly colored shorts, or both, the key is to experiment with a level of loudness you are comfortable wearing. I especially like to choose a Cuban collar shirt when rocking this style.

Add Pattern to Make Your Outfit Stand Out

Along with all the bright colors, we’re also seeing plenty of out-there patterns and designs. There are tons of shirts with unique patterns available in pretty much every store you walk into. But the really brave among us are willing to step out in patterned shorts. Alternatively, if you want to pare back the look, go for a subtle monochrome palette.

Matching is a Modern Way to Wear Shorts With a Shirt

Striped shirt shorts
The Brdwlk

The trend for patterns has just one logical conclusion: matching shirts and shirts. It’s a relatively new shorts and shirts trend and one you shouldn’t do half-heartedly. I recommend going all out with the loudest combination you can find.

Try Wearing Shorts with a Long-Sleeve Button-up Shirt

Shirt navy shorts
The Brdwlk

So far we’ve focused on casual fits, but if you need a smarter take on the style there’s plenty you can do. First grab a pair of your smarter shorts: we’re thinking chino shorts in muted colors. Then grab a button-up shirt to go over the top. Keep cool by choosing a light material: linen is a great place to start due. Consider going for a looser style too as this will keep the air circulating and minimize the risk of sweat patches. And the roomier the shirt is, the easier it is to roll up the sleeves when it gets too hot.

Wear Under a Casual Blazer

Another way to keep the outfit smart is to put a blazer on over the top of it. We’re not talking about the same blazer you’d wear over a suit, but a slightly looser, summer blazer goes great with shirts and shorts. Look for materials like linen or light cotton. And experiment beyond the typical grays and navy by going for creams or blues.

Don’t be Afraid to Wear Shorts With Your Shirt Tucked In

There’s a lot of debate about whether you should tuck a shirt into your shorts. The theory is that shorts are traditionally casual so you should wear them in a casual way. Personally, I think you tucking a shirt into shorts can look great. It just needs to be a well-fitted shirt and a pair of tailored shorts. And, of course, the location needs to be correct. I wouldn’t wear this down to the beach, but it’s a go for the office or outdoor events.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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