As much as I love white jeans, I love white shorts a tiny bit more, especially in the dead of summer when it’s just too hot to wear jeans. (If you’re wondering what to wear with white jeans make sure to check out my post on 16 Stylish Ways to Wear White Jeans.)
You’re here because you want an answer to the question of what to wear with white shorts. This is a pretty typical query, and there is more than one answer, as white shorts are pretty darn versatile. I’ll provide you with a few ideas to get started, as well as examples throughout the post.
How to Wear White Shorts – Color and Style Pairings
White is the perfect summer neutral. It goes with every color under the sun. White also pairs well with prints and patterns, from florals to plaids to ikat prints. You’ll want to stick with colors and patterns that work well with your skin tone and your overall style.
Classic colors that pair well with white shorts are navy blues, reds, vibrant greens. I really like blue-and-white stripes, which tends to be slightly nautical, but classic at the same time. Pairing a boatneck short-sleeve tee with white shorts and red deck shoes is a good example. Or maybe a bright green cotton button-down shirt, tied at the waist with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of white sandals, which is semi-casual and classic. A fedora is a great look with any of these outfits.
For the Boho vibe, think ikat prints, multicolored stripes, or paisleys, and colors like turquoise, orange, pink or purple. White shorts really show off these colors and prints well. A breezy cotton gauze top in a print (like those below) with some gladiator sandals are perfectly Boho. Add in some colorful bangles and earrings and you are good to go! (Well, maybe add a floppy hat to keep that sun off your face.)
Do you prefer more of a street style? No problem. A simple cotton boyfriend tee in gray or black, maybe a studded belt and some Converse sneakers. Or a soft halter top with graphics with a lightweight plaid shirt tied around your waist.
You also can’t go wrong with white shorts paired with tanks, t-shirts, polo shirts, button-downs, halter tops, even tunics go well with them. Think cotton and linen, which are breathable and easy to wear. And for those slightly breeze days, a loose-knit cotton v-neck sweater, denim jacket, or lightweight hoodie can serve as a topper.
To dress up a pair of white shorts, you can add a slightly structured linen blazer and heels or a silk tank, embellished sandals/wedges and a bit of extra jewelry.
What to Wear with White Shorts – Outfit Examples
Let’s start with a recent summer outfit where I wore white shorts with a chambray tank top. White and chambray blue is a beautiful and bright color combination, perfect for summer and a great option for the beach. The white shorts in this outfit are a little loose and made of a light cotton, not denim. They have a tan line going down the sides (sorry you can’t really see it in the photos) that matches perfectly with the hat. The also have nice cuffed hems which make them a little dressier than denim or cutoffs.
These white shorts have a very relaxed vibe, and they are neither too dressy or too casual. They are perfect for an afternoon of shopping and a seaside lunch or dinner. The chambray tank is a halter style with a pretty crisscross back that also has a relaxed and loose vibe.
I added a summer straw hat and mini crossbody to complete the outfit. Both are for practical purposes: the hat helps to keep the strong sun off my face and bare shoulders and the purse carries everything I need for a summer day. I also had a blue denim jacket that matched the color of the chambray tank because it was a little cold when we arrived at the beach early in the morning. (You could also pair the outfit with a loose knit scoop or V-neck sweater or even a white denim jacket!)
The paisley printed boat shoes were the perfect finishing touch. They worked so well because of the large contrast between them and the white shorts. A colorful pair of beaded sandals would also look great.)
In this second cute and casual white shorts outfit, I wore an adorable pair of white crocheted shorts, which can be dressed up or dressed down. I chose to pair them with a white flowy top and then finished it off with a light-wash denim jacket, since it was a bit chilly in Santa Monica that day.
Since the outfit was primarily white, I added some colorful beaded sandals and a suede fringe bag, making the outfit slightly Bohemian. This outfit would also work for an art and wine or music festival, and you could swap out the top for a boyfriend tee or switch the crocheted shorts with a white lightweight cotton or denim short.
The last outfit I want to share is a decidedly dressed-up white short outfit. In this outfit, I “cheated” a little. My shorts are not completely white but have the addition of a floral embellishment. They add a little extra oomph to the look, especially since florals are a popular summer print. I paired these cute white shorts with a simple form-fitting white cotton t-shirt and a very angular-cut blazer.
To complete this look I wanted to bring some of the color in the flowers down to my shoes. To do this, I wore the lovely bright and neutral tangerine sandals. The shoes balance the print on the white shorts and dress the outfit up considerably.
You can also dress up a pair of white shorts for the summer and pair them with wedges and a brightly colored top – here’s another outfit example.
Or you could pair your white shorts with a white top with contrasting black lining, and bright accessories. This will really make your accessories pop.
There are no hard and fast rules on what to wear with white shorts but there are some guidelines.
Remember to balance your fabrics and patterns. Keep the shorts and tops lightweight, as summer temperatures soar, and add in slightly heavier pieces like jackets, sweaters and hoodies for chilly mornings and evenings.
Secondly, mix in a bit of color to make those shorts pop. It can be in your top, a belt, your shoes or even accessories, like a purse, hat, or jewelry.
Let your own personal style dictate which colors, patterns and styles you wear. Stick to what you are comfortable with and wear it with confidence!
You’re starting to get the idea of what to wear with white shorts!
P.S. If you want to lots of summer outfit ideas, make sure to check out all my summer outfits here!
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