How to Style High-Waisted Shorts for the Summer

How to Style High-Waisted Shorts for the Summer

Fashion, as we all know, is cyclical. What was once out will always be back in. One style we’re excited to see making a comeback? High-waisted shorts! And look, we get it—the 1980s gave the high waist a bit of a bad rep. But you’re gonna have to trust us here when we say that high-waisted shorts are an essential look for the summer. These shorts can be styled in versatile and unique ways with an abundance of different lengths, fabrics, washes, and colors.

To Tuck or Not to Tuck

Before we jump into specific style ideas, let’s talk about tucking in tops. There are basically three options for pairing shirts with high waists: The full-tuck, the half-tuck (sometimes known as the French tuck), or the un-tuck. The full-tuck is great for slim-fitting tops like bodysuits, camisoles and tank tops, or thin sweaters, bringing a little formality to your fit. For a more casual vibe, try the half-tuck—simply tuck in a portion of your shirt in front. This option works especially well with longer tops, like oversized T-shirts or button-ups. Crop tops or shirts of shorter lengths often don’t require any tuck. On to the fun stuff now!

Retro Grunge

Ride the wave of ’90s nostalgia with some of the decade’s top trends: Our go-to pick is denim high-waisted shorts. Look for distressed detailing, like acid washes, cut-off fringe, or tears and rips. Pair with a half-tucked oversized tee and your favorite pair of sneakers for an easy ’90s homage. Or, fully tuck in a tank top and wear an open flannel shirt over the top. Throw your hair in a messy bun with a colorful scrunchie, and you’ll be set for a backyard BBQ or a casual day out.

Athletic Vibes

Athletic wear has been slowly creeping into our everyday wear for years, and summer is an ideal time to mix and match styles. Combine denim shorts with bodysuits or racerback women’s tank tops for a trendy juxtaposition of fabrics and fits. A pair of high-waisted black biker shorts are a must for any warm-weather wardrobe—versatile, stylish, and always comfy. Wear with loose blouses, sweaters, crop tops for contrast, or slim-fitting tops for sleek balance. Athletic-inspired outfits can be easily transitioned from an afternoon stroll to evening drinks by swapping sneakers for fun sandals.

Old-School Romance

Do you know that daydream where you’re frolicking through a field of flowers in an adorable Little House on the Prairie dress, picnic basket, and dream date at the ready? Okay, so we can’t guarantee that scenario ever plays out in real life. But we can help you channel those dreamy vibes into your seasonal looks. Tunic tops and cropped peasant-style shirts in billowy fabric like cotton and linen deliver a soft style—be sure to give longer tops a quick half-tuck into high-waisted shorts. Check out traditional patterns like florals, polka dots, or paisley for old-school flair.

Add some color to your summer threads with dyed denim, khaki, or corduroy high-waisted shorts. A little top-and-bottom color coordination never hurts! Pair a matching shirt and shorts, add stylish strappy sandals or wedges, and be ready to rock Sunday brunch. Bonus tip: A lightweight chambray shirt is an excellent cover-up as the evening temps drop.

Boardroom Inspiration

While we definitely recommend leaving work at work, the nine to five dress code offers a plethora of summer style inspiration; get maximum mileage out of blazers, women’s cardigans, and crisp button-ups. Fully tuck a slim-fitting tank top into high-waisted shorts and add a casual blazer or long, flowing cardigan sweater. Button-up shirts can be half-tucked or tied at the waist for a little retro style. Look for shorts that are longer in length, with clean lines and elegant detailing—basically, the opposite of distressed. Finish off a boardroom-inspired fit with ballet flats, gladiator sandals, or even a pair of heels for a night out.

Loungewear Level-Up

Are they technically pajama shorts? Maybe. Does anyone need to know that? Absolutely not! High-waisted shorts in linen, terrycloth and jersey knit fabrics deliver cozy comfort that can be easily dressed up for casual hangouts or weekend errands. For the ultimate low-key look, pair with cropped sweatshirts, super soft tees, or slouchy tank tops. A sleek bodysuit can elevate loungewear shorts—add some retro sneakers or slides to complete your style.

You Do You

Summer always feels too short, so make the most of every sunny day with high-waisted shorts and styles that work for you. Play around with lengths, fabrics, patterns, mixing, and matching until you find the right looks. Embrace trends and classics alike, and above all else, have fun with it!


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