It's impossible to talk about summer dressing without mentioning something that a lot of people genuinely seem - year in, year out - quite alarmed by: shorts. Maybe it's the fact that they tend to be short, go figure, and therefore quite exposing after a spring spent bundled in leggings.
Or perhaps that, with their relaxed fits and elastic waistbands, you have to work that little bit harder to make them look smart in your summer wardrobe. Nevertheless, 2022 is backing shorts in a big way this warm weather season - and they've had something of a makeover since the last time you wore them. But how exactly does one wear shorts?
First, you need to know what are the best summer shorts to look for. Chino style shorts have been edged out for tailored shorts that look 100% more sleek. Some even come with matching suit jackets (usually both halves of the equation are pleasingly oversized so the overall effect isn't too shrunken) or with especially elongated and slim-fit legs so that they're effectively culottes.
Tamu McPherson recently styled her high street pair of shorts - chestnut-coloured from Mango - with a matching waistcoat and a crisp white blazer to bring three-piece suiting well and truly into summer territory. I can't help thinking that this exact combination, with the addition of some gleaming costume jewellery, would work wonders as an alternative to a wedding guest dress.
For a more relaxed option, and for anyone who used to fall back on cargo shorts, the best shorts have a relaxed fit and come with an elasticated waistband this summer. Opt for 100% linen or a cotton-linen blend to make them extra breathable during warm weather.
Denim shorts always seem to make an appearance, but instead of the teeny-weeny cut-offs that provide zero sun coverage, this summer's jean shorts are loose and long or come with something statement about them (either an especially high waist or a pleasingly fun pattern).
Finally, best shorts practice dictates that there needs to be an element of balance in your outfit. What this means, simply, is that you should counterpoint that stretch of leg with something oversized on top. An organic cotton shirt with a few buttons undone, say, would immediately make a pair of sweat shorts look sharper. And at the beach, give a pair of swim shorts (or even swim trunks) a surfer kind of cool with a tie-dye jumper and a bucket hat.
That's the long and short of it, but have a go and see what you come up with. You might just wear them all summer long.
SHOP: The Best Shorts
Summer style just found a new hero in these belted shorts from & Other Stories.
The classic chino short gets an update at Arket, this time with linen.
Make a statement and pair with the matching blazer here.
Equal parts comfy and stylish, La DoubleJ's floral shorts are ideal for your next island getaway.
Jigsaw's denim shorts have more chic-factor than your average pair of cut-offs.
These relaxed linen shorts are classic all-rounders.
If we could nominate a colour of the summer, it would be this gorgeous dusty pink - no questions asked.
It wouldn't be summer without a pair of statement shorts.
Story MFG's patterned shorts are made from organic cotton.
With its ditsy print and ruffled hem, these shorts have summer written all over them.
A timeless silhouette you can never go wrong with, paired with frilled detailing for a playful twist.
Add a pop of colour to your monochrome outfit with this pair of bright orange shorts.
These Whistles denim shorts-slash-culottes just need a little heel.
Pair these fluid white shorts with oversized tailoring on top for a gorgeous summer ensemble.