how to style printed shorts

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every year as the temperatures start to warm up, i swap out my favorite skinny jeans for shorts. since converting most of my wardrobe over to a neutral palette, i normally opt for blue or white denim cut-offs to help me get through the brunt of summer since they easily mix and match with just about everything from chambray to sweaters. but i just couldn’t part with this festive pair of shorts i picked up from j.crew factory a few summers back. the polka dot pattern and pops of pink and green instantly put me in a good mood. whenever i put them on, i always feel like i should be transported to a tropical island or something. preferably with an umbrella drink in hand.

since wearing bold patterns can be a little intimidating, i wanted to take the guesswork out of it by showcasing two surefire ways to style them.


tip #1: play up one of the colors in the print’s pattern




j.crew factory shorts (similar here & here) || j.crew factory silk blouse (similar)

charles david pumps || banana republic necklace (similar)

stowaway creme lipstick in peony







in the case of these shorts, the main colors are black, white, fuchsia, and green. the natural thing would probably be to pair them with black or white (since i’d venture to say those are the most prevalent colors in anyone’s wardrobe), but in looking through my closet, i remembered this stunning emerald silk blouse that instantly elevates the shorts to a chic springtime date night look. throw on a pair of black heels and a statement necklace and voila, it’s time for that umbrella drink.


tip #2: when in doubt, opt for chambray




j.crew factory shorts (similar here & here) || everlane sleeveless chambray || loft cardigan

vans slip-ons (similar) || natalie borton “emerson” necklace (sold out)

stowaway creme lipstick in peony







similar to black and white, chambray is the ultimate neutral. i like how it adds visual interest to this outfit by introducing a complimentary color while still allowing the shorts to be the star of the show. unlike the first look, this one is a perfect daytime ensemble for your weekend -whether you’re running errands around town or exploring a local attraction in your city (museum, county fair, theme park). i realize the stripes could be overwhelming for someone not accustomed to mixing patterns, but since the sweater contains two of the same colors already found in the shorts, the patterns compliment instead of compete.

bottom line: don’t let loud prints or patterns intimidate you -they are the spice to any wardrobe and give you endless possibilities for styling!

  • Mom
    April 15, 2016

    Love these two looks. They are so different, but at the same time using the same shorts. The art of redesign! You are so creative in your choices❤️

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