Summer Outfits With Shorts: 4 Ways to Mix Up Shorts + a Tee

4 Ways to Mix Up Outfits With Shorts

Huge thanks to Nordstrom and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post

Summer’s approaching, and I don’t know about you, but I feel like summer style can be tricky!  It’s much harder to mix up outfits when it’s too hot to rely on extra layers like completer pieces, and it’s easy to fall into a rut of the same boring shorts + tee everyday.  But, that combo doesn’t have to be boring! If you want to avoid the rut, today’s blog post is for you. I’m sharing four tips to mix up outfits with shorts and keep them fresh, and I’m partnering with Nordstrom to do it! 👏🏼

SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes, 8.5 to 9 in shoes.


Blue eyelet tank + White shorts + Sandals + Tote bag + Hat Navy Tank + White Shorts + Brown Tote + Hat Navy Tank + White Shorts + Brown Tote + Thong Sandals + Floppy HatNavy eyelet tank + white shorts + tote + hatCloseup Eyelet Navy TankNavy eyelet tank + white shorts + tote + hat + denim jacket

1. Find easy tops with special details like eyelet, lace, embroidery, or knots.
I talk about tops like these every season, but they’re especially important in the summer.  When it’s hot, you can’t rely much on layers or additional pieces to make outfits interesting, so finding pieces with special details is key.  The special details provide visual interest without having to pile on more pieces.

This tank from Halogen is soft, stretchy, and super comfy, just like a basic stretchy tank.  However, the eyelet detail at the neckline elevates it beyond a basic.  It’s really pretty and easy to dress up or down, yet it’s just as comfy to wear as a basic tank.  Pair this with white shorts like I did here, try printed shorts like THESE from Caslon, or tuck it into a skirt for a dressy casual outfit.  This tank is on the thicker side and feels like great quality.  Sizes are limited in this navy version, but it’s fully in stock in black, which is also pretty!  See it HERE.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Nordstrom (exact-size S)
Shorts: Nordstrom (similar, similar, similar)
Denim Jacket: Nordstrom (exact-size M)
Sandals: Nordstrom (similar)
Hat: Nordstrom (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

Below are more comfy tops with special details that will elevate your outfits with shorts.  Swipe through the widget below to see them all, and click on an item to shop.


Black tee + Olive shorts + Leopard Slides + Brown cross bodyBlack tee + Olive shorts + brown bag + statement earringsblack tee + olive paperbag waist shorts + brown bag + leopard slidesbrown bag + paperbag waist shorts + black tee + olive shorts Olive shorts + leopard slides + Black Tee + brown bag

2. Choose shorts with special details like a paper bag waist or a print.
This is the same idea from Tip #1 applied to bottoms instead of tops.  Shorts with special details make more of a statement, and having at least a couple pairs of shorts like this really helps change up that tee + shorts combo.

I’ve said many times that olive shorts are one of my closet staples, but ones with a paper bag waist add a fun, interesting twist.  This combo is just shorts with a plain black tee, but the paper bag waistband provides a cute focal point that elevates this basic combo. Shorts like these come with added bonuses as they: 1) are often really soft and comfy, 2) usually have an elastic waistband, and 3) have wider leg openings which means they give your thighs more room.  Yes, yes, and yes, please!

Shop The Outfit
Top: Nordstrom (exact-size S, similar–size S)
Shorts: Nordstrom (exact–size S, similar, similar)
Sandals: (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: (similar)

Below are more shorts with special details.  Having at least a couple pairs of shorts like these add refreshing variety to that tee + shorts combo.  Swipe through the widget below to see them all, and click on an item to shop.  Many come in multiple colors.


Yellow tee + linen shorts + tote bag + sandals Yellow tee + linen shorts + tote bag + sandals + white necklace Blue linen shorts + yellow tee + White earrings + Denim jacket + tote bagLinen shorts and tee closeup yellow tee + tote bag + denim jacket + thong sandals

3. Mix things up with colorful or printed tees.
I recommend having at least one colorful or printed tee/tank in your summer wardrobe to liven up outfits.  They are easy alternatives for basic neutral tees, but they add more variety to your wardrobe.

I recently added this yellow tee from Caslon to my wardrobe and have loved it!  It’s great when I want the ease and low-key-ness of a super casual basic but want something that pops more than neutrals.  This is the same tee as the white one I’ve been talking about lately (more on that below in Tip #4), but in yellow.  It comes in 17 different colors and prints, so you’ve got a ton of choices for mixing up your wardrobe!  See them all HERE.

Pair colored tees with anything, like denim shorts, white shorts, the olive paper bag waist shorts, or printed shorts like I did above.  These shorts are linen, which is lightweight and breathable for summer.  They have a comfy elastic waistband with a drawstring.  I’m wearing size S, and they were a little fitted upon first wear but stretched to be more relaxed over time.  You can pair them with basic neutral tees like white or navy, mix it up with a colored tee like I did here, or elevate them with the eyelet top I showed above. They come in this print and solid neutrals like black, olive, and chambray.  See them HERE.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Nordstrom (exact-size S)
Shorts: Nordstrom (exact-size S)
Denim Jacket: Nordstrom (exact-size M)
Sandals: (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar)
Below are some colorful and printed tees.  Swipe through the widget below to see them all, and click on an item to shop.  Many come in multiple colors.


Sandals + white tee + bermuda shorts + bucket bag White tee + gold necklace + bucket bag + bermuda shortsBermuda shorts + white tee + bucket bag super soft bermuda shorts outfitsoft bermuda shorts + white tee + statement necklace

4. Good Basics + Print
Last is the most basic version of outfits with shorts: denim shorts + a white tee.  There are many things you can do to change it up, but I LOVE it by itself.  For a long time I couldn’t get it to look right, but I’ve learned that a tee with a great drape is key!

I’ve talked about this tee a ton because I am so happy to have found it!  It drapes really well.  It’s fairly thin, which is nice on a hot day, but it also means it’s not fully opaque.  However, its heather texture helps combat some of its sheerness, so I can wear it with a nude colored bra underneath and no camisole.  I recently remixed it 6 ways HERE.  Find the tee HERE.

These shorts are in the mid-level price range, but for good reason.  They are super comfortable!  They’re from Wit and Wisdom, which is the same brand as my favorite jeans.  They are from the Ab-solution line, which means there is elastic in the waistband, and the legs are stretchy throughout, for a super comfy fit.  The mild distressing offers some visual interest and a more relaxed vibe, and the longer Bermuda length provides welcome coverage. 😄

If you’ve got a white tee with a great drape and a cute pair of denim shorts, I think this combo works well by itself.  However, if you want to change it up, you can easily do that by adding a print somewhere, like with a lightweight printed wrap or printed sandals.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Nordstrom (exact-size S)
Shorts: Nordstrom (exact-size 6)
Sandals: (similar)
Bag: (similar)
Necklace: (similar)’
All of today’s pieces can be mixed and matched with each other, which means you’ll have plenty of outfit combos with them.  Hopefully this helps keep things fresh for you this summer!




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