How to Wear High-Waisted Shorts 24/7

The only style I care about this summer.

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I have sworn by a high-waisted fit ever since I gave up low-rise jeans in high school. The style is quite flattering on all body types and, contrary to what some might think, rather comfortable (pro tip: look for a pair with a little stretch). And let me tell you: There are so. many. good. high-waisted shorts available this season. (My favorite is the gingham print in outfit five.) Whether you're new to the high-waist game or searching for more ways to wear your favorite pair, here are five ways to style the slightly retro cut in a thoroughly modern way. By the end of summer, you'll be wondering why you ever wore anything else.

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1 The Trendy Outfit
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Design by Morgan McMullen

Dive right into summer's biggest trends with a leopard print bucket hat (a real attention-getter) and high-waisted paper-bag shorts. The bottoms look best with a shirt or tank tucked in to highlight your curves and natural waistline. A pair of gold horn-inspired earrings and heels from Topshop's new vegan line seal the deal for accessories. This outfit will make you look on-trend without feeling forced.

Shop the pieces: 1. The range jersey tank, $125; 2. Uncommon James earrings, $66; 3. & Other Stories leopard bucket hat, $39; 4. Topshop paper bag denim shorts, $60; 5. Topshop reya vegan nude heels, $100

2 The Dressy-Casual Outfit
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Design by Morgan McMullen

For a smart warm-weather option, get Chloé’s belted white bottoms. They're made in Italy from stretch-cotton denim accented with red topstitching and finished with turned-up cuffs that move away from the body. To show off the bow belt, tuck in a tie-dye tee (this one much chicer than the ones haphazardly made in camp). A crab-shaped clutch adds whimsy and a burst of color at your feet reminds you it's indeed summer.

Shop the pieces: 1. Mango tie-dye tee, $40; 2. See by Chloé high-rise shorts, $206; 3. Aranaz crab wicker clutch, $448; 4. Zara strappy flats, $50

3 The Edgy Outfit
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Design by Morgan McMullen

I have to include a mostly-black outfit for the ladies out there who swear by this color year round. The statement piece in this look is obviously the shorts, which read as leather, but are actually made entirely of...denim! The contrast stitching and silver stud hardware are unique details only Alexander Wang could dream up. Keep it simple with a black bodysuit and sneakers. At night or inside, layer on this cool Stella McCartney hoodie.

Shop the pieces: 1. Aritzia bodysuit, $50; 2. Stella McCartney hoodie, $710; 3. Alexander Wang shorts, $550; 4. Eastpak fanny pack, $45; 5. Vans staple sid ni, $65

4 The Sunday Outfit
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Design by Morgan McMullen

Fans of Everlane's wide leg crop pants will be ecstatic to shop the short version for summer. This high-waisted pair comes in four different colors (I personally love the versatility of olive). Reviews for these shorts include "short but not too short a.k.a age appropriate" and "comfortable without unnecessary rubbing." Are these a gift sent down from heaven? I think yes. Dress 'em up with street style favorites: a Danse Lente bag and Alexandre Birman's new sneakers.

Shop the pieces: 1. Eileen Fisher tee, $68; 2. Quay sunglasses, $60; 3. Everlane cotton shorts, $48; 4. Danse Lente johnny bag, $430; 5. Alexandre Birman sneakers, $695

5 The Vacation Outfit
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Design by Morgan McMullen

Although any of these high-waisted shorts would work for vacation, this gingham pair is the one deemed most worthy of Instagram pics at the beach. The bottom is loose around the legs, but holds its shape around the waist and the gauzy fabric is perfect for cool breezes. Dress the shorts down with a silk cami and brown sandals and keep the sun out of your eyes with a straw hat. This #OOTD is going on the 'gram.

Shop the pieces: 1. Annie Bing silk top, $149; 2. Brixton straw hat, $44; 3. Clare V tote, $119; 4. DoDo Bar Or gingham shorts, $155; 5. Madewell sandals, $88

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