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Try a Sophisticated Pair of Dress Shorts This Season

Stay chic in the heat.

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Welcome to The Essentials, our weekly series highlighting a must-have classic, key to building a timeless, pulled-together closet.

While a summer dress code embraces lightweight fabrics, brighter colors, and a general sense of ease, there's bound to be an important meeting, special occasion, or mandatory event that calls for dressier fare. Luckily, shorts that comply with dressier standards are no longer few and far between. Long tailored options can thrive in the workplace, while trims, embellishments, and stylish hemlines help shorts count as elevated party-wear. Skeptics will warm up to a slew of new, versatile short options that can be worn in a set, à la Chanel, or balanced out with summery separates. When you have to get dressed during a heat wave, at the very least, let your legs catch a breeze. Ahead we've got 10 dress short options to choose from.

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1 Long Shorts
Courtesy
ZARA zara.com
$39.90

For the boardroom or client lunches, pair this long short with  a silky button-down top and a long string of pearls.

2 White Pleated Shorts
Courtesy
GAUGE81 net-a-porter.com
$315.00

A pleated front gives these shorts a tailored silhouette, while the high-waist is a perfect complement to a summery bralette top. If you're not keen on completely baring your midriff, finish off the look with an oversized blazer.

3 Feather Shorts
Courtesy
Loulou farfetch.com
$334.00

Get the party started in these pastel pink, feather-embellished shorts. They'd make a cheeky wedding after-party ensemble alongside a pretty top.

4 Gold Button Shorts
Courtesy
H&M hm.com
$29.99

A white short gets an upgrade with the inclusion of shiny gold buttons and a stylish slit hem. Darts on the backside contribute to the great  fit.

5 Rose-Print Shorts
Courtesy
Versace saksfifthavenue.com
$995.00

The feminine rose embroidery on these shorts offsets a more boyish pinstripe pattern. For date nights, wear these with a lightweight cropped cardigan and a pair of slingback kitten heels.

6 Ruffle Trim Shorts
Courtesy
MSGM farfetch.com
$192.00

See and be seen in this vibrant orange short with ruffle hem details. Pair them with a simple T-shirt or a striped bodysuit, and accessorize with a trendy chain-adorned sandal.

7 Taffeta Shorts
Courtesy
Raey matchesfashion.com.uk
£325.00

A silk taffeta fabric will take your shorts to elevated heights. The interior lining has an elastic cuff hem so there's little chance of these riding up.

8 Floral Print Shorts
Courtesy
Dolce & Gabbana net-a-porter.com
$555.00

These bold floral shorts are the summery wardrobe solution for outdoor soirées. Pair them with a crisp white button-down to look utterly polished.

9 Riley Leather Shorts
Courtesy
Pixie Market pixiemarket.com
$118.00

A faux leather short will look expensive without breaking the bank. Throw on a summery linen blazer and a pair of hoop earrings to keep it appropriate for an office setting.

10 Pleated Sailor Shorts
Derek Lam 10 Crosby saksfifthavenue.com
$375.00

These nautical-inspired shorts are a go-to for summertime celebrations or a seaside rendezvous. Pair them with a short-sleeve Breton stripe shirt for full-out preppy sailor vibes.

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