If there's one fashion-related topic that most people can collectively agree upon, it's that there shouldn't be rules. Whatever age, body shape, or gender you happen to be, everything is on the table — period. That said, there are some styles that you just grow out of over time, like, say, denim cutoffs. But, before you toss them altogether, sometimes all it takes is the right inspiration to showcase how to style denim shorts in your 30s and beyond in ways that look both polished and cool. As you know, the key to constructing any good outfit is less about the actual items you're wearing and more about the way you style them. And now that you're more settled in your personal aesthetic, you can wear something simple like denim cutoffs in ways that aren't so run-of-the-mill.
If you feel that these once wear-everywhere staples now feel a little too casual, you aren't alone. The raw edge combined with a short hemline, can make an entire outfit feel untidy. But, the right pair (and right styling) might change your mind. Consider the advice from denim expert and Paige designer Paige Adams-Geller. "For daytime, I suggest styling denim cutoffs with a puff sleeve blouse and western booties like our Willa Boots or our London in Carmel Suede." These trendy pieces help balance out the casual feel of the shorts. And as for after hours, "I would style cutoffs with a silk cami blouse, a longer (mid-thigh) open cardigan and our Talia Wedges.”
For more ideas on how to put a sophisticated twist on summer's denim cutoffs, see and shop the Instagram-inspired looks ahead.
Distressed Shorts + White Blouse + Heeled Sandals
Grab your breeziest, most effortless white top and style it with your cutoffs for a festive summer pairing. To finish, a pair of colorful strappy heeled sandals add the polish needed to offset the casual shorts.
Quirky Shorts + Puff Sleeve Top + Block Heels
Team a puff-sleeve top with a pair of unconventional denim cutoffs for a look that's bound for weekend festivities. Slip into low block-heel sandals which are easy to walk in but still create that high-low contrast.
Dark Shorts + Blazer
Go graphic by styling a gingham-print blazer with a retro-print tee and dark-wash denim shorts — the look could easily work for after-hours but is easy for daytime too. The darker-hued denim also adds a bit more sophistication to the ensemble.
Long Shorts + Sporty Sandals
Give your vacation wardrobe an extra dose of tropical vibes with a "dad shirt" and sporty sandals. Longer bermuda style shorts are on-trend for summer and also add extra coverage for those who don't want something quite so short. All that's left is a bucket hat for good measure.
Shorts + Sneakers
Give your cutoffs a sporty aesthetic by belted a fanny pack over a blazer and accessorizing with a pair of fresh white sneakers and tube socks. It's a street style-inspired way to pull off jean shorts that comes across as in-the-know.
High-Wasited Shorts + Summer Sweater
One of the key factors of growing into your personal style is realizing what you feel most confident and comfortable in. For many, simplicity reigns supreme, which is why a simple sweater and cutoffs duo is a great choice.
Bermuda Shorts + Structured Top
If you're feeling especially adventurous, wear a structured top or vest with your cutoffs and slide into a pair of colorful sandals. The resulting look will read as a thoughtful approach to denim shorts.
Light Wash Shorts + Parisian Top
Looking for something sweet, simple, and suitable for more scenarios than just the beach? Wear your cutoffs with a ladylike top and simple sandals. Plus, the combination feels reminiscent of Parisian-inspired style, which tends to skew on the elegant side of things.