5 Bermuda Short Looks For Summer 2023 That Are Far From Frumpy

It's quite a feat that the fashion-forward among us have turned one of the frumpiest garments on the market into one of the summer's must-have items: Bermuda shorts. You know them immediately when you see them. The semi-long shorts are typically cut right at the knee, give or take a few inches, and because of this odd height, they have been historically difficult to style. For many, they likely bring up images of tourists on tropical vacations or parents barbecuing in the backyard; not exactly high fashion.

However, when paired with the right items, a pair of Bermuda shorts can be timeless, traversing aesthetics from normcore to preppy chic. Much like the rise of the ugly shoe era, the Bermuda shorts trend is proving that embracing individuality is the quickest way to achieving effortlessly cool. As such, they're perfect for those who like to take a risk when it comes to fashion. 

But should you feel slightly intimidated by these shorts, or worried that you might miss the mark on the trend, worry not. Bermuda shorts can work for anybody. 

Tailored Bermuda shorts add sophistication

But there's more to Bermuda shorts than just denim cutoffs. We love seeing Bermuda shorts dressed up, like digital creator Sarah Mae (@sarahresureccion) does in this Instagram look. These black Bermuda shorts feature a tailored cut, instantly giving them a sophisticated edge, in contrast with their playful shape. A pink long-sleeved knit shirt and black jacket layer the look, while a pair of chunky sneakers and pink socks complete it. Bermuda shorts are definitely key to achieving the trendy normcore aesthetic, and a pair of tailored Bermuda shorts are able to cross the boundaries of several trends and styles. 

DIY Bermuda shorts

One of our favorite ways to wear Bermuda shorts is to DIY them! Because finding a pair with the perfect cut for your leg length can be a challenge, there is no better way to get it right than by doing it yourself. TikTok creator @aniyahtoler demonstrates how to create the perfect Bermuda shorts in a video. First, take a pair of jeans that you are happy to modify. Put them on and mark where you want to the cutoff to fall. (You can always make them slightly longer than you anticipate, to avoid cutting them too short.) Then, with a pair of fabric scissors, cut away! And if you like, you can distress the shorts with a pair of tweezers, as shown in the video. 

The nice part about a DIY short is that it will be totally unique to you. And since it's made using a pair of jeans you already own, you likely already have tops that match with it.

Pair distressed shorts with a pop of color

When you're looking for a casual look that still reads chic, distressed Bermuda shorts could be an asset to your closet. We love how @keiabeia___ wears her ripped Bermuda shorts with bright pops of color, including mint-blue boots modeled after the internet-breaking MSCHF red boots, a bubblegum pink bag with a bright white chain handle (and matching sunnies), and a super summery yellow graphic T-shirt. The slightly extended length of these Bermuda shorts add an extra cool factor to this summertime look, while its distressed features add an element of rebellion. Where ripped shorts are a warm weather classic, and denim goes with anything, ripped Bermuda shorts are the perfect way to experiment with blending high and low fashion this season. 

Wear boots with your Bermuda shorts

Even though Bermuda shorts are perfect to wear with a pair of sneakers or sandals, we think they look spectacular with a pair of boots. Instagram creator Lorena Chavez Delion (@lorenacdelion) wears a pair of light-wash Bermuda shorts with a pair of shiny brown, square-toed leather boots. While the pairing might seem a bit avant-garde, something about the look just works. We think Bermuda shorts also look incredible with the cowboy boots trend, for a fun spin on the Western aesthetic. We also appreciate how Delion styles a boxy t-shirt with the look, elevating a basic garment by tucking it in, and creating a more polished effect overall. 

DIY below-the-knee Bermuda shorts

Another way to wear Bermuda shorts is to DIY them below the knee. This look works best with baggier jeans. Another TikTok creator (@sig.sad.world) demonstrates how to make them. First, take a pair of slightly flared, wide-leg jeans and cut them just below the knee, or where the flare begins. You can mark the line with chalk so to ensure that the cut is straight, and placed where you want. When the shorts are ready to go, pair them with a simple white tank and high-top shoes for an effortless, retro look.