A rise in temps inevitably leads to hiked hems and sheerer fabrics—basically, a general upswing in skin exposure. But unlike skirts and tanks, shorts continue to be one of the trickier summer staples that toe the line of questionable decency and acceptable age-appropriate daywear.
Not all hope is lost, though. The right blend of color, fabric, and cut can turn shorts from a scary thought into a completely wearable option. For proof, we found stars in their 20s, 30s, and 40s+ who have all been spotted rocking shorts to a T. We grouped them by decade and then shopped out look-alike shorts, from Taylor Swift's cuffed denim shorts to Keri Russell's tailored shorts suit.
If you're in your 20s, there's more room for experimentation. Be bold and stand out with a vibrant color or textured accents. Once you've hit the big 3-0, scale back on embellishments and itty-bitty hemlines. Look to structured silhouettes to elevate your look. In your 40s+? Reach for longer lengths and tailored detailing for a chic, polished spin.