When summer hits, hemlines hike up, clothing loses its opacity, and shorts run rampant. And while classic worn-in denim cut-offs are perfectly acceptable for casual weekend hangouts and shoreside excursions, they lack a degree of polished sophistication, to put it mildly. These days, shorts are treated as an alternative to mini skirts, an alternative that's not exclusive to women in their 20s, either—and we have the proof to back that up.
This summer, stars—from 25-year-old Taylor Swift to 42-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow—are wearing chic shorts. It's a warm-weather staple that not only works for all age groups, but also for a wide range of occasions. (Street-style outing? Red-carpet affair? Yes and yes.) We broke it down by decade that prove structured shorts work for essentially everyone.