Like the summertime version of your little black dress, a pair of denim shorts never really goes out of style. Case in point: images of Daisy Duke from the late '70s and early '80s in her signature cut-offs still feel totally relevant. Throwing on denim shorts for barbecues, beach days, and weekend adventures is a no-brainer—but what about dressier occasions? No, we’re not saying to show up to your best friend's wedding in a pair of cut-offs and a tank, but with the proper styling and accessories, you can totally elevate your everyday denim-centric outfit.
The key is to start with a pair of "dressier" shorts. That means, one with a darker wash and a longer inseam (and possibly a cuffed hem). A darker denim is more versatile and is easily kicked up a notch when paired with sophisticated pieces, like a black blazer, structured tote, and a white Oxford shirt. Below, we took one pair of denim shorts, (AG shorts, $158; agjeans.com) and styled them three different ways for polished summer outfits.