Not nearly as popular as the lightweight and super-feminine dresses that are constantly flowing on the spring runways, and striving to keep up with the large spectrum of skirts envisioned for the hot seasons, shorts are still being perceived as a less glorified summer staple. Luckily, that’s all about to change.

For spring 2013 tailored shorts made even more of a statement as their persevering nature got them to emerge from being luxurious and tough, all the way to carrying an undeniable amount of sophistication, poise and edge. This season both knee length and short, daytime and evening styles enriched the runways, stealing the spotlight. Infused with ease, but keeping the lines elegant and fresh, tailored shorts are about to become your favourite summer ally.

Don’t forget that if you’d like to keep up to date with all of the latest fashion trends and inspiration on how to wear them, to subscribe to’s newsletter or give us the thumbs up on Facebook.

Tailored shorts for spring 2013

By joining forces with a myriad of complementary styles, the tailored shorts trend brought along an effortless feel to the spring and summer of 2013. Keep your looks polished and relevant all season long by enhancing the tailored appearance with the sleek tops, fitted jackets and smart button-downs. Here’s how to wear the spring staple day and night and what particular cuts, prints and styles are trending this season.

Tailored shorts at Paul&Joe S/S ’13

Printed shorts for spring

Maybe one of the most delightful elements envisioned as to accent this season’s pursue of novelty, the exotic prints and colorful patterns injected the shorts style with a playful character, balancing the tailored attributes and capturing the summer serenity. Wear them with metallic tops for a purposely intended clash of styles, a basic tee for a relaxed summer look or a tailored jacket in a bold, contradictory print.

Printed tailored shorts at Cacharel S/S ’13, Chalayan S/S ’13 and Hermes S/S ’13

High-waisted tailored shorts

Nothing works better in exposing the highly-feminine character of the tailored shorts than a high-waist, accented by choice by an equally stylish belt. Meant to help you transition from day to night, the high-waisted shorts are currently envisioned in an array of both warm and dark hues, light and weighted fabrics. Style them with sleek button-downs, transparent tops and fitted jackets for a flawless approach.

High-waisted tailored shorts at Fendi S/S ’13, Gianfranco Ferre S/S ’13 and Jason Wu S/S ’13

Leather shorts: a dose of toughness

If you plan on achieving a powerful, tough look by using the tailored shorts as the highlight of your spring or summer outfits, don’t think twice and opt for a sleek leather rendering. Shiny or textured, dipped in the classic black hue or perhaps a warm brown, trust the rebellious elegance of the leather tailored shorts to further enhance the juxtaposition of menswear sartorial cuts with exquisite feminine tones.

Leather tailored shorts at 3.1 Phillip Lim S/S ’13, Trussardi S/S ’13 and Sass&Bride S/S ’13

Shorts as eveningwear

Despite the misconception that stubbornly keeps on associating the shorts with either spontaneous getaways at the beach, summer festivals or busy days spent running errands, the choice of comfort has nothing to do with the sophisticated summer style that filled the runways this season.

The tailored shorts are now meant for fancy evenings out, slowly but surely invading the red carpet fantasy as well. We’re talking quiet glamour, exquisite tailoring and all the other qualities needed when braving a fancy occasion: rich fabrics, intriguing cut-outs and bold embellishments included.

Tailored shorts at Sass&Bride S/S ’13, Carolina Herrera S/S ’13 and Prabal Gurung S/S ’13

Short suits

Although this season put the accent particularly on shorts as separates, the presence of the fitted suits on the runway was considerable nonetheless. Making for highly-fashionable work attires and definitely standing for the dressier trend approach, the tailored short suits switched the focus back on androgyny. Pair them with high heels and light-weight button-downs and dare make a statement this spring.

Short suits at Rachel Comey S/S ’13, Emporio Armani S/S ’13 and Hermes S/S ’13

Knee-length tailored shorts

This season the tailored shorts trend also translated to a series of bermuda/knee length styles that are just perfect for the hot season. With a few extra inches of fabric and a silhouette that is clearly nodding towards the menswear department, the knee-length tailored shorts are definitely signing in for a comeback.

Choose a leather version for a powerful interpretation, opt for bold florals to accent the spring spirit or select a vivid color for a relaxed approach. Use their unexpected quality to infuse your wardrobe with even more diversity.

Knee-length tailored shorts at BCBG Max Azria S/S ’13, Cacharel S/S ’13 and Paul&Joe S/S ’13

For more inspiration on how to style tailored shorts direct from the spring 2013 runways, head to the gallery above and click on the thumbnails.

Tailored shorts in 2012

In past years, the popularity of shorts’ seductive sibling – hot pants – jumped through the ceiling, especially amongst summer festival attendees and Europe’s street style dictators. But 2012 was when tailored shorts really became more chic and deluxe than ever: they grew up and graduated from high-school.

Below you’ll find our trend report from spring / summer 2012, showing the evolution of where this trend has recently come from.

Sharp tailored shorts

Pouring a thick layer of polish and refinement to this hot trend, Givenchy’s interpretation in the form of a crisp short-suit has made the tailored shorts a fitting look for work. The cuts of the blazer and its patent leather lapels are essentially androgynous, but the rising hemlines of the silk shorts paint a very contrary picture.

tailored shorts
Tailored shorts at Givenchy, S/S ’12

Prabal Gurung had his money in the pool of sensual femininity, whilst his silhouette took a trip to the man’s land. The shiny fabrics at both Carven and Gurung have lit up the options for this season. Don’t be afraid to match the shorts and blazer, colour-wise, but be mindful of what you’re putting on underneath the jacket.

silk tailored shorts
Silk shorts at Prabal Gurung, S/S ’12

The length for these sharp tailored shorts almost touch the hot-pants radar, but their pairing with suede blazers, satin blouses and chiffon tops makes them classier and dominating, in a way.

Note also that a slightly flared cut is one of spring 2012’s biggest winners. Look for pairs with a mid to high waist and gentle volume as this will elongate the leg – and provide an alternative to the season’s high waisted skirt.

Pick this style if you’re looking at altering your fashion stance at work or for a hot summer date – a bit of leg show never hurt anybody.

Holiday tailored shorts

Your wardrobe for a summer romance on a yacht in an isolated Mediterranean island demands a good range of holiday tailored shorts. And to celebrate that, Versace’s spring / summer 2012 range sings out with insanely sexy pieces that could almost be passed for something out of a swimwear collection. These immaculately fitted and embellished shorts scream nothing but a sexy summer beach holiday.

summer tailored shorts
Short tailored shorts at Versace, S/S ’12

With this type, you’re likely to find pieces with either floral prints or laidback fabrics, such as breezy cotton. And again the cut is less of a straight cut and more akin to the shape of a skirt or culottes. Pair these with other spring 2012 trends like the crop top or summer layering, and you’ll be ready for a country side road trip.

Playing in a field of vibrant colours and bold prints, Diane von Furstenberg’s modern take on the utilitarian cuts and classic shape of the Bermuda create another edge for the holiday tailored shorts. These are loud and very strong pieces, with very subtle hints from femininity. Choose to style the Bermudas straight from the runway, or contrast with an ultra feminine top.

Knee-length tailored shorts at Diane von Furstenberg, S/S ’12

Sporty Tailored shorts

Shorts have been part of the sports industry for years, for their comfort and convenience, but when translated in the fashion world, shorts seem to have an identity crisis every so often. However Barbara Bui’s spring / summer collection sternly prompts the birthplace of shorts, that being the sports room. Paired with a zipped jacket and accessoried with a metallic gym bag, these lycra shorts tick all the boxes for qualifying in the sporty fashion trend for the season. Stella McCartney’s mesh pairs are another sporty option that combines breathable fabric with design flourish.

The length and fabric are key here; pick according to comfort and event.

sporty spring shorts
Sporty shorts at Barbara Bui and Stella McCartney, S/S ’12

Share some style:

Want to keep up with fashion?

Once a week, we send out an update with the latest fashion trends, styles and collections.
Get yours direct in your inbox and keep ahead of fashion.

Our newsletter is spam free and your email address will never be shared or sold.