Tailored, Black Shorts: The Only Pair You’ll Need This Summer


Ok, so hear me out: I love my denim cut-offs. I do. I will literally never give them up. But…sometimes…when I’m walking around the city…eh. They hit differently.

Denim cut-offs will forever be my top choice for going to the shore, heading home to Michigan, and spending some time up in Vermont. They will always have a place in my suitcase when traveling to low-key places like Biarritz (surf capital of Europe) or even Greece. That said, there’s another pair of shorts – one sneaky pair I almost didn’t realize that I’ve been relying on for 5+ years now – that is, arguably, even more useful than denim cut-offs: Black, tailored shorts.

old sweater (xs) or current season | shorts (6) or similar | sandals | bag

The Best Shorts Are Tailored, Black Shorts

I think it’s important to define what, exactly, I’m talking about when I say, “tailored, black shorts”. These are not black denim shorts, nor are they chino shorts or – good grief – bike shorts. The most useful tailored, black shorts should remind you of trousers – they should have some drape, and trouser details like slash pockets or even a tabbed waistband. They should feel expensive (even if they’re aren’t). They can be as long or as short as you want (obviously, I like mine pretty mini).

Here’s a few examples of how myself & some of the TME editors (hiii Cams) have been wearing tailored black shorts as far back as 2017:

While most of the pairs worn here are long gone (except for Julieta’s – they’re Susana Monaco at Revolve), there are a ton of really great options, at various price points:

I first discovered the usefulness of black, tailored shorts in Barcelona, several years ago. It was one of the first times we had taken the kids to Europe, and I found that women were rocking these seriously chic shorts with everything from sneakers during the day to heels at night.

old sweater (xs) or current season | shorts (6) or similar | sandals | bag

I snapped up a pair when we returned home, and quickly realized that tailored black shorts could be worn the exact same way I wore my denim cut-offs (sneakers, graphic tees, plain tank tops, flat sandals, sexy camis, stilettos), but that the result was an outfit that was decidedly more polished.

old sweater (xs) or current season | shorts (6) or similar | sandals | bag

I mean, here’s the thing, tho: I’m not really a polished kind of girl. But it turns out that tailored black shorts provide a nice balance to my usual mess – slouchy sweaters, windblown hair, skinned knees, chipped pedicures (don’t look that close kthanks).

old sweater (xs) or current season | shorts (6) or similar | sandals | bag

Love finding pieces that really do go the distance, year after year.




  1. Not so trousery but I still swear by my Athleta Trekkie North shorts. Have them in 3 colors/patterns for my everyday summer uniform but the basic black can also work for a slightly dressier vibe.

  2. Not sure I can splurge on these trouser shorts- though I love them- but I have always worn the heck out of my black linen J.Crew shorts. Can dress up or down.

  3. I recently purchased the Spanx A-line black shorts, and they are amazing! They pull on, keep their shape wonderfully, and look polished. They’re fantastic

  4. I picked up a nice, tailored pair of black linen shorts from a late-summer sale at Club Monaco last year. They are great (except they require dry cleaning).

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