How to Wear Athletic Shorts: 6 Perfect Outfit Ideas

Growing up as a year-round swimmer, nylon shorts have always been a staple in my wardrobe. They carried me through long school days after morning workouts, countless weightlifting sessions, until I hung up my cap and goggles after my last run. In the years since my retirement, however, the baggy silhouette has been gathering dust in my drawers, losing out to biker shorts and athletic skirts. Well – until recently, that is. Lately, I’ve found myself saving countless images on Pinterest of It-girls pairing athletic shorts with dainty blazers, shirts, and tops. And while my old grade school styles absolutely don’t fit the same way anymore, I wanted to invest in a few new pairs and try out this athletic-chic look myself.

What attracts me to style? A blend of ease, versatility and utility. Brands like Girlfriend Collective and Lululemon have (thankfully) started producing high-waisted gym shorts, which make the style much more comfortable than the waisted version I wore before. Plus, they can be worn in so many ways. Experimenting in my own closet, I found they looked cute with a lot more shirts than I expected. One of my current favorite combos even includes an oversized blazer!

And when it comes to durability, the sports shorts also get top marks. I wore this trend to one of TZR’s photoshoots, and it was much easier to crouch down and get my video shots in the relaxed material compared to less forgiving fabric.

All in all, I’ll most definitely be wearing this look for the rest of the summer – and as far into the fall as possible. If you’re looking for new ways to style your gym shorts, keep scrolling for outfit ideas. What if you’re a little skeptical? Stick around and let me change your mind.

We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Great Blazers FTW

You know when you put on an outfit and you feel 100% yourself? That’s how I felt when I paired my gym shorts with a t-shirt, oversized blazer and neutral sneakers. There’s no limit to the ways you can spice up this combination, whether you add a brightly colored shoulder bag or swap sneakers for socks and loafers.

cardi party

Pairing athletic shorts with a cropped sweater is a great way to transition this look from summer to early fall. This orange and brown color combo is absolute fall perfection, and I’ll probably try to recreate this one before the weather gets colder (fashion over comfort sometimes, right?) .

Quilted jumpsuit

Here’s another summer-fall transition option to show off the versatility of this trend. I’ve been dying to invest in a padded jacket, and I think it’s finally time. I would pair the mattress topper with a simple white tank top in case it gets really hot in the middle of the day and I need to throw on some layers. For shoes, I would try these Jil Sander x Birkenstock clogs, as I love the Boston clog trend.

Mixed materials

This outfit cries August, when it’s too hot for the sleeves, but you want to start wearing some kind of sweater. Enter: sweater tank tops. I love the mix-and-match energy of a knit tank top with nylon shorts, leather sneakers and a logo shoulder bag.

Preppy buttoned shirt

Stylist Emili Sindlev is a color mixing icon in my book. I wouldn’t have thought of pairing red shorts with a green striped button down shirt, but she makes it look so cool. I also love rope sandals with this look.

All Black

When in doubt, an all-black outfit is always chic. I would keep the color scheme consistent with simple black sunglasses and matching sneakers.

About Catharine C. Bean

Check Also

8 Halloween 2022 group costume ideas for 3, 4, 5 and more

Spooky season has arrived – which means more than the beloved fall Starbucks menu. As …