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Fashion

Summer’s Simplest (But Arguably Best) Outfit Recipe

Denim Shorts and White Blouses

I can basically get through summer wearing nothing but some variation of this uniform: 1 part denim shorts, 1 part white shirt. Which denim shorts? Which white shirt? That’s the magic part. Start with whatever’s in your closet, and get creative.

That’s what I did here, in collaboration with two of my denim-shorts-and-white-top-wearing friends, Samra and Patricia. To come up with our ideas, we dove into conversations with you on Man Repeller’s Thoughtline and explored the comments from this personal shopping story. Here, our best bets for styling these two summer staples.

Make It Short and Sweet, By Me (Elizabeth)

Re/Done shorts, vintage shirt -- similar here styled with Belgian Loafers shoes -- another option here, grandma’s scarf in hair Re/Done shorts, vintage shirt -- similar here styled with Belgian Loafers shoes -- another option here, grandma’s scarf in hair

A vintage white blouse is one step more stylish than a plain, white tee—and it requires fewer accessories to pull everything together. I recommend a vintage cotton option with fun embroidery or other detailing. When buying a vintage blouse, check your material! Breathable linen or cotton will treat you best in hot weather. The sleeves will stay rolled-up far better than, say, silk, when it gets too hot to have your arms fully covered.

I paired my cotton shirt with a pair of casual cut-offs to tone down the top’s sweetness. I’ve had these shorts for many years; to keep them soft, I wash them minimally and let them have some time in the sun—giving them a bit of a fade, which I like. For a pair that’s a bit more fun, I very much love these $55 upcycled shorts from Studio One Eighty Nine, which come in size XS to XXXL.



Samra Michael Embraces Length

Denim Shorts and White Blouses
Abercrombie & Fitch shorts and vintage shirt -- similar here styled with Intentionally Blank shoes -- similar here, Manitou Supply earrings -- similar here, Casio watch Abercrombie & Fitch shorts and vintage shirt -- similar here styled with Intentionally Blank shoes -- similar here, Manitou Supply earrings -- similar here, Casio watch

I tucked my white sleeveless mock-neck top into my black denim Bermuda shorts, offsetting the casual combination with a pair of white loafers. I kept my accessories simple yet fun by mixing a pair of silver abstract earrings, a gold watch, and my favorite funky rings.

Bermuda shorts have been a staple in my wardrobe because I find them to be figure-flattering and also pair nicely with crop tops and cute kicks. You could say this is my summer uniform. I am also really just a sucker for longer-length shorts in general: linen, denim, low-rise, high-rise, distressed, I’m here for all of it. As for the top half: I paired the long shorts with the sleeveless top because I enjoy the little-top-big-pants aesthetic.



Patricia Nygaard Deconstructs the Basics

Denim Shorts and White Blouses
Vintage Bill Blass shorts and Grayson shirt styled with vintage knot sandals -- similar here, family heirloom and Glazed NYC jewelryVintage Bill Blass shorts and Grayson shirt styled with vintage knot sandals -- similar here, family heirloom and Glazed NYC jewelry

Here’s the simple approach: I was inspired to mirror the knots on my favorite white knotted sandalsWhite button ups feel really proper to me, so having a deep open-neck and wearing it braless is a fun play on a classic look.

Denim Shorts and White Blouses
Vintage Bill Blass shorts and Grayson shirt styled vintage gold and lucite heel sandals -- others here and here and here, family heirloom and Glazed NYC jewelryVintage Bill Blass shorts and Grayson shirt styled vintage gold and lucite heel sandals -- others here and here and here, family heirloom and Glazed NYC jewelry

To take it a step further, I tied the sleeves around my chest and tucked away the ends of each sleeve. From there, I brought the tails of the shirt around the front to my waist. 

The tube top inversion creates an easy canvas for accessories, so I’m wearing all my staples: jewelry passed on from family and given to me by sweet friends. The fan is a summer essential from Glazed NYC’s 2019 “Follow Me” collection, created by my friends Shelby Macklin and Banna Nega, and it paired perfectly with these vintage gold foil and lucite heels.


How do you wear your summer uniform? Any additional summer market requests for us? Pop em in the comments!

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