What Summer Shirt to Wear Over Long Shorts

German actress Charlotte Engelhardt knows how to wear shorts stylishly.

Photo: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Long shorts show just the right amount of summertime skin without being over-the-top sexy. The problem is figuring out how to wear them and still feel fashionable. Pairing them with your same-old T-shirt is comfortable, but it just doesn't cut it stylewise after awhile. To hit the refresh button on your summertime look, reach for something other than your standby graphic tee.

A Casual Tank

Hanging out at the beach this summer? Dress your long shorts down with a loose and casual tank top. Not only will you look breezy and relaxed, but you'll stay cool, too. Horizontal stripes give your outfit a nautical vibe if you're hanging out by the boardwalk or relaxing on the pool deck. Try wearing your tops in layers to add some visual texture to your outfit. A form-fitting cami with a sheer, flowy tank over-top looks both feminine and laid back at the same time.

A Flirty, Flowery Tank

If you want to dress up your shorts a little more, try a flirty tank in a floral print. Something with a sweetheart neckline and a little lace makes you look girly and gorgeous. For a look that's polished with that carefree summertime feel, pair with a white pair of long shorts and your favorite gladiator heels. If the whole thing is too sugary-sweet for your taste, add an edge with layers and accessories -- think studded shoes or a cropped vest.

A Cardigan or a Jacket

Just because summer's here doesn't mean your jackets and cardigans have to go away. A cardigan helps your outfit move comfortably from the outdoors into the air conditioning. If you're trying to dress your shorts up, wear a darker cardigan over a pretty pastel top. For a more casual look, pick a cardigan that matches one of the more muted colors in your blouse. A blazer makes your shorts look more grown up in a flash. Try a white one layered over a tank in the same color. Even a jacket with sequins can work if you're trying to make a strong evening impression.

A Button-Down

Different styles of button-downs do different things for your shorts. A loose, oversize one is summertime casual, perfect for day-tripping or a cottage weekend. Leave a few extra buttons undone and wear a cami underneath if you need to control the sex appeal. High-waisted shorts work when looking more preppy or professional is your goal. Try tucking a tailored button-up into pair of your favorites, then pull on some dark-colored pumps to look super-sophisticated in seconds.

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