how to style Bermuda shorts

8 Best Outfit Ideas for How to Style Bermuda Shorts

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I hear from many readers who don’t love wearing short shorts and want alternatives that provide more leg coverage. If you have a triangle body type and are larger on the bottom like I am or don’t love the texture of your thighs, covering them with longer shorts can give you greater confidence walking out the door. 

Bermuda shorts are a great option but they take some special styling to create a flattering silhouette. 

Why are Bermuda shorts tricky to style? Ending right above the knee, they can make you look stocky. As someone who is 5’6” and wears size 12 shorts, the longer leg line accentuates the width of my hips and thighs and throws off my proportions, so my hips and thighs are all you see. Some strategic styling choices make all the difference.

In this post, I’ll share the one styling tip I keep in mind when putting together Bermuda shorts outfits to make them look good. I’ll also cover what shoes to wear with them and then show you 8 different looks for how to style Bermuda shorts. 

How do you make Bermuda shorts look good?

If you’re larger on the bottom, to make Bermuda shorts look good, pair them with an untucked longer top. Try a button-up shirt, flowy blouse, or tunic. Shirts with buttons up the front or a notch neck collar draw the eye to the face and the center of the body for an elongating effect. 

An untucked top helps to minimize the bottom half, creating a visually pleasing proportion that aligns with the rule of thirds. The most flattering outfits consider the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a principle borrowed from the art world about how to create visually appealing and balanced looks. Imagine dividing the body horizontally into three equal parts: the top, middle, and bottom. The most flattering and interesting outfits have ⅓ to ⅔ proportions (or vice versa) rather than ½ to ½ proportions that cut the body in half.

The Rule of Thirds & Bermuda shorts infographic

Because Bermuda shorts are longer, you may have a hard time wearing a tucked-in shirt with them. A short shirt or crop top with longer shorts may cut the body in half and overemphasize the lower body, thigh, and hip regions. Wearing an untucked longer top is a great idea to shorten and reduce the thigh and hip regions. 

What shoes do you wear with Bermuda shorts?

With Bermuda shorts, wear shoes that lengthen and elongate your legs. Shoes that show more of your foot, like leather flip-flops or slide sandals, are a great choice, as are shoes that add height with a wedge or a pair of heels. Sandals in neutral colors that match your skin tone are also lengthening. For sneakers, choose styles with a low vamp that show more of the ankle and the top of the foot. 

Ready to look at some Bermuda shorts outfit ideas? Let’s dive in!

8 cute Bermuda shorts outfits

1. With a puff sleeve ruffle notch-neck white cotton blouse and platform slides

This is the perfect summer outfit! I adore a tailored white blouse that you can style differently every day of the week in every season of the year. This blouse from Duffield Lane has elastic at the end of the three-quarter sleeves, so you can comfortably push them up into a puff sleeve or leave them down. The ruffle notch-neck draws the eye up to the face and into the middle of the body for an elongating effect. Easily leave it untucked over your Bermuda shorts.

With a puff sleeve ruffle notch neck white cotton blouse and platform slides

White Blouse Use code BESOYOU15 to take 15% off before July 4th | Shorts (size up) | Similar Slides | Similar Bag | Earrings

This pair of Bermuda shorts from J.Crew Factory has a mid-rise rather than a high waist. I adore shorts in different colors, especially these green shorts. The shorts fit small, I sized up to a 14.

Add statement earrings to draw the eye up to the face. Platform raffia slides add height to elongate the legs. 

2. With a short sleeve sweater and leather flip-flops

Since my upper body is smaller than my lower body, I lean towards tops with puff or flutter sleeves or horizontal stripes to draw the eye across and create balanced proportions with my lower body. Sleeveless tops, especially tank tops, can be tricky for me to wear with bottoms that accentuate my lower half. The size difference is noticeable. This sleeveless sweater works thanks to the horizontal stripes. The nubby texture adds some bulk to my upper half. 

With a short sleeve sweater

Sleeveless Sweater | Bermuda Shorts (size up) | Similar Flip Flops | Belt Bag

Leather flip-flops lengthen the leg line and elongate the leg. The point of the leather thong draws the eye to the end of the foot.

3. With a linen button-down shirt and raffia slides

You know I love a button-down shirt and the preppy look of leaving it untucked with Bermuda shorts. The vertical line of buttons draws the eye to the center of the body, and the open collar draws the eye up to the face. Rolling up the sleeves helps to define the waistline. Leaving the shirt untucked allows it to fall longer over the shorts, so the shirt is 2/3rds and the shorts are ⅓. This minimizes the thigh region, creating the illusion that it’s smaller than my upper body.

With a linen button-down shirt and raffia slides

Linen Shirt | Bermuda Shorts (size up) | Similar Bag | Raffia Slides

Raffia slides are a great option to elongate the look of your legs.  

4. With a notch neck tunic and platform slides

This basket-weave navy and white notch-neck tunic from Duffield Lane is perfect with this pair of shorts. The fabric has enough structure that it completely conceals any tummy. Leaving it untucked follows the rule of thirds. The three-quarter sleeve helps define the waistline and reveals the thinnest part of the wrist.

With a notch neck tunic with three-quarter sleeves and platform slides

Top Use code BESOYOU15 to take 15% off before July 4th | Bermuda Shorts (size up) | Similar Bag | Similar Slides 

These platform woven wedges add some height to lengthen the leg. And they’re super comfortable.

5. With a silky black V-neck cap-sleeve top and platform slides

Once again, I’m leaving it untucked with these long shorts to play with the rule of thirds and wearing those platform slides to elongate the leg.

I adore this black top! It’s lightweight and slightly elevated, thanks to the silky fabric. The silky sheen helps to draw the eye to the upper body. The V-neck draws the eye up to the face. It’s a little hard to see here, but it has a small pleat at the base of the V-neck that also draws the eye to the center of the body.

With a silky black V-neck cap-sleeve top and platform slides

Top | Bermuda Shorts (size up) | Similar Slides | Bag in Black

A black top with white Bermuda shorts is always a chic combination. 

6. With a gingham button-down blouse and leather flip-flops

You’re starting to see a pattern here. I’m choosing elevated tops that have special details that draw the eye to the upper body. This dark gingham blouse has a V-neck that draws the eye up to the face and vertical buttons that draw the eye to the center of the body. I love the cap sleeve since it covers just the top of the shoulder, making the arms look exceptionally long. Leather flip-flops finish the look for a casual feel.

With a gingham button-down blouse and leather flip-flops

Similar Gingham Dolman Shirt | Bermuda Shorts (size up) | Similar Flip Flops | Belt Bag

7. With a chunky cream cardigan sweater and Raffia two-strap sandals

This casual look is super coastal for a cooler day or beach night. Wear your chunky V-neck cardigan over a scoop-neck simple white tank top or alone, and button up all the buttons for a modern styling look. Pushing up the sleeves helps to define the waistline.

With a chunky cream cardigan sweater and Raffia two-strap sandals

Sweater | Bermuda Shorts (size up) | Similar Bag | Sandals

These chunky raffia two-strap Birkenstock-like sandals work here because they match and balance the chunkiness of the sweater.

8. With a red and white striped t-shirt and Adidas Sambas

If you’re going for a more laid back and relaxed vibe with your Bermuda shorts and want to wear a t-shirt and sneakers, a striped t-shirt is my best option with Bermuda shorts. A t-shirt fits very slim in the shoulders and arms, showing how slim my upper body is, making my bottom half look proportionally heavier. So, the stripes help to draw the eye across and widen the upper body. I’m leaving it untucked here.

With a red and white striped T-shirt with Adidas Sambas

Striped Tee | Bermuda Shorts (size up) | Belt Bag | Adidas Sambas

Choose a low-vamp pair of sneakers or sneakers that show as much of your ankle and top of the foot as possible to keep the leg line looking nice and long. These white Adidas Sambas with the red stripe are a fun way to tie red into the outfit. 

The brown belt bag ties into the tan gum sole of the sneakers.

If you’re a fan of Bermuda shorts, experiment with proportions and leg-lengthening footwear. By understanding the nuances of length and using the rule of thirds, balancing your outfit with the right tops and footwear, you can create a polished and flattering look that you can wear all summer long. Experiment and have fun with it!

how to style Bermuda shorts

Hi, Friend. I'm Marya. I'm so glad you're here!

I’m here to help women feel good inside and out through approachable everyday style inspiration and encouragement for midlife. Once upon a time, I worked as a therapist and coach. Now, I’m a holistic style blogger studying style coaching! Be So You celebrates leaning into who we were meant to be! 

Read about my  journey to self-discovery at 40. Follow me on Instagram here and Pinterest here. Send me a quick question through my contact page here.  

Fit Note: I’m midsized at 5’6″, 160 pounds, with size 12 jeans.

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2 Responses

  1. I just bought the gold ball necklace from J. Crew Factory that you have shown in some of your picture and told them that I got the inspiration from you. The salesperson looked up you blog while I was in the store.

    I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE your website. It has given me so many new looks from my own closet. Thank you.

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