Bring Athleisure To Your Summer Looks With Comfy & Stylish Sweat Shorts

If there's one post-pandemic trend we're happy has stuck around, it's got to be athleisure. Athleisure is a fashion style that capitalizes on comfy athletic wear, but takes the pieces out of the gym and to the streets. When you see someone walking through the neighborhood in a matching sweatsuit set, that's athleisure. Running errands in your favorite leggings, sports bra, and a zip-up hoodie? That's athleisure. And fortunately, this fashion trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Athleisure is incredibly versatile in that you can get in on the trend year-round; in summer, our favorite way to do that is by stocking up on sweat shorts. Sweat shorts are a breezier, more comfortable alternative to denim shorts. They're perfect whether you're running errands, going on a picnic, or just walking around town with your besties — not to mention they're pretty easy to dress up or down, depending on the occasion. Have we convinced you to hop on the sweat shorts train? Then let's dive into some of our favorite sweat short looks to keep you cool, stylish, and comfy all summer long. 

Get them in a summer color

First up, you're most likely to feel good when you look good — and what better way to stand out in summer than by finding a pair of sweat shorts in a bright summer color? You probably already have them in black, gray, or other neutrals, but finding a pair in pink, yellow, or bright green would really make them pop. Get a matching bright shirt to really go the extra mile, or pair it with your favorite neutral top to let the shorts stand on their own. 

Wear them with a blazer

If you need to dress up a pair of sweat shorts, styling them with a chic oversized blazer could be the perfect choice for your 'fit. If you want to make the look understated, match your blazer to your shorts to make them look more uniform. Keep the rest of your outfit casual and wear your blazer to a morning brunch, then remove it when you're running errands in the sun. 

Wear them to work out

Of course, sweat shorts were initially created as comfortable workout wear, and that's a functionality you shouldn't sleep on. Let your sweat shorts serve dual purposes this summer by wearing them when you just want to hang out and when you want to work out. Or put them on in the morning when you know you're going to work out in the afternoon. 

Lounge around the house

Summer is the perfect time to lounge around the house or the yard for hours on end. If you're looking forward to a lounge day, why not do it in a pair of sweat shorts? Typical denim shorts can be pretty restrictive, but in lounge shorts, you can curl up wherever your heart desires during your day of R&R. 

Color coordinate with a crop top and baseball cap

For an easy way to make your sweat shorts into a super put-together outfit, color coordinate it with the rest of your 'fit. The easiest way to do this is by matching a solid pair of shorts to the same colored shirt and hat. But if you want to bring patterns into the mix, match a solid pair of sweat shorts to one of the colors in your favorite patterned shirt (or vice versa). 

Pair with a sports bra

Sweat shorts and a sports bra make for one of our favorite casual summer looks. This look is especially great when you're doing something active, like going on a hike, but works equally well if you're looking forward to a picnic or a day at the lake. If you think you'll need to cover up later, just wear a light jacket or cardigan over it. 

Wear them as part of a matching set

Sweatsuit sets are all over the fashion marketplace right now, and you won't have a problem finding one in your favorite color and style. So if you're worried about styling sweat shorts, just buy them as part of a matching set. You'll always have something to wear your shorts with and look effortlessly put together. 

Pair it with a sweatshirt

Even the balmiest summers have some chilly moments, which is where a sweatshirt can really come in handy. Wear your sweat shorts and keep your upper half warm by pairing them with a cozy sweatshirt. Need some extra warmth on the bottom? Grab your favorite pair of thick socks, and make them knee or thigh-high if you really want to go all out. 

Dress them up

We've all been there: It's a hot summer day, and you're going somewhere where you have to look at least a little bit fancy. But who wants to get dressed up in the middle of summer? Not us, and probably not you, either. When this is the case, throw on your favorite pair of sweat shorts (preferably in a neutral color like black, white, or beige) and pair them with your favorite button-down and a fitted top. You'll stay comfy without looking too loungey for whatever event you're going to. 

Go sporty with it

Is sporty attire more your thing? Maybe you're a basketball shorts and sports tee gal year-round. This summer, why not elevate that look slightly by replacing the jersey shorts with a longer pair of sweat shorts? You'll be just as comfortable as in your normal sporty attire, but this piece is more versatile to fit whatever you may have going on throughout the day. 

Bring back the tie-dye

The tie-dye trend is back in full force, and personally, we can't get enough of it. When you want a pair of sweat shorts that stands out and is truly timeless, grab one in your favorite color of tie-dye. These fun shorts are easy to pair with anything neutral and instantly add visual interest to any outfit. 

Make them longer

If short shorts aren't your thing, not to worry — you can still pull off the sweat shorts trend if you grab a pair with a longer fit. Long sweat shorts offer some extra coverage on chilly days or days when you don't feel like showing off your legs. They're also a slightly more elevated way to wear the trend. 

Wear with all white

On hot summer days when you want your sweat shorts to steal the show, wear them with an all-white 'fit to let them really stand out. This is a great option for lighter-colored shorts that might otherwise fade into the background, like the yellow ones above. Accessorizing is the key to bringing your athleisure 'fits to the next level, so match an accessory or two to your shorts to emphasize them. 

Go incognito in a hoodie and a pair of sunnies

On days when you want to fly under the radar so hard — say, you might run into an ex in public — wear a hoodie with your sweat shorts to pull off an incognito look that'll keep even your besties from recognizing you when you're out and about. To finish off the look, be sure to wear your hood up and pair it with some dark sunglasses.

Style them for a walk around town

Need a comfy walking-around-a-tourist-town outfit? Slide into a pair of sweat shorts and pair them with your favorite comfy walking shoes, loose cotton tee, and crossbody bag. To stay extra cozy, make sure your shorts are made of thin cotton material and fit a bit looser to minimize chafing. 

Cuff them up

Are your sweat shorts a bit too long, or do you just want to style them differently? Roll up the bottom to cuff them up! Cuffing your sweat shorts gives them a bit of an elevated casual look, especially if you pair them with a cute crop top or bandeau and your favorite shopping bag. 

Wear with a crop top and sweater

We don't blame you for wanting to slide into your sweat shorts as early in the season as possible, even when the weather is still catching up. On these days, wear your favorite summer sweat shorts and crop top under a lightweight cardigan to keep the cool breeze from wrecking your mood. 

Or wear them under your fave blouse

When you need to elevate your athleisure slightly, wear them under your favorite linen or silk blouse. Let the blouse stand out on its own by choosing a color that doesn't go with the rest of your 'fit, or match it to your sweat shorts when you want to look extra put together. We recommend walking around in a pair of strappy sandals to really round out your ensemble. 

Match them to a hat

When you don't want to wear an all-matching outfit but still want to color-coordinate, match your sweat shorts to your favorite accessory, like a visor or pair of shoes. Even matching them to a handbag or earrings will accentuate them nicely. Wear a neutral shirt to really let your shorts stand out. 

Tuck a sweater into them

One of the easiest ways to elevate and add shape to an otherwise baggy outfit is by tucking your shirt into your pants. This look is especially easy to pull off with a matching sweatshirt and sweat shorts set. Give your sweatshirt a little front tuck for an effortlessly put-together ensemble, or implement that viral sweater-tucking hack to give you a polished look if your sweater is just a bit too bulky.