In Milan, no pants—no problem

Shorts were the street-style trend that heralded spring.

Harper's Bazaar India

It wasn’t the first buds on the cherry trees or the sudden prevalence of iced lattes that marked the end of winter in Italy. It was the appearance of shorts outside of the shows at Milan Fashion Week.

In New York, show attendees relied on heavy, furry coats as they ran from show to show. But by the time they touched down in Milan, they’d already swapped their heavy trousers and wool dresses out of their outfit rotation, in favor of little shorts in a wide range of hemlines. There wasn’t one summery denim cutoff in sight, but instead the kind of dressy shorts that can be worn with heels, loafers, and boots.

When the Spring/Summer 2024 collections first debuted six months ago, Milan’s heavy hitters were already hinting at the rise of the short. Prada’s tailored hot pants were styled with belted blazers, and Fendi showed leather shorts with tube tops and gloves. Even at Sabato De Sarno’s debut show for Gucci, he chose to style black shorts with the brand’s infamous signature logo belt. And with Italy’s most beloved designers having co-signed the trend, the trickle-down effect led to lots of shorts everywhere, whether micro-size or Bermuda length. Milan is a city that doesn’t shy away from dressing up, and even while wearing shorts, that sentiment was clear throughout the week.

Ahead, see the best shorts looks from Milan Fashion Week, and how to get the look for yourself this spring. 

Hot Pants + Tights

This colour-coordinated outfit turns hot pants into an unexpectedly demure choice. The addition of black tights and a long trench offer some coverage to contrast with the shorts’ micro size.

Proportion Play

A pair of oversized tailored shorts powers a playful twist on office dressing. 

Tailored Coordination

Let a pair of small shorts peek out from below a coordinated top. The look is streamlined without feeling too matchy-matchy. 

All White Everything

In this season-bending outfit, white shorts are styled with wintry staples like a fuzzy coat and turtleneck. The final effect is cosy and polished, and it’s refreshingly easy to re-create.

Playful Suiting

Skip the traditional suit set for this heat-friendly combination. A pair of long shorts can work for creative offices or dressy occasions when you’re feeling more playful.

The Modern Romper

Life is easy when getting dressed is as simple as throwing on one great piece and running out the door. A tailored romper can be worn solo, or styled with tops or jackets for some additional colour and texture play. 

Short + Tall

You may be most inclined to style shorts with seasonal footwear like sandals or sneakers. Instead, break out the extra-tall boots for a surprising foil to a pair of tiny shorts.

Colour Story 

Try mixing and matching an outfit with a coordinated palette for a fresh ensemble that’s elegant and yet a bit more interesting than wearing a fully matching suit set.

Cosy Knits

Sweater shorts may seem like a style you’re inclined to wear solely at home on the couch, but go bold and leave home behind. A coordinated knit set is a look that is ideal for transitional weather.

Sleek + Streamlined

Black on black is a look you can never go wrong with. In fact, this ensemble would work just as easily for lunch with friends as it would for a formal event when you want to swap out your usual party dress. 

Simone Rocha Lady Boxer drawstring shorts, ₹81,415 approx. 

Simone Rocha Lady Boxer drawstring shorts, ₹81,415 approx

These shorts that lean into the bow trend that is still going strong.

Brunello Cucinelli Pleated cotton and linen-blend twill shorts, ₹1,10,482 approx. 

BRUNELLO CUCINELLI Pleated cotton and linen-blend twill shorts, ₹1,10,482 approx

Simple, tailored trousers fabricated in a breathable linen. For summer travel, these are a must. 

Nanushka Maurine drawstring-waistband shorts, ₹37,161 approx.

Nanushka Maurine drawstring-waistband shorts, ₹37,161 approx

For nights out, a sleek faux-leather short is the way to go. Layer tights underneath if necessary.

J.Crew Pleated Chino Shorts, ₹8,310

Classic and comfortable, there’s a reason J.Crew’s chinos have remained popular for so long.

Loewe Wrap-Front Cotton-Twill Shorts, ₹77,390 approx.

For the fashion-forward dresser, Loewe’s wrap-front shorts are a unique silhouette you won’t find elsewhere.

Varley Alder Shorts, ₹7,348

Comfortable sweat shorts can work out of the house—just pair them with a silky blouse, to play with texture.

Wales Bonner Power Geometric-Jacquard Cotton-Blend Shorts, ₹26,164 approx.

A little sporty with a playful print, these shorts should be the anchor of an outfit when you want to appear casual yet cool.

Feature Image: Loewe, Wales Bonner, and Varley (left to right)

This article originally appeared in in February 2024

Also read: The hottest moments from Paris Fashion Week Menswear Spring/Summer 25

Also read: Unforgettable moments from Paris Haute Couture Week 2024