As far as a trend traveling the path to instant classic is concerned, shorts have had a long journey. In the 19th and 20th centuries, shorts were worn only by young boys until they were old enough to begin wearing long pants- a rite of passage of sorts-or by soldiers in tropical climates.

Later, shorts became widely accepted as casual wear for men, and in more recent decades, for women as well, from the beach to the gym and beyond.

Schoolboys and soldiers aside, shorts in all shapes and styles have now become a favorite staple among the fashionable. Every spring, the runways feature more and more variations on the shorts theme. From Bermudas to culottes to cargos, shorts are one of the most versatile fashion staples, particularly here in Hawai’i, where weather permits. When it comes to styling a look that includes shorts, it’s really about what you wear it with.

Looking past the standard casual shorts and T-shirt outfi t, the elegant evening shorts look is becoming a stylish standard. Shorts in every fabrication, from brocade to leather to sequins are out there, adding an extra level to a look. Keep in mind though, that when there are embellishments on a pair of shorts, you want to make sure the length and style are longer and lean more toward the conservative side, respectively. Short and shiny is generally not a good look.

It’s also important to think about what you pair your shorts with. My personal favorite is a pair of shorts worn with a well-cut blazer or jacket, or a slouchy, off-the-shoulder sweater. This look, teamed with anything from ballet flats to boots to stilettos (here again, be sure your shorts aren’t too short or your look will end up wearing you!) is a regular go-to ensemble for a night out.

These days, shorts are acceptable just about everywhere, barring the workplace and the black-tie event, so play with this style concept and come up with a combination that works for you.

Contact Molly Watanabe at mwatanabe@staradvertiser.com