What Color Top Goes With Orange Shorts?

By Angela Bakke

Orange is the popular new kid on the fashion block, ranging from bright, bold shades in tangerine, neon, and red-orange to light, dreamsicle shades and prints. Orange shorts are showing up in casual, cool-girl cut-offs as well as sophisticated, tailored dress shorts. But which color combinations work with this scene-stealing hue?

Christina Exie - Runway - MBFWA S/S 2013/14
credit: Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
A runway model pairs this season's trendy, tailored orange Bermudas with a mod top.

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Color Combinations

The safest and simplest way to style your orange shorts is by pairing them with neutrals. A solid orange pair of cut-off shorts with heavy fray paired with a cream lace top, a white T-shirt or a navy-blue and white striped crew-neck is safe but not at all boring. Finish the look with a tribal inspired sandal that has a pop of orange, or a nude sandal to keep all the attention on your fashion-forward shorts.

Bright orange also begs to be color-blocked, a technique that puts bright, bold solid colors right up against each other -- think Florida oranges and Indigo blue. A pair of cuffed orange chinos and a shocking blue button down, buttoned at the collar and tucked-in at the waist, with a pair of white or nude flats is a look-at-me fashion to try.

Dressing Up Shorts

Lala Berlin Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2012
credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Actress Nadine Warmuth uses metallic details to spice up her neutral complements to her orange shorts.

A short suit is an elegant way to try the orange trend. At the office, try a light orange short suit with a gray button down and a pair of neutral pumps or sandals. To reset for night, lose the blazer, trade the blouse for a racer-back tank, and switch the shoes for a pair of strappy, neutral stilettos.

If you've ever doubted that shorts and heels are stylish and sexy, banish that doubt now. A lace-up sandal, an ankle strap sandal, or a slender pointed-toe kitten heel with a pair of tailored shorts not only lengthens and accentuates the shape of your leg, but is the best thing you can do for your orange shorts. If you won't be walking much, consider heels with your shorts essential.

Solids and Patterns

The Hollywood Reporter TIFF Video Lounge Presented By Canon - Day 3 - 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
credit: Todd Oren/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Actress Nina Dobrev uses vibrant shoes to draw out the orange in her patterned shortss.

Bright shorts can be a bit much for people with bottom-heavy figures, who might not want to draw attention to their lower half. Orange is still an option, but choose a pair with a lighter base color and bright orange detailing, stitching or patterns. Add a navy blue and white striped blazer to balance the outfit, and keep shoes neutral to lengthen your look.

Patterned orange shorts are highly fashionable and a fantastic trend to try if you have a body type that can pull them off -- boyish rectangular shaped or hourglass -- because they will draw a lot of attention to that area of your body. Be sure to wear a simple, solid top. White, heather gray or cream blouses are best suited to bold, patterned shorts.

Accesssorizing Orange

Accessorize your orange shorts with cool silver accessories. A chunky stainless steel boyfriend watch, hammered metal cuffs, and collar-bone length drop earrings are all pieces that both complement and visually balance a pair of orange shorts.

A floral patterned pump with splashes of bright orange is a beautiful accessory to any style of orange shorts, and will have you hoping this happy color trend sticks around a few fashion cycles.