Woman with cool top, sneakers, and black athletic shorts

What to Wear with Black Athletic Shorts? 7 Ways to Style Them

Have you noticed how fashion is so much more relaxed and chill today than it used to be? In the past, the rules were pretty rigid. For instance, you couldn't mix prints. Your bag and belt had to be the same color as your shoes. And wearing double denim was a definite no-no. Of course, you couldn't wear your infamously casual athletic attire outside of a sports or fitness event at the risk of looking sloppy. 

But all that has changed. Yes, you can already mix and match however way you want, and if you wanted your OOTD to be all jean-y, then by all means! Even your pair of athletic shorts has become a trendy and versatile piece for the fashionista—no workout required! In this blog post, we'd like to share a couple of ways you can ramp up your fashion style using your ubiquitous black athletic shorts.

Ways to Style Black Athletic Shorts

Black athletic shorts can make you stylishly fashionable, but they're also great for when the thermostat hits high temperatures. And they come in all kinds too—basketball shorts, tennis shorts, track shorts, and even collegiate mesh shorts! Can't wait to get your cool and chic look? Let's dive right in!

#1. Pair with a dressy top

Are you going for a glam look but find your usual party outfits boring? Then your black athletic shorts may be the perfect way to put a spirited spin on your style. Raise your fashion flair up a notch by pairing your basic running shorts with a smart and sophisticated top. The stark contrast between your free-and-easy favorite bottoms and your elegant top will make you stand out from among the typically skirted or trousered partygoers.

For your choice of top, the fancier, the better. Since your shorts are uber-casual already, match them with a voluminous top that spells f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s. Or you can go sleek and sassy with an ornately sequinned top. For shoes, you can choose "sexy" and wear some slinky stilettos. Or you can go playfully boyish to juxtapose the fearlessly feminine top you have on. Finish the look by throwing in a few accessories.

Girl in a pink blazer sitting on the floor.

#2. Go black-on-black

If it's a serious persona you want to convey, you can opt to go full-on monochromatic in a black-on-black attire. Wearing the same black color from top to bottom can be quite elegant. An all-black outfit also shows that you have the confidence required to pull it off. 

Just a word of caution, though. There can be different shades of black. Onyx, charcoal, jet, black bean, black olive—the list goes on. Thus, you may want to ensure that the black fabrics of your gym shorts and top match. For example, you wouldn't want to wear your black shorts with a purple cast together with a black shirt with a brown cast. The colors can clash and make you appear disorganized and dowdy. 

You may also want to add an interesting contrast to your all-black ensemble with bright-colored shoes and accessories.

#3. Elevate your style with a cool jacket

Black basketball shorts are not just for shooting hoops on the weekend. You can elevate these bad boys by pairing them off with a light blazer or loosely fitted jacket, perfect for the hot summer months. The typically oversized shorts will allow you to play with proportions. Break the similarly long dimensions or shapes of the jacket and basketball shorts with a cute cropped top. A navy white, gray, and blue color combo can make this look nautically crisp. Pick a pair of low- to mid-heels to go with this laid-back set, and be off to your breakfast or luncheon meeting.

#4. Spike it up with party shoes

You can make your outfit all about your shoes. A clean, button-down dress shirt coupled with black athletic shorts will go with pretty much everything. This allows you to go "all-out" with your choice of party footwear. Rise to new fashion heights with chunky platforms, bejeweled boots, or studded high heels.

#5. Venture out in vintage 

Who'd have thought that your old pair of garterized gym shorts in black sweatpants material would make it to your OOTD? Wear this oldie-but-goodie with a vintage popcorn sweater in pastel yellow or cream over a cami. Pile on a bunch of art-deco chains. Lastly, slip on a pair of beige espadrilles, and you're all set for some great brunch time with friends.

#6. Mesh it up

They may remind you of your collegiate years when you had to be forced into gym class. But black mesh gym shorts are no less in fashion today than they were back in the day. They used to be uber popular as sportswear, even streetwear. And now, they're among the fave outfits for the modern fashionista. 

You can definitely sizzle in those black athletic bottoms by matching them with the right top. But first, make sure that you're "meshing" right. Choose a pair that hits higher in the waist to give you a better fit. A few other things to look for when shopping for black mesh gym shorts: proportionate pockets, adjustable waist, and fabric that "gives" without being elastic.

Match these mesh shorts with a white cropped halter top and white sliders for an easy-breezy walk in town. You may also opt to pair your black shorts with a white long-sleeved mesh blouse and sneakers for a casual coffee date. Or you can make it a bit more formal by wearing pointed heels for a leaner look. Finally, wear some strong accessories to glam it up.

#7. Put on some peace of mind

You may have the best recos of what to wear with black athletic shorts. But it won't amount to anything if you're all worked up and anxious—especially during crimson week. Stay chicly worry-free by wearing period apparel, such as Ruby Love Bikini Period Underwear and Ruby Love High-Waist Period Underwear, which helps stop all front, side, and back leaks.

Unlike other brands, Ruby Love period panties can give you leak-proof coverage with or without a tampon. Through our patented and award-winning Dri-Tech Mesh technology, our period apparel helps stop leaks from all angles before they travel. Next, our cotton liner angles perfectly to collect your flow while eliminating odors. The built-in absorbent liner alone absorbs up to 2.5 tampons worth of flow. Still, if you'd like additional protection, you can add our reusable double-sided pad or regular sanitary pad for even more mileage! Shop our Ruby Love collection today and stay confident in anything you wear—whatever the time of the month!

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