Q: I just bought a pair of denim shorts that I really love, and I want to get as much wear out of them as possible. I work in a pretty casual office environment but are "jorts" ever appropriate for 9-to-5?

-- Caroline, 28, Brooklyn

A: Like scrunchies and jellie shoes, denim shorts get a bad rap in the fashion world. If they're too short you can wind up looking like nervous-breakdown-era Mariah; too stone-washed and you're one of the banjo-playing cousins from "Deliverance."

Your choice of a dark rinse combined with a thigh-grazing length is a huge step in the right direction because they can be dressed up easily (always a big help when trying to make a garment office-appropriate). Since you'll be showing more leg than usual (yours look great, btw), I recommend chic layers that will keep you covered on top.

Click here to read Brian's suggestions.



A tailored blazer will immediately elevate your look from too casual to boardroom-ready. I like this one by 3.1 Phillip Lim -- its deep lapels will lengthen your torso and the pink color is perfect for summer.

For underneath, try a tank with eye-catching details. This one by American Eagle Outfitters features smocking at the neckline that will subtly peek out from behind the blazer.

A pair of high heeled sandals can keep the entire look from getting too weekendy by giving you some extra height. I love the braided leather detailing on this pair by Nine West.

Complete the outfit with a fun pendant necklace like this one by Forever 21. Shiny baubles will, again, keep you looking more professional.

Brian Underwood is a fashion and style writer from New York City.