Come spring and summer, it's cutoff time. The relaxed denim shorts are a warm-weather staple that we're crazy about, but there are some guidelines about how to wear them. There's the obvious (please, keep your butt cheeks to yourself), but what about the finer sartorial points? Sandals or heels? The best hemline? For clarification, we turned to a woman who'd know: country singer Jana Kramer. Whether she'll wear cutoffs when she performs at the Academy of Country Music's Party for a Cause Festival in Las Vegas this weekend is anyone's guess, but rest assured that if she does pull a pair out, she's gonna be wearing them perfectly.
Rule 1: The right length is somewhere in between...
"Remember that rule about your shorts being a certain length for school?" she asked, instantly causing us to drop our hands to the side and decipher where fingertip-length was. "Well, maybe just a tad bit shorter than that. It's the perfect in-between."
Rule 2: A loose shirt is the go-to.
For Kramer—5'4 and the proud mama of a brand-new little boy—styling shorts with a voluminous top is what works best. "Let's just be honest. With my height and having just had a baby, I'm all about a loose, stylish t-shirt," she said. "It totally depends on you, though. I think crop tops look adorable with short cutoffs if you're tall like Kendall Jenner."
Rule 3: They work (almost) anywhere, so long as your accessories are on point.
Per Kramer, cutoffs can work from sunrise to sunset. The one caveat is that they need to be accessorized properly, so no heading out to dinner in a torn pair with a faded t-shirt and sandals. "Wear heels and a cute blazer for going out at night," she suggested. For a daytime look that still needs to be pulled together, consider lace-up sandals and an off-the-shoulder top (two of the biggest spring trends according to Pinterest data).
Rule 4: Any type of shoe works.
We begged Kramer to spill the beans on which shoes she'd never, ever wear with cutoffs, but her answer was a pretty firm anything goes situation. "I love flip flops and would prefer them over heels, but heels make your legs look amazing when you're wearing shorts." Wear what feels right for you, but consider the situation and place (refer back to rule #3).
While you can totally DIY your own pair, Kramer says it's not for her. "I tried to do a pair back in high school, and it was a disaster. I'm sticking to my day job," she said, naming Paige and J Brand as her preferred pairs. "They always fit my body type the best."
Watch how to wear everything you've been told not to, with model Georgia Pratt.