So I’m sure some of you are wondering—what’s the most essential item to have for the summer?  Well, after much investigation, I have come to a conclusion.  The one piece you must have for the sweltering days of June and July is a pair of jean shorts.

Why shorts, you ask?  Because jean shorts (which I refuse to call “jorts”) are effortlessly chic.  This season, shorts are meant to be thrown on and paired with a nautical t-shirt or other kind of cotton tee, a light cardigan or blazer, and whatever kind of accessory you can think of.

Check out this fashion video from H&M.  Jean Paul Cauvin explains why shorts are the trend of the season!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m loving that the waistline is rising—no more low-rise tackiness!

I want to focus specifically on jean shorts because I really think that everyone should invest in a pair this season.

Here are a few suggestions (inspired by my roommate):

Introducing the Roll Up Short in Vintage Honolulu by 7 For All Mankind…a.k.a. “the everything shorts.” Although they might be a little pricy, these shorts will last you a lifetime and they will age wonderfully too (given that they’re already a little distressed).  They also go with everything.  I know what you’re thinking: there are a million pairs of knock off jean shorts that look just like this one.  But I’m telling you, with jean shorts, quality over quantity is best.

Some other great options are the Hudson Jeans Distressed Short in Killbourn (left) or Citizens of Humanity Gibson Loose Fit Rolled Cuff Shorts (right).

Once you’ve picked out a pair, it’s time to start mixing and matching.  There are a MILLION combinations of things to wear with jean shorts.

How about a pair of classic Ked’s and a blue and white striped tee from Forever 21?  Nautical is so in right now.

Or what about an over-the-shoulder bag like this one from Anthropologie, another tee from Forever 21, a hat from Urban Outfitters, and a pair of gladiator sandals like these from Dolce Vita—(Hint: Sax Fifth Avenue-Off Fifth Outlet has a GREAT selection of sandals like these for half the price. Check it out.)

And finally, try a loose-fitting floral blouse with your jean shorts like these from Zara (left) or Nordstrom—BP section…shhh…(right).

The moral of the story is that jean shorts are your friend.  They are no longer trashy, Daisy Duke-esque.  The L.A. casual beach style has hit the East coast.  Embrace it!

And of course, to leave you in a denim state of mind, here is the designer of the week:

D&G Spring Ready to Wear 2010

Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney and Chloé also dared to do denim this season (good alliteration, huh?). You can search all the runway shows at Style.com.

-Eloise Hamilton