The calves are in season. The mid-thighs too, for men who dare to go. With the hot summer days approaching, your legs will thank you for restocking your stock of shorts now.
Shorts come in as many varieties as the men who choose to wear them. Whether you like a relaxed fit and full coverage or cropped, cropped cuts, there are pairs waiting to be grabbed. We brought in style experts to pick their favorites for the season, as well as the top picks from our favorite trusted retailers.
Comfort is coveted more than ever. Cotton shorts combine a soft touch with clean lines.
Navy Layer Saturday Twill Drawstring Shorts ($ 78; nordstrom.com)
Marine Layer Saturday drawstring twill shorts
“Sometimes you just want to put on shorts that look like the ones you wore in high school or college,” says Jian DeLeon, menswear and editorial director of Nordstrom. But it won’t necessarily fly in all social contexts. “Marine Layer brings the best of both worlds by blending a washed twill fabric with an elastic waistband,” says DeLeon.
Goodfellow & Co Men’s 8-inch Pull-On Shorts ($ 10.49, originally $ 14.99; target.com)
Goodfellow & Co Men’s 8 Inch Pull-On Shorts
Appreciated for their comfort, drawstring and subtle elastic waist, these shorts can be dressed up or down.
Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Flat-Front Pique Shorts ($ 79.50; nordstrom.com)
Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Flat-Front Pique Shorts
“Polo Ralph Lauren takes the same breathable cotton pique of its classic polo shirts and interprets it in these versatile and airy shorts,” says DeLeon.
Gramicci Cotton Shorts ($ 68; nordstrom.com)
Gramicci cotton shorts
“Gramicci is a California heritage brand inspired by the culture of rock climbing,” says DeLeon. “Known for his quality hiking gear, his take on the self-belted climbing shorts are good enough for climbing a cliff or just walking the dog.”
Mr P. Pleated Cotton Twill Shorts ($ 190; mrporter.com)
“You can expect these shorts from our in-house brand Mr. P. to be very worn,” says Ollie Arnold, style director of the men’s style destination and retailer Mr. Porter. The simple pleat in the front gives them a tailored appearance, elevating them for more formal settings, while their relaxed, loose fit allows for a comfortable fit. ”
Under Armor Men’s UA Raid 10-inch Shorts ($ 22.99, originally $ 29.99; underarmor.com)
Men’s UA Raid 10-inch Shorts
Available in sizes up to 4XL, these shorts are a favorite for runners, joggers and really any sort of active man everywhere.
Hanes Men’s 7-inch Jersey Shorts ($ 11.99; target.com)
Men’s Hanes 7 Inch Jersey Shorts
Also available in sizes up to 4XL, with 800 reviews, these cotton jersey shorts are ideal for home wear and exercise.
Linen is a classic summer fabric with a relaxed, versatile look that is also breathable.
J.Crew 9-inch Stretch Seersucker Shorts ($ 62.99; jcrew.com)
J.Crew 9 Inch Stretch Seersucker Shorts
J.Crew’s seersucker shorts transform the dapper pattern into long shorts that will suit a more formal occasion.
Goodfellow & Co Men’s 9-inch Slim Chino Shorts ($ 13.99, originally $ 19.99; target.com)
Goodfellow & Co Men’s 9 Inch Slim Chino Shorts
Made from a 55% linen and 45% cotton material, these light and airy chino shorts are loved by Target shoppers and are available in a variety of colors.
Closed pleated linen shorts ($ 225; nordstrom.com)
Closed pleated linen shorts
“Pleated shorts may not be for the faint of heart,” DeLeon says. “But Closed channels the best of ’90s menswear into this nostalgically stylish pair.”
De Bonne Facture Washed Linen Drawstring Shorts ($ 295; mrporter.com)
De Bonne Facture Washed Linen Drawstring Shorts
“De Bonne Facture partners with local French artisans to produce naturally luxurious textiles that express effortless French elegance,” said Arnold. “These drawstring shorts are colored with natural dyes for low environmental impact. Crafted from a soft washed linen canvas, its relaxed oversized fit is a breezy option for those warmer summer days.
Whether you fill their pockets or just love the look, cargo shorts are a perennial favorite.
Goodfellow & Co Men 11-Thumb Cargo shorts ($ 15.39, originally $ 21.99; target.com)
Goodfellow & Co Men’s 11 Inch Cargo Shorts
Cargo pants under $ 20? We are in it. This is a classic silhouette with plenty of pocket space, and Target shoppers love them.
Wrangler Authentics Men’s Classic Relaxed-Fit Stretch Cargo Shorts (from $ 23.38; amazon.com)
Wrangler Authentics Men’s Classic Relaxed Fit Stretch Cargo Shorts
Wrangler has been a leading manufacturer of jeans and workwear since 1947. Their shorts are classic, affordable and durable – this pair is also a # 1 bestseller on Amazon.
LLBean Men’s Tropic Cargo Shorts ($ 49.95; llbean.com)
LLBean Tropicweight Cargo Shorts for Men
LLBean’s cargo shorts feature a shorter 6-inch inseam for a modern take on the classic silhouette.
Incotex Washed Cotton and Linen-Blend Cargo Shorts ($ 370; mrporter.com)
Incotex washed cotton and linen-blend cargo shorts
“These cargo shorts are what we at Mr. Porter call an essential – some basic elements that should form the basis of every man’s wardrobe,” says Arnold.
Denim shorts hold a special place in many summer wardrobes and come in a plethora of styles.
Wrangler Authentics Classic Relaxed Fit 5-Pocket Denim Shorts (from $ 18.99; amazon.com)
Wrangler Authentics Classic Relaxed 5-Pocket Denim Shorts
Wrangler makes a bestselling pair again, with a relaxed fit in a variety of washes.
Levi’s Men’s Slim Jean Shorts (from $ 26.99; amazon.com)
Men’s Levi’s Slim Denim Shorts
Levi’s slim denim shorts are affordable without skimping on brand quality and reliability.
Marine Layer Men’s Dock Denim Cutoff Shorts ($ 98; nordstrom.com)
Men’s Dock Denim Cutoff Shorts Marine Layer
Marine Layer makes a cropped pair that retains clean lines for a crisp look.
NN07 Johnny Slim Fit Denim Shorts ($ 175; mrporter.com)
Slim fit jean shorts Johnny NN07
“A good pair of white denim shorts can go a long way in the warmer months,” says Arnold. “The NN07 Johnny Shorts are clean, classic and perfect for a variety of casual occasions.”
For those who love hems above the knee, this summer is the time to shine.
Patagonia Men’s 6-inch Organic Cotton Corduroy Utility Shorts ($ 69; patagonia.com)
Patagonia Men’s 6 Inch Organic Cotton Corduroy Utility Shorts
As a cargo alternative, Patagonia’s utility shorts maintain a workwear look with a unique fit.
Lululemon Bowline 5-inch Stretch Ripstop Shorts ($ 78; lululemon.com)
Lululemon Bowline 5 Inch Stretch Ripstop Short
An eye-catching blend of comfort and style, Lululemon’s Bowline Shorts are a favorite with top-rated customers.
Drake Slim Fit Cotton Corduroy Chino Shorts ($ 295; mrporter.com)
Drake’s slim-fit cotton-corduroy chino shorts
“These Drake shorts are cut with the perfect short leg profile,” says Arnold. “Pink cotton corduroy brings unexpected texture to the style. ”
Silver Linings Chubbies Shorts ($ 49.50; nordstrom.com)
Chubbies Silver Lined Shorts
Buddies have become ubiquitous on social media for a reason. Men love their cut, comfort and understated style.