Ok let’s just start out by being honest. In doing research for this list of best summer shorts for men we were pretty surprised to come across articles positing that shorts are somehow not ‘appropriate’ for men. Maybe it’s because we’re based in California and aren’t as sartorially repressed as some of our east coast brethren, or maybe we were too busy staying cool on warm days in the sun to notice, but that assumption was news to us.
Shorts are to summer what the beach is to the ocean, what hiking is to boots, or what camping is to tents. They’re pretty damn inseparable. Whether you are looking for something a bit more technical for heading out onto the trails with, or something you can *gasp* wear into the office (how is this not a thing?) – there are a huge array of different pairs made with varying fabrics and sewn into a variety of styles that you can choose from. This list of best men’s shorts includes a healthy cross section of some of the options you can choose from. Take a scroll through and see for yourself.
Uniqlo Men Chino Shorts
A simple cotton short that goes great with everything from a simple tee to a button-up shirt. Made from 100 percent cotton they’ll keep their shape and color wear after wear, wash after wash.
Everlane Drawstring Short
These pair of shorts double down on the selling point of being more comfortable by way of adding a drawstring waist. Don’t let that scare you away, though – they’re not so casual as to draw side-eyes. Featuring slant pockets, a button fly, and made from a lightweight and breathable cotton, they’re both airy and easy to throw on with a simple tee for hanging around town on the weekend.
River Island Houndstooth Belted Bermuda Short
If you’re a fan of classic patterns and cuts, this belted short from River Island is a good look. Made from a cotton poly blend, they’re a crisp short that’ll keel you looking sharp all summer long.
J. Crew Club Short
Chinos are a good choice for summer wear. Chino shorts? Arguably even better. A kind of nod to the classic Bermuda short, this pair from J.Crew sports a 9-inch inseam, a narrow leg closure, and a hook and bar closure for a clean look up front.
United by Blue Selby Short
If you’re looking for a solid pair of shorts that’ll stand out without being too in-your-face, this pair is made with a chambray fabric are worth taking a look at. They’re comfortable to wear, but strong enough to wear out into the woods. For those who care about the environment, for each product you buy from United by Blue they’ll remove 1 pound of trash from our oceans and waterways.
Howler Brothers Cornerstone Short
Corduroy. Yeah. We know what you’re thinking, ‘There is no way that material can look good on a guy, yet…yet, these do’. Broken in from day one, these are both soft and comfortable to wear and, thanks to their fabric, tough enough to stand up to multiple summers worth of getting away from the office and heading out into the woods on the weekend.
Finisterre Coverack Shorts
All it takes to make a great looking pair of shorts that are versatile and ready for whatever you want to get up to is to add a little bit of elastane. These straight-legged shorts with slant and rear welt pockets may look like they’d be relegated to workaday wear, but they’re ready to go wherever adventure takes you.
Bonobos Washed Chino
I know we ragged on people who cling to pants a little in the intro, but we get it. If you like a style, you like a style. If you’re looking to make that transition from lightweight summer chinos to shorts, however, this is not a bad place to start. Everything you love about the fit and feel of the long chino finds its way into these shorts, from the cotton fabric to the slant pockets and clean look.
Woolrich Trekker Twill Shorts
Another great drawstring short, this pair from Woolrich are made with a sturdy cotton twill and a rectangular patch pocket for a more rugged style. Solid for camping trips or backyard summer barbecues.
Taylor Stitch Khaki Traveler
When it comes to the cut of the Traveler shorts, Taylor Stitch isn’t doing anything that crazy. Instead, they’re focusing on sourcing a great 9.5 ounce brushed Spanish twill that acts as tough as a pair of jeans and still look sharp enough to wear in a more formal setting.
Iron and Resin Skinner Short
A simple stylish everyday short made from 14 wale corduroy, these things come with a dedicated pocket for your flip blade, and feature a fabric thick enough to stand up to some real wear and tear. Keep them in the van for changing into after surfing or take them camping with you next weekend.
Edgevalle Cast Iron Short
When Edgevalle decided they wanted to come up with a new design for a pair of shorts, one of the chief requirements was it to be tough enough for outdoorsman and craftsman to wear every day. Made from a super tough Cordura NYCO fabric that has been brushed for softness, you can beat the hell out of these and be confident they’ll stand up to the challenge.
Alchemy Equipment Relax Short
Built to be broken in, the relax short from Alchemy Equipment is made with a tough Italian wool/cotton denim twill. Featuring a simple slant front and patch back pockets with a snap button these are as understated and stylish as they are tough.
Ministry of Supply Aviator 2 Short
For those of you who like clothing that is built with technical fabric but features a classic cut and fit, this pair of shorts may be for you. Featuring a 4-way stretch fabric and a warp knit construction, they’re essentially your favorite pair of gym shorts without the shlubby look.
Albam Cotton Shorts
A khaki cotton short meant to feel and look great. With one patch pocket in the back, adjustable side-tabs on the waist, and front welt pockets, the pair has a kind of simple and timeless look.
Outlier New Way Shorts
Outlier’s focus on technical and quality fabric comes through with this short. Not only is it great for hopping into the river with, but the choice of fabric make them a supremely cool and comfortable short to wear during the summer.
Buck Mason Sand Cotton Linen Shorts
A simple American made essential built with a lightweight 2-ply blended linen and featuring reinforced slash pockets, the emphasis on these is as much style as it is comfort. We can’t think of a better pair for the summer.
Save Khaki United Bermuda Short
For those who aren’t quite down with a 7 inch inseam and also aren’t too enamored with the 9, this 8 incher is a solid compromise. Made with 100 percent cotton featuring the solid trifecta of clasp, button, and zip closure this American made pair are an ideal choice for when the next heatwave rolls through.
Iron and Resin Trooper Short
You don’t have to be a fashionista to know that cargo shorts trigger a gag reflex in most everyone. Surprisingly, Iron and Resin have managed to pull off a cargo short that actually looks pretty great. Featuring pockets close to the knee as opposed to on the side, these shorts get away with something few others manage to do while looking great in the process.
Tender Co. Type 129 Slim Jean Shorts
Jorts are for the birds. Every once in a while, however, someone manages to make them worthwhile thanks in most part to a truly special set of fabrics and a unique cut. Tender Co. did just that with their Type 129 Slim Jean Shorts made with unsanforized Japanese selvage denim. They may be on the more expensive side but you can be sure few others will have a pair like this in their wardrobe.