While most men will typically save their shorts for workouts or lounging around the house, summer is one season that proves an exception to the rule. Of course, you’re more than welcome to continue rocking those heavy blue jeans or that constricting pair of chinos, but you’re not doing yourself any favors. Between the sweltering heat, the intense sunlight, and the noticeable lack of a breeze, such a combination is a surefire way to end up drenched in sweat, riddled with stink, and, as a result, saddled with discomfort. In other words, it’s okay to deviate from your pants-wearing principles — if not for yourself, then for those who are stuck smelling your company.
And here’s the thing: donning a pair of shorts doesn’t mean that you’re selling out. On the contrary, with the overwhelming variety of options on the market, it’s entirely possible to dress your best whilst also giving your legs some much-needed breathing room. Not only that but, as the temperature continues to warm, there will also inevitably come a time when you want to hit the beach or lay out by the pool. Rather than overcomplicating the experience with a separate pair of trunks, save yourself the hassle and pick up some shorts that are ready for anything. Keeping this in mind, we’ve rounded up a choice selection of offerings that’ll help you beat the heat and dress for success. From performance-inspired chinos to stretch-fit cords to ripstop adventure offerings, what follows are what we believe to be the best men’s shorts for summer.
Uniqlo Stretch Fit Slim Shorts
It’s hard to find fault with Uniqlo’s Stretch Fit Slim Shorts; the simple, understated design honestly just works. Available in a multitude of different colorways — including everything from olive to wine — and cut with a sleek, slim-fit, they offer the perfect basis for your summertime expression. In the case of the pair we have featured here (one of many styles), you’re getting some hidden belt loops, side seams, and hem-stitching for an ultra-minimalist aesthetic.
Everlane The Pull-On Performance Chino Short
With these pull-on performance-inspired chinos, you don’t have to compromise on feel just because you’re trying to look your best. Despite their polished presentation, they come crafted from a sweat-wicking, quick-drying 4-way stretch fabric, meaning they wear like any old athletic short. And because they retain all of their pockets, buttons, and various other adornments, no one around you will ever be the wiser.
Patagonia Baggies 5-Inch
No list of shorts would be complete without a pair of Patagonia’s Baggies — they’re pretty much purpose-built for outdoor summer adventure. Made from a 100% recycled nylon blend with a durable water repellent finish, they make for an offering that can handle anything your day has in store. Just be sure to pick up a few pairs, as there’s a wide range of colors, patterns, and prints from which to choose.
Flint And Tinder French Terry Sweat Shorts
Whether you’re getting your pump on at the gym or you’re just kicking back on the couch, these sweat shorts from Flint & Tinder are sure to be a staple in your wardrobe rotation. Because of their soft, mid-weight French terry fabric, you better believe they’re as comfortable as they come. As if that wasn’t enough, though, Flint & Tinder garment-dyes each pair for a super-smooth hand feel. When you consider that they’re stitched, sewn, and finished locally in LA, the result is a value proposition that’s too good to pass up.
Banks Journal Big Bear Walkshort
With half of its founders hailing from Tokyo and the other half from Byon Bay, Australia, Banks Journal is something of an international effort. And it shows in the thoughtful design of the brand’s apparel, as each piece pairs a hard-wearing, adventure-ready construction with a clean silhouette and an added dose of sustainability. With these Big Bear Walkshorts, you’re getting a stretch corduroy fabric made from an organic cotton material, cut short and sewn with pockets all around.
Kavu Chilli Roy Short
However, if you find the welt on the above option a bit too small for your liking, these Chilli Roy Shorts from Kavu are bound to have you stand out. Built tough with thick threads, gussets, and double-needle reinforced seams, they come with an integrated belt and a set of hardy half-moon pockets. Rock ’em for a hike or wear ’em around town, this is one pair of shorts that can do it all with ease.
Buck Mason Vintage Canvas 8-Inch Walk Short
When you’re looking for a modern take on some classic Americana, Buck Mason is easily your best bet. The LA-based outfit specializes in crafting timeless, heritage-influenced men’s staples, and these canvas walk shorts are certainly no exception. Inspired by army surplus wear, they feature a mid-weight stretch cotton canvas that’s been updated with a hidden draw-cord and added spandex for maximum comfort.
Lululemon Commission Short Oxford
Though lululemon may be an athleisure outfit first and foremost, the brand also happens to make some pretty top-notch casual wear. These Commission Shorts, for instance, are essentially a performance-oriented chino, as they’re cut with a trim 9″ fit and they feature a sweat-wicking Oxford fabric. And thanks to lululemon’s patented ABC technology, they come with an ergonomic gusset that frees up some extra room through the crotch — a game-changer on hot days.
Bonobos Drawstring Club Shorts
Like some of our other hybrid dress shorts, this offering from Bonobos goes big on style without costing you everyday comfort. In addition to a sharp fit, they also feature an interior drawcord and a garment-dyed finish, a combination that ensures they look the part whilst still offering a great feel. And, assuming you want to spice things up, they even come in a series of bright patterns like ‘Domingo Plaid’ and ‘Navy Ikat.’
Alex Mill Saturday Cotton Seersucker Drawstring Shorts
Between its resistance to wrinkles and its unrivaled breathability, seersucker has long served as the quintessential fabric of summer. With this in mind, Alex Mill designed these ‘Saturday’ shorts to be a relaxed weekend piece that’s dressy enough for more formal outings. Made with 100% cotton and a set of front slash pockets, they’re a truly versatile option that can be worn with everything from tees to polos to button-ups.
Faherty All Day Shorts
If you’re after a pair of shorts that combine the technical performance of swimwear with the refined aesthetic of dress clothes, you can’t go wrong with this option from Faherty. Aptly named the ‘All Day Shorts,’ they’re made to be quick-drying, highly functional, and perfectly-tailored, incorporating an eco-friendly recycled construction with a pair of mesh-lined pockets. And because they’re available in multiple inseam lengths — both with and without belt loops — you can cater the look specifically to your particular needs.
Taylor Stitch The Easy Short
Finding that perfect summer outfit couldn’t be simpler thanks to these sharp Taylor Stitch shorts. For even though they’re crafted using a host of premium materials like linen, silk, and organic cotton, they’re nevertheless more than tough enough for use during active applications. In other words, dress ’em down with a shirt for a bicycle ride or spruce ’em up with an oxford for a round of drinks. However you choose to wear The Easy shorts, know that they’ll have your backside every step of the way.
Carhartt WIP Aviation Short
Love it or hate it, cargo shorts are back — and in a big way. Thankfully, this pair from Carhartt’s WIP line skimps on the baggy style of the early oughts in favor of a slimmer fit and a more tasteful look. That said, the shorts still retain their trademark utility, as they’re made using a cotton ‘Columbia’ ripstop fabric, and they come with multiple pockets at the hips, the thighs, and the back of the legs. What’s more, they feature a convenient integrated cinch cord for secure, belt-free adjustment.
Todd Snyder 7” Italian Weekend Short
No one knows men’s fashion like Todd Snyder, and these Italian Weekend Shorts are a case in point. Incredibly comfortable yet also supremely stylish, they come with an accommodating pull-on construction and a soft, slightly tailored shape. But better still is the fact that they’ve been shod in this suave Ombre Stripe pattern using fabric from Italy’s Albiate Mill, basically guaranteeing that you’ll look cool, calm, and collected no matter the occasion.
Saturdays NYC Joby Windbreaker Short
Okay, so at $155 a piece, these shorts from Saturdays NYC are definitely a bit of a premium pick. However, the added expense comes with the brand recognition, and the overall package is a true cut above other adventure-ready options. After all, it’s not often that you get so many functional details — like hidden zipper pockets, side patch pouches, and an adjustable slider waistband — in a silhouette that’s quite so street-ready. Pick some up in the Army Green colorway if you can, though the Khaki is also a buy in our book.
The 18 Best Summer Pants For Men
If you’re adamant in your aversion to shorts, that’s okay — thankfully, there are some full-legged options that can handle the heat, as well. Just be sure to check out our guide to the best summer pants for men, where you’ll find a roundup of warm-weather options that keep you feeling cool and comfortable.
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