The best shorts for men? Complicated question. Before we dig into the billion-and-one designs, we gotta talk length and shape. TikTok Teens would have you believe that a five-inch inseam is the only length that matters. Fellas like Milo Ventimiglia and Paul Mescal, however, might urge you to go up a couple of inches and show off a little more thigh. And on the other end of the spectrum entirely, the ever stylish Justin Bieber prefers to step out in loose, baggy shorts that would make members of Michigan’s Fab Five proud.
The beauty is that you can go for anywhere along the spectrum—or, better yet, make a few stops along the way and stock your closet with a wide variety of shorts. Because there’s an absolutely insane amount of styles out there. From the gorpiest, tech advanced jawns to the cotton and wool equivalents of a whiskey neat.
If you’re still relying on your swishy basketball shorts to carry you from the court to brunch, we’re here to help you out. We’ve turned up the 22 best shorts for men for every possible budget and need. Whether you’re after for an elegant pleated pair—à la Giorgio Armani—or just some breathable nylon beaters to get you through the weekend, we’ve scoured the market to bring you the grade-A options that’ll free your trunks.
The Best Shorts Shopping Guide
- The Best All-Around Shorts: Patagonia “Baggies” shorts, $65
- The Best New Contender for the Crown: Fear of God Essentials running shorts, $59
- The Best Everyday Shorts: Alex Mill flat front chino shorts, $98
- The Best Sweat Shorts: Todd Snyder + Champion 7″ midweight warm up short, $88
- The Best Jorts: Levi’s 405 standard denim 10″ shorts, $70
- The Best Cargo Shorts: Nike ACG cargo short, $129
- The Best Dress Shorts: Comme Des Garçons Homme Deux pleated shorts, $400
The Best All-Around Shorts
Patagonia “Baggies” shorts
Season after season, the Baggies continue to reign supreme thanks to their heavenly blend of form and function. Crafted from quick-drying post-consumer recycled nylon, these shorts are a fine example of wearing your clothes in good conscience. It also doesn’t hurt the flattering cut comes equipped with oh-so spacious mesh pockets, a stretchy elastic waist, and a secure rear pocket, allowing you to have your fun in the sun, whether that be on or off the grid. For $65, they’re simply unbeatable.
The Best New Contender for the Crown
Fear of God Essentials running shorts
We love the Baggies. You love the Baggies. But none of that will stop FOG’s Essentials line from trying to take the crown. The brand’s sleek running shorts are designed to fit into your everyday wardrobe with feather-light-yet-durable nylon made to last, and a neutral color palette that gently whispers “vibes.” Riffing off a California cool that is oft-imitated but rarely mastered, the baggy silhouette cuts off at just three inches to show off your shapely limbs while maximizing breathability. Aaand they’re less than $60, which is a score in general but a major come up for Jerry Lorenzo stans of all stripes.
The Best Everyday Shorts
Alex Mill flat front chino shorts
When you’re after a pair of regular, everyday shorts that fit like a charm, Alex Mill truly understands the assignment. Their strategy? Take their best-selling chino pants and chop ‘em down for summer wear. Wide-legged and relaxed with just a hint of stretch, they’re about as versatile, comfortable, and timelessly stylish as a pair of shorts can be.
Todd Snyder + Champion 7″ midweight warm up short
There comes a time in every mid to moderately active guy’s life when he’s on the hunt for the perfect sweat shorts. Maybe he begrudgingly agreed to join his team for a weekend spar on the court or it’s too hot to get away with his go-to joggers; either way, it’s suddenly a priority. Thankfully, Todd Snyder and Champion whipped up the perfect blend of comfort casual. Mid-weight cotton that won’t leave you shuddering at the faintest breeze and a drawstring waist to secure the fit to your liking. And with seven generous inches, these shorts offer all the coverage you need, exactly where you want it.
The Best Jorts
Levi’s 405 standard denim 10″ shorts
Speaking of generous lengths, it’s jorts season again! You might be wondering why on earth you’d spend money on half a pair of jeans. The answer is a) because it looks cool and b) you know you couldn’t cut a straight line to save your life if you tried. Levi’s 405 standard denim features a straight leg that looks good on just about everyone, with just the faintest bit of stretch for when you need to get moving. If you can bare to part with your favorite 501s, they won’t be too far of a leap to make.
The Best Cargo Shorts
Nike ACG cargo short
Is it any surprise that Nike makes the best cargo shorts? Their ACG line is one of pillars of the gorp aesthetic for plenty of reasons: technical fabrics whipped into figure-flattering shapes that both sneakerheads and the crunchiest among us can appreciate. This particular pair of cargo shorts has all the mesh and zipped-up pocket space you could need for stowing away your precious, um, cargo, along with an adjustable webbed belt. Even if you’re just strolling down your city streets, with these on you’ll feel ready for adventure.
The Best Dress Shorts
Comme Des Garçons Homme Deux pleated shorts
Sometimes you have the itch to pair your ritzy button-down with a pair of flowy shorts–that or you’ve got a formal event coming up that will be conveniently located in an extremely humid locale. Obviously, you’re not going to veer too casual on the bottom if the top is eliciting “sir”—but when even khakis feel like overkill, it’s time to whip out the posh calf-hitting bottoms. These CDG pleated shorts have faint pinstripe-detailing that won’t put you in Beetlejuice territory, but they will make you the smartest dressed dude in the room (or under the veranda). Made from pure 100% cotton with a silk satin lining, they feel as smooth as your entrance.
Plus 15 More Shorts We Love
John Elliot vintage game mesh shorts
The type of mesh shorts you’d wear when you have zero intention of doing layups but every intention of scoring big fits.
Corridor linen drawstring shorts
For the days when it’s too hot to function, you’ll be thankful you invested in some breezy linen shorts.
Gap 7 “easy shorts
As the name implies, these shorts do all the work for you.
Monitaly belted easy shorts
Hiking shorts are everywhere right now, but this pair’s trippy rug-inspired pattern catapults them to the top of the peak.
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy “Mae” shorts
Pleats! Pinstripes! A pair of shorts with character for the real characters out there.
Stüssy curly S water short
You can just hear the “surf’s up.”
Uniqlo corduroy shorts
And now you know what you’ll be wearing come Summer Fridays.
Nike Dri-FIT reversible 6″ basketball shorts
A 2-in-1 where you’d actually want to wear both sides.
lululemon “Pace Breaker” line 5″ shorts
Keep everything nice and secure when you break out into full speed.
Stan Ray fatigue short
Inspired by vintage army pants, these olive drab shorts are ready for duty with some chunky socks and Birkenstocks.
Raey denim frayed hem shorts
Anyone who’s cut their own shorts knows there’s a 50/50 chance you end up with a straight hem. Skip the gamble and slip into this perfectly frayed pair.
J.Crew 6″ Dock short
Soft lilac is a soothing way to step into spring (preferably with a good pair of loafers and a refreshing cocktail).
Eckhaus Latta Switch shorts
If the Matrix took place in summer.
Outerknown high tide terry shorts
Catch the wave.