Calves are in season. So are mid-thighs, for men who dare to go there. With the dog days of summer around the corner, your legs will thank you for restocking your shorts supply now.
Shorts come in as many varieties as the men who choose to wear them. Whether you like relaxed fit and full coverage or close-cropped and cut off, there are pairs out there waiting to be seized. We tapped style experts to pick their favorites of the season, alongside top-rated picks from our favorite trusted retailers.
Men’s cotton shorts
$49.97 at Nordstrom Rack
“Sometimes you just want to throw on a pair of shorts that feel like the ones you wore back in high school or college,” says Nordstrom men’s fashion and editorial director, Jian DeLeon. But that won’t necessarily fly in every social setting. “Marine Layer brings the best of both worlds by mixing a washed twill fabric with an elastic waistband,” DeLeon says.
$15 $10.50 at Target
Beloved for their comfort, drawstring and subtle elastic waist, these shorts can be dressed up or down.
$89.50 at Ralph Lauren
You know Ralph Lauren for its classic polo shirts, which are perfect for pairing with these breathable cotton linen shorts.
$68 at Nordstrom
“Gramicci is a heritage brand out of California inspired by climbing culture,” DeLeon says. “Known for their quality hiking gear, their take on the self-belted climbing short is good enough for scaling a cliff or simply walking the dog.”
$190 $133 at Mr. Porter
“You can expect to get a lot of wear out of these shorts from our in-house label, Mr P.,” says Olie Arnold, style director of men’s style destination and retailer Mr Porter. “The single pleat at the front gives off a tailored appearance, elevating them for more formal settings, while their wide, relaxed cut allows for a comfortable fit.”
Men’s athletic shorts
$30 at Under Armour
Available in sizes up to a 4XL, these shorts are a favorite for runners, joggers and really any sort of active man everywhere.
$10 at Target
Also available in sizes up to 4XL, with a whopping 800 reviews, these cotton-jersey shorts are great for wearing around the house and exercising.
Men’s linen shorts
$75 at J.Crew
J.Crew’s linen shorts have a slim fit so you can provide more structure to your look without sacrificing comfort.
$19.99 at Target
Made from a material that’s 55% linen and 45% cotton, these easy, breezy chino shorts are beloved by Target shoppers and available in a whole array of colors.
$49.95 at Gap
On the hunt for a classic summer staple? Look no further than these 7-inch shorts from Gap which you can easily dress down with a clean white shirt or dress up with a crisp button-up.
$78 at Alex Crane
Available in over 15 colors and prints, this pair of drawstring shorts is colored with organic pigments and made of 100% sustainably-grown French linen making them a great choice for warmer summer days.
Men’s cargo shorts
$21.99 at Target
Cargo pants under $25? We’re in. These are a classic silhouette with plenty of pocket space, and Target shoppers love them.
From $23.37 at Amazon
Wrangler has been a leading maker of jeans and workwear since 1947. Their shorts are classic, affordable and durable — this pair is also a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon.
$49.95 at L.L.Bean
L.L.Bean’s cargo shorts come with a shorter 6-inch inseam for a modern take on the classic silhouette.
$370 $222 at Mr. Porter
“These cargo shorts are what we at Mr Porter call an essential — certain staples that should form the foundation of every man’s wardrobe,” Arnold says.
Men’s denim shorts
From $24.99 at Amazon
Wrangler again makes a go-to bestselling pair, with a relaxed fit in a variety of washes.
From $18.63 at Amazon
Levi’s slim denim shorts are affordable without skimping on the brand’s quality and reliability.
$79 at Duer
These Duer shorts not only look great but are made of performance stretch denim to keep you comfortable through all your daily to-dos.
$99.50 at Tommy Bahama
“A good pair of white denim shorts can go a long way in the warmer months,” Arnold says. These 10-inch chino shorts from Tommy Bahama are clean and classic making them perfect for any summer occasion.
Shorter men’s shorts
$59 at Patagonia
As a cargo alternative, Patagonia’s utility shorts retain a workwear look with a unique cut.
$78 at Lululemon
An appealing blend of comfort and style, Lululemon’s Bowline shorts are a top-rated customer favorite.
$295 $206.50 at Mr. Porter
“These shorts from Drake’s are cut with the perfect short-leg profile,” Arnold says. “The pink cotton-corduroy brings some unexpected texture to the style.”
$59.50 at Chubbies
Chubbies have become ubiquitous on social media for a reason. Men rave about their fit, comfort and understated style.