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The Best Shorts For Men, According To Style Experts

Like swim trunks and t-shirts, shorts are something you wear constantly in warm weather, so it’s important that they fit well. The best shorts for men sit comfortably on your waist, hit at a flattering length on your leg and are cut from breathable fabrics that keep you cool. For instance: Our top pick overall is the Bonobos Chino 2.0, which is made from high-quality stretch cotton and has a classic fit that works for most wearers. For casual days at the office, consider the Amazon Essentials Classic-Fit Cargo for under $25.

To find the top shorts for men, we evaluated several pairs from dozens of of well-loved brands. Our 12 final selections were reviewed by Forbes Vetted’s in-house style expert, deputy editor Kari Molvar. We also received additional recommendations from Nashville-based personal stylist Bentley Caldwell. Below, find the best men’s shorts that we highly recommend, whether for the office, weekends or working out.

Best Shorts For Men Overall

Bonobos: Comfortable With A Great Fit

Bonobos Washed Chino 2.0

Sizes: 28 to 46; Standard, slim, athletic | Inseam lengths: 5 inches, 7 inches, 9 inches | Colors: 15 total, including Faded Black and Oat Milk | Materials: 92% cotton, 8% spandex

What you’ll love:

  • Three different fit options
  • Wide selection of colors
  • Hidden zippered pocket

Keep in mind:

  • Some customers say shorts run large
  • Fabric is on heavier side

Menswear brand Bonobos is known for its fit and quality, and the Chino 2.0 excels in both areas. This piece is the shorts version of the brand’s best-selling chino, which features a wrinkle-resistant, four-way stretch fabric in a classic flat-front style. (One reviewer says they’re so comfortable, he’s even slept in them.) Design details, like a curved waistband to reduce excess fabric and a hidden side pocket to stash your valuables, make these shorts a solid pick. They come in three fits—standard, slim and athletic—as well as three inseam lengths, so you can find a pair that fits perfectly.

What the reviews say: Overall, customers are pleased with the quality of the shorts and the amount of color options. “They're tight on the thigh, but have an incredible amount of stretch—somehow these keep their shape while being so stretchy,” one reviewer writes. However, some customers feel the sizing is inconsistent and that the shorts aren’t as slim as the brand’s previous version.


Best Work Shorts For Men

J.Crew: Classic Fit In A Range Of Sizes And Lengths

J.Crew Stretch Chino

Sizes: 28 to 42 | Inseam lengths: 5 inches, 7 inches, 9 inches, 10.5 inches | Colors: 9 total, including Khaki and Stone | Materials: 98% cotton, 2% elastane

What you’ll love:

  • Four inseam lengths
  • Lightweight and breathable

Keep in mind:

  • Larger sizes sell out quickly

J.Crew is great for classic wardrobe staples, its shorts included. This top-rated stretch version comes in four different inseam lengths—the 7-inch hits at that sweet spot between your knee and thigh—and has traditional four-pocket styling. Paired with a belt and a button-down shirt, these shorts are appropriate for a business-casual setting. If you do plan on wearing them to the office, we recommend sticking to the one of the longer inseam lengths.

What the reviews say: Customers appreciate the fit and feel of these shorts. One reviewer describes them as “perfect lightweight and breathable summer/spring chino shorts,” noting that they “fit like a glove” after sizing down one size. However, a few reviewers say the material is thin and wrinkles easily.


Best Casual Shorts For Men

Chubbies: Spill-Proof Shorts You'll Want To Live In

Chubbies The Tahoes Everywear

Sizes: XS to 3XL | Inseam lengths: 6 inches, 8 inches | Colors: 11 total, including Khaki and Dusty Blue | Materials: 89% polyester, 11% spandex

What you’ll love:

  • Spill-proof fabric
  • Internal drawstring for secure fit
  • Hidden zippered pocket

Keep in mind:

  • Some customers note lighter colors are see-through

Chubbies’ lightweight Everywear Performance shorts are as comfy as it gets, thanks to a stretchy polyester fabric blend and an elastic waistband with an internal drawstring. This bestseller is also resistant to water, wrinkles and rips; plus, it has two mesh-lined side pockets, a phone-sized back zipper pocket and a hidden side zipper pocket. There are 11 color and pattern options to pick from, including the popular Tahoes featured above, so you can build out your summer wardrobe.

What the reviews say: Despite some customers mentioning that the lighter colors are somewhat sheer, these shorts have an impressive average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from over 2,500 reviews. One reviewer writes, “These are a great pair of shorts that you truly can wear everywhere. I feel great wearing them to school, the beach or the golf course.”


Best Travel Shorts For Men

Lululemon: Wrinkle-Resistant For Long-Haul Flights

Lululemon ABC Classic-Fit Short

Sizes: 28 to 40 | Inseam lengths: 7 inches, 9 inches | Colors: 6 total, including Obsidian and Bone | Materials: 54% recycled polyester, 46% elastomultiester

What you’ll love:

  • Wrinkle-resistant fabric
  • Streamlined fit
  • Zippered seam pocket for travel essentials

Keep in mind:

  • Some customers note inconsistent sizing

Like the rest of its activewear, Lululemon’s ABC shorts strike the right balance between style and function. Made of the brand’s patented Warpstreme fabric, these shorts are comfy enough for that long-haul flight—and, because they’re wrinkle-resistant, you can head straight to dinner after hopping off the plane. In addition to the roomy front pockets, there’s also a discreet zippered seam pocket for extra storage.

What the reviews say: Those who’ve purchased these shorts appreciate their comfort and creaseproof fabric. “They are the perfect mix of looking classy while staying comfortable,” says one reviewer. “If you have athletic thighs, they fit slim and look great.” Several customers have commented, though, that sizing varies between colors.


Best Affordable Shorts For Men

Amazon: Quality At An Unbeatable Price

Amazon Essentials Classic-Fit Cargo Short

Sizes: 28 to 60 | Inseam lengths: 10 inches | Colors: 15 total, including Black and Navy | Materials: 100% cotton

What you’ll love:

  • Roomy cargo pockets
  • High quality for the price
  • Inclusive size range

Keep in mind:

  • Material has limited stretch

The Classic-Fit Cargo Short from Amazon Essentials offers so much—incredibly inclusive sizing, a soft and breathable 100% cotton twill, plentiful storage with deep pockets and a price that can’t be beat. Multiple reviewers spoke to the high-quality, durable fabric and impressive tailoring details, like double stitched belt loops and reinforced seams. If you’re looking for a roomy, comfortable short with many color options, this pair is the way to go.

What the reviews say: Customers are pleased with these shorts’ value for the price. “I think these are better quality than shorts I've paid twice the price for in a similar style from other retailers,” one reviewer notes. Some customers report that the shorts run small—and since the fabric doesn’t offer any stretch, they recommend sizing up.


Best Workout Shorts For Men

Vuori: Sweat-Wicking For Training

Vuori Kore Short

Sizes: XS to XXL | Inseam lengths: 7.5 inches | Colors: 16 total including Indigo and Charcoal | Materials: 46% recycled polyester, 44% polyester, 10% elastane

What you’ll love:

  • Built-in liner
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Quick-drying

Keep in mind:

  • Some customers say these shorts run small

Southern California-based Vuori designs all its apparel with a focus on functionality, durability and casual comfort. The Kore Short, which topped our roundup of the best workout shorts for men, is great for exercising, thanks to smart details like a quick-drying, four-way stretch polyester fabric, an elastic waistband and a built-in, breathable boxer-brief liner.

What our testers say: This style is a favorite of Forbes Vetted audience development director Spencer Dukoff, who says, “I work out in them, lounge around the house in them and when my work video calls only require me to show above my torso, I wear them while I work.” He adds that they are “comfortable, breathable and easy to wash.”


Best Chino Shorts For Men

Huckberry: Timeless Style You Can Dress Up Or Down

Huckberry Flint And Tinder 365 Short

Sizes: 28 to 38 | Inseam lengths: 5 inches, 7 inches, 9 inches | Colors: 9 total, including Charcoal and Lake Blue | Materials: 98% cotton, 2% spandex

What you’ll love:

  • Preshrunk cotton blend fabric for a consistent fit
  • Three inseam options

Keep in mind:

  • Cut might be too boxy for some

The 365 Short is a bestseller from Huckberry’s in-house brand Flint And Tinder, which specializes in rugged, American-inspired staple pieces. Though these shorts are cut like a chino, they move and stretch with you, thanks to just the right amount of spandex. There are three inseam options, so you can pick the right length based on your height and style preferences. Wear them casually with a tee or dressed up with a button-down.

What the reviews say: This style earns high marks from customers for their excellent construction. “These shorts fit exactly how I hoped they would,” one reviewer says. “They don’t have much stretch to them, but I think that’s part of why the material feels high-quality.” On the other hand, some customers aren’t a huge fan of the fabric’s stiffness and prefer a stretchier fit.


Best Golf Shorts For Men

Peter Millar: Crisp And Clean For The Course

MOST POPULAR

Peter Millar Salem Short

Sizes: 30 to 42 | Inseam lengths: 9 inches | Colors: 4 total, including Black and Stone | Materials: 100% polyester

What you’ll love:

  • Tailored fit
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Lightweight polyester fabric

Keep in mind:

  • Only available in one inseam length

Earning the top spot on our list of the best golf shorts, Peter Millar’s Salem shorts have a clean, flat front and back darts to give a more tailored fit. A 21-inch leg opening and 9-inch inseam means that these shorts look professional, both on and off the course. The lightweight, two-way stretch technical fabric allows for day-to-day comfort and wrinkle resistance, making these a great option for semi-formal outdoor events.

What the reviews say: These shorts are popular among avid golfers, who appreciate their versatility. “I have four to five pairs of these shorts as they are my absolute favorites,” one reviewer writes. “Nice for the golf course, country club or just a casual outing.” However, some customers note that the shorts fit differently than the brand’s previous version of the style.


Best Running Shorts For Men

On: Flexible, Breathable And Light

On Lightweight

Sizes: S to XXL | Inseam lengths: 8.7 inches | Colors: 4 total, including Black and Grape | Materials: 85% recycled polyamide, 15% elastane

What you’ll love:

  • Made with recycled materials
  • Breathable mesh back panel
  • Built-in key loop

Keep in mind:

  • Only available in one inseam option

Swiss-engineered brand On designs all of its shoes and apparel with runners’ comfort and performance in mind. The Lightweight Shorts are minimalist and streamlined to carry you through every mile, and the four-way stretch woven outer layer feels silky smooth. A breathable mesh back panel increases airflow to keep you cool, plus an integrated pocket and key loop stows essentials while you’re on the move.

What the reviews say: One REI customer describes these shorts as “amazingly light and comfortable,” particularly complimenting the material and waistband. The reviewer also suggests sizing down for the right fit, based on the brand’s guidelines.


Best Hiking Shorts For Men

Smartwool: Made For Outdoor Adventures

Smartwool Active

Sizes: S to XXL | Inseam lengths: 5 inches | Colors: 4 total, including Twilight Cloud and Light Gray | Materials: 86% polyester, 14% elastane; Merino wool and Tencel lining

What you’ll love:

  • Temperature-regulating lining

Keep in mind:

  • Limited color options
  • Inseam may be too short for taller men

Thanks to the lining made of Merino wool and Tencel, these athletic shorts regulate temperature remarkably well—this makes them our pick for outdoor excursions like hiking and trail running. A zippered pocket in the back allows you to stash small essentials, while the stretchy loops on each side can hold a shirt if you take it off on your hike or run.

What our editors say: Gear editor Cam Vigliotta describes the liner as “supportive and flexible.” It also naturally fights odor, thanks to the antimicrobial properties of merino wool. “If you're traveling or between washes, it's nice to know they don't hold onto odor whatsoever,” he adds.


Best Linen Shorts For Men

Todd Snyder: Effortlessly Cool, No Matter Where You Go

Todd Snyder Hudson

Sizes: 28 to 38 | Inseam lengths: 7 inches | Colors: 5 total, including Navy Batik and Sand Dollar | Materials: 59% cotton, 41% linen

What you’ll love:

  • Breathable and soft fabric
  • Built-in coin pocket

Keep in mind:

  • Only available in one inseam length

New York-based Todd Snyder is great at combining comfort and classic styling. The 7-inch Hudson Short is cut from a soft cotton-linen blend and has a tailored look that works equally well for the office or happy hour. These shorts are responsibly made and feature design details like a coin pocket and two button-through back pockets that store your stuff without looking too bulky.

What the reviews say: Customers are happy with how this style fits, with one describing it as “slightly loose, but not baggy.” They also praise the quality of the smooth and comfortable fabric.


Best Corduroy Shorts For Men

Madewell: Cool Corduroy In Unique Hues

Madewell Corduroy Everywear

Sizes: XS to XXL | Inseam lengths: 5.5 inches | Colors: 6 total, including Warm Coffee and Dusty Laurel | Materials: 100% cotton

What you’ll love:

  • Soft, textured fabric
  • Unique color options

Keep in mind:

  • No belt loops
  • Inseam length may be too short for tall men

These pull-on shorts are made of ultra-soft corduroy, which lends a unique texture to any warm-weather ensemble. They come in unconventional hues such as Warm Coffee, a rich reddish brown, and Distant Peri, a dusty lilac. The stretchy waistband eliminates the need for a belt loop, but you’ll still find traditional details like side pockets and a welt pocket in the back.

What the reviews say: Customers are satisfied overall with the shorts’ fit and length. “I wear these both at home when just hanging out and when I go out with friends,” one customer writes. “They’re perfect with a casual T-shirt or a dressed shirt.” This customer also mentions that they work really well for big thighs, but a few other reviewers feel that the cut is too roomy for their tastes.


Other Top Styles To Consider

We understand that style preference is highly personal. In case our short selections above aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, we tapped Caldwell for four more fashion-forward picks he recommends to his clients.

Laidback But Still Pulled Together

Faherty Essential Drawstring

Drawstring styles are easy-going and bridge the gap between polished and casual. “This has the look of a chino, but is more relaxed,” says Caldwell. “I would wear these with a hoodie or nice T-shirt and sneakers.” They come in nine shades, including Oakwood and Spring Olive.


The OG of Workout Shorts

Patagonia Baggies

Before there was Lululemon or Rhone, there was Patagonia. Often seen on outdoorsy types, these shorts have an old-school look that never goes out of style. “They dry quickly, keep you cool and just have a great classic look,” says Caldwell. Thanks to the built-in mesh liner, they double as swimwear, and they are made out of nylon faille from recycled fishing nets.


A Fresh Take On The Chino

Billy Reid Chino Short

While Caldwell prefers his shorts a little shorter (not longer than 7 inches), he still loves these slim, flattering Billy Reid chino shorts with a perfectly respectable 8-inch inseam. They are well-made and durable; the pocket welts are reinforced with half-moon stitching, and the pocket openings and belt loops are secured with bar tacking. “They also have nice details, like horn buttons, and come in great colors like French Blue,” says Caldwell.


Magnum PI-Style Shorts

Birdwell Men's Classic Corduroy Shorts

These are the closest thing you will find to the retro shorts that Tom Selleck wore back in the ‘80s. They have the same vintage front patch pockets, a button fly and a hidden drawstring that allows for a customized fit. This pair is handcut and handsewn in Los Angeles and comes in two classic colors. Forbes Vetted contributing fashion writer Lesley Rotchford owns a pair (there’s a women’s version, too), and Caldwell is a fan as well. “They’re fun and comfy,” he says.


Why Trust Forbes Vetted

At Forbes Vetted, we’ve published many expertly researched fashion articles, including a variety of menswear-specific topics, such as comfortable dress shoes and jeans for men.

  • All picks were approved by Forbes Vetted deputy editor Kari Molvar, who has been covering fashion and lifestyle topics for more than 20 years and holds a certificate in fashion styling from the Business of Fashion.
  • We spoke to men’s fashion stylist Bentley Caldwell for insight on what to look for when shopping for shorts, plus additional picks. We also tapped personal fashion stylist Josephine Eve to gain helpful knowledge on how to find the right inseam length for the perfect fit.
  • We refresh this list regularly to ensure you’re up to date on product availability and sales. This article was recently updated in June 2024 by fashion writer Claire Epting, who added the Smartwool Active Lined Short to our roundup.


How We Chose The Best Shorts For Men

When selecting the best shorts for men, we sought out reputable brands who are known for making high-quality menswear staples, including Bonobos and J.Crew.

  • We pored over dozens of customer reviews to learn more about how each pick lives up to expectations in real-life settings. We included key takeaways when possible to give you a well-rounded view of each product.
  • We polled the Forbes Vetted team for their personal recommendations; audience development director Spencer Dukoff loves the Vuori Kore Short, while gear editor Cam Vigliotta vouches for the Smartwool Active Lined Short.
  • Pricing was also taken into account; we made sure to include wallet-friendly options as well as luxury pieces. Our picks start at around the $25 mark and range in price up to $150.


What To Consider When Shopping For Men’s Shorts

There are a few factors to keep in mind when you’re searching for your next pair of shorts, including inseam length, material, fit and color. Here’s what to consider, according to Caldwell.

Inseam Length

Shorts are getting shorter these days, with the preferred inseam length for most guys being around 7 inches. Of course, taller men may need a 9-inch inseam, while shorter guys (or those who just prefer a shorter look) might want to choose shorts with a 5-inch or 6-inch inseam. “Basically, as a rule of thumb, shorts should hit an inch or two above the knee,” says Caldwell.

Material

Chino-type shorts are made of cotton or polyester with a touch of elastin or spandex for movement and comfort. Caldwell advises sticking to chino-type shorts for most scenarios, with one exception: If you plan on working out, opt for a performance fabric, typically made of polyester or polyamide with a higher percentage of spandex. Caldwell also likes linen for a relaxed, beachy look, but says you have to be willing to live with some wrinkles. Those looking to infuse their wardrobe with an interesting texture should consider corduroy as well.

Fit

“Always air on the side of slim,” says Caldwell. But slim doesn’t work for everyone, in every setting. Athletic guys with larger thighs might feel more comfortable in a classic fit (think “relaxed,” not “baggy”), and a classic fit may also feel more appropriate in conservative environments (like a country club or at work). Try a few different styles to see what feels best on you.

Color

Neutral shades, such as navy and khaki, are popular for a reason: They go with everything, and they’re appropriate for the office, as well as more casual weekend wear. However, don’t be afraid to switch it up with rich greens, browns and reds in more casual settings. “A pop of color, like French Blue, can also be nice,” says Caldwell.


What Style Of Men’s Shorts Are Most Flattering?

Finding the right short style for you has a lot to do with build and leg shape. If you have thicker thighs, consider a short with a wider leg opening; meanwhile, if your legs are more narrow, look for a short with a slimmer cut. While everyone has their own style preferences, a well-tailored chino short—like the Bonobos Chino 2.0—looks good on just about everyone. Designed with a straight leg, multiple inseam options and plenty of stretch, these versatile shorts accommodate a variety of builds and heights.

Can I Wear Shorts To Work?

Whether or not you can wear shorts to work depends entirely on where you work. “If your workplace environment is casual and relaxed and it is within the dress code that you can wear shorts to work, then go for it,” says personal fashion stylist Josephine Eve. Work at a law firm? You’re probably out of luck. “I think it can look unprofessional in a corporate office setting, especially if you are meeting clients—or you’re meeting with your boss,” Eve says. But a startup or more casual environment could be a great place to wear your shorts in. Opt for a longer length and a clean, sophisticated style, like the J.Crew Stretch Chino.

What Is The Best Inseam Length For Men’s Shorts?

Like pants, shorts are measured using the inseam, or the length from your crotch to the hem of the shorts. Common short lengths are 5, 7, 9 and 11 inches. Generally, your shorts should hit around 2 inches above the kneecap for the best fit. To find your ideal inseam length, Eve suggests measuring the distance from the inner crotch seam to the bottom hem. Start by grabbing a pair of shorts that fit you well and stand with your legs a bit apart. “Then with a measuring tape, place it at the very top of the inside seam. Let the tape drop all the way down to where you want your shorts to end,” she says.


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