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Whether you’re heading to a music festival or outdoors to entertain, opting for sun-protective clothing and swapping your pants for a new pair of shorts can help make a big difference in keeping you just a little more comfortable once you’re far from the A/C.
Not sure what you’re looking for? Need a dressed-up pair or prefer trunks that don’t look like you’re heading to the pool? Here are the best men’s shorts we’re eyeing (and a few we’ve tested and love) this season.
Men’s Shorts Buying Guide
There are a few things to consider when shopping for the best men’s shorts online. First things first, decide when and where you’re going to wear your shorts. That’ll help you decide on the most important features to keep in mind while you’re shopping, like fit, fabric, and style.
Fit: How your shorts fit is really a personal decision. Do you want shorts that fit a little loose on you, or do you want a slim-fitting pair? We included a range of short fits in this guide, but all of the shorts fall above the knee and within a five-inch inseam up to an eight-inch inseam.
Comfort: While this is a no-brainer, you want your shorts to feel comfortable, no matter where you’re wearing them to, whether it be a workout or an outdoor concert. The shorts we picked all offer serious comfort, but they’re not quite as cozy as, say, loungewear or some workout shorts (see our review for workout shorts here).
Fabric: We prefer more breathable shorts for summer, and you’ll find a mix of styles below, ranging from shorts made with blends of cotton, nylon, and other materials.
Style: From swim trunks disguised as casual shorts to slim-fit chino shorts, there are endless short styles to choose from these days. This guide includes all of the above to help you find the right shorts for you and your style. In short, all of our picks below are versatile enough that you can wear them for years to come for almost any activity.
What Are the Best Shorts for Men?
Here are some of the best men’s shorts you can buy online this spring and summer, from brands like Everlane, Patagonia, and Lululemon. These picks work as well for a hike and bike ride, as they do for brunch, the beach, or a date.
1. Everlane Pull-On Performance Chino Shorts
We’re doing a ton of shopping these days at Everlane. The reason: We love all of the site’s classic staples, giving us an easy-going summer wardrobe — all at a reasonable price point.
If you like shorts that can wick away moisture, while still looking chic, this Everlane Pull-On Performance pair won’t steer you wrong.
As far as comfort goes, Everlane’s shorts are a cut above with an elastic waistband, though they also include a button that adds to their dressy appeal. The seven-inch inseam hits just above the knee and works for a variety of outfits and occasions (I.e. not too long and not too short).
2. Vuori Ripstop Climber Shorts
These sleek shorts from Vuori are best worn on days when you’re planning to start with morning outdoor yoga, then slide right into hiking and grilling all afternoon. In other words, it’s tough to find an occasion where Vuori’s Ripstop Climbers don’t work. Made with a blend of cotton and elastane, they’re easy to move around in from activity to activity, yet they’re rugged enough that you could wear them climbing or camping, too. Vuori even added a subtle pocket with a zipper on the side to store your smartphone — essential if you don’t want to risk losing it on the trail or at a show.
3. Patagonia Baggies Shorts
The Patagonia Baggies deserve a place in every man’s wardrobe. Jump in the pool, go for a run, or grab a coffee while wearing these wildly cool, trendy shorts this summer.
We personally own them, and we love that they’re built to be used as both swim trunks or everyday, casual shorts. The waistband is stretchy and feels ultra-comfortable, but there’s a handy drawstring to cinch them up tighter.
There are multiple pockets, and they’re deeper than most. We’ve been able to actually keep our large iPhone 12 in the pocket during a run without it falling out of our pocket. There’s also a back pocket with a button to hold your wallet securely.
Plus, this year’s Baggies’ are more eco-conscious than ever: They’re made using 100% discarded fishing nets — one of the most harmful ocean pollutants.
4. Buck Mason Deck Shorts
Buck Mason makes it easy to create a daily uniform thanks to its basic tees, shirts and, our favorites, the Deck Shorts. We’ve worn Buck Mason’s cotton-and-nylon shorts more than probably any other men’s shorts over the last few years. We like the six-inch inseam, but the company also has an eight-inch offering if you’re looking for a longer pair of shorts.
There’s nothing too flashy about these shorts, and they look like vintage throwbacks you might see in photos of celebrities on vacation. Buck Mason offers them in multiple colors, and we’re consistently surprised by how a pair of stylish shorts could feel this comfortable to wear. They’re a perfect all-around pick for the beach, the gym or paired with a short-sleeved button-up come date night.
They feature a drawstring and button closure, two side pockets, and a back pocket, though none of the pockets fully close shut.
5. Lululemon Commission Classic-Fit
Despite their crisp, pulled-together look, these Commission shorts from Lululemon are ready for action. The fabric is quick-drying and boasts four-way stretch, but it also hangs nicely (more like slacks than shorts) thanks to added Lycra. This performance focus means you can rock these shorts to yoga class or to the gym, but we think they really shine on busy days in the summer heat. Pair them with a casual button-up and simple sneakers for a versatile weekend look.
6. Todd Snyder Corduroy Short
Corduroy shorts might sound a bit odd, but they’ve become a low-key trend recently. And Todd Snyder nailed the trend with these shorts. Inspired by surfers and skaters of the Eighties, the shorts inject some flair to basic, laid-back summer fits — especially in all white. But they’re functional, as well as fashionable, thanks to an elasticized drawstring waistband and side seam pockets. Throw them on when headed out to brunch with a dark tee and Birkenstocks or classic skate shoes.
7. Incotex Cargo Shorts
Among the current wave of dad style trends are cargo shorts. We never thought we’d see the summer haulers again, but we’re weirdly happy to start wearing them. Incotex’s cargo shorts are well known for their combination of function and luxury, using a cotton and linen blend that’s both durable and plush. You can wear them with classics (say, flip-flops and a white tee), but we think the Incotexs really shine with streetwear pieces; think, a pair of Nikes and an oversized logo tee, for example.