The Best Men’s Shorts For 2024 Are Anything But Boring

Fashion


man wearing various styles of shorts

“A don doesn’t wear shorts.”

Words uttered by fictional New York mob boss Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. to Tony Soprano during an exchange between the two in the fourth season premiere of The Sopranos. Essentially, the older man was admonishing Tony for having previously sported a pair of shorts in public. He felt it was immature. Unbecoming. He was wrong, however.

The thing is, we get where Carmine is coming from. Sometimes, shorts don’t meet the level of formality required for a particular setting or event. But we’re not talking about those instances. When it gets really hot out and you don’t have a member of the old mafia guard mumbling in your ear otherwise, shorts simply get the job done.

Only, some shorts do it better. With the rapid approach of summer, we’re here to tell you that cool shorts come in all types of configurations. Different inseam lengths. Different fabrics. The works.

So come along for the ride. We’re taking you on a tour of the best men’s shorts for summer 2024. With so many to choose from, it was hard to narrow them down. But consider the work done for you. Oh, and stick around to the end to see our top pick!

The Best Basic Shorts: 5” Stretch Chino Short by J.Crew

5” Stretch Chino Short by J.Crew

Sometimes you’ve gotta start simple. And that’s exactly where this pair comes in. J.Crew has been supplying fellas with enduring American classics for decades, and if there’s one thing you can rely on them for (besides Ivy-inspired bangers), it’s good closet staples.

Their 5-inch inseam Stretch Chino Shorts get a lot right. For one, they’re arguably the best length you can get. Many agree that a 5-inch inseam is ideal.

There’s something about a short that’s well, short. It lets you show off the goods! In this case, your legs. But there’s also a nice bit of stretch in the mix here, making these perform a heck of a lot better than stiffer counterparts.

With ten colors and a timeless look, these will run you about $50, but select colors go on sale frequently. Don’t miss out.

The Best Classic Shorts: 6-Inch Stretch Classic Fit Chino Short by Polo Ralph Lauren

6-Inch Stretch Classic Fit Chino Short by Polo Ralph Lauren6-Inch Stretch Classic Fit Chino Short by Polo Ralph Lauren

Looking for something a tad bit more “old money?” Pardon our use of the TikTok-ified term, but Ralph Lauren’s aesthetics often lean into something adjacent to a lifestyle filled with country clubs and true American class.

Their 6-inch Stretch Classic Fit Chino Shorts fit right in with all of that. With six colors and a flattering length, this pair will be sure to impress. Subtle features such as the tabbed-button rear pockets and the tastefully applied, iconic Polo logo all make them an absolute winner.

Our bet? Go with the Deckwash White color for a good mix of versatility and elegance. Oh, and they’re under $90, too.

The Best Textured Shorts: 5 1/2″ Corduroy Everywear Shorts by Madewell

5 1/2" Corduroy Everywear Shorts by Madewell5 1/2" Corduroy Everywear Shorts by Madewell

One of the best style hacks you can ever learn is that texture is seriously important.

Outfit feeling a bit dull? Nine times out of ten it’s because things are too flat. A great way to add more visual interest is by incorporating texture through fabric. In the case of these shorts by Madewell, that would be corduroy.

Though typically a fabric most associated with autumn, winter, and the mild days of spring, these work for summer just as well in short form. With a perfect 5 ½-inch inseam and a comfortable elastic waistband, these shorts are a great addition to any casual ensemble.

They come in some brilliant colors, too, such as Warm Coffee and Dusty Laurel. The best part? They’re less than $70.

The Best Sweat Shorts: Austin International Sweat Short by Saturdays New York City

Austin International Sweat Short by Saturdays New York CityAustin International Sweat Short by Saturdays New York City

If it’s maximum comfort you crave, look no further than the Austin International Sweat Shorts by Saturdays New York City. They come in a heathered gray as well as black, and they’ve got a solid 6-inch inseam to keep your legs free during the summer heat.

That doesn’t mean these are flimsy, though. They’re constructed from a heavyweight 14oz loopback terry that gives them a great bit of shaping – something you often don’t expect from a pair of sweat shorts. And yet, somehow, they get softer with each and every wash/wear. For less than $100, these are an excellent option you won’t regret.

The Best Military-Inspired Shorts: 5” Officer Short by Todd Snyder

5” Officer Short by Todd Snyder5” Officer Short by Todd Snyder

Remember what we said about lending your outfits a bit of interest through texture? Well, another method is through shape and drape, both of which can be achieved through a couple of well-crafted pleats.

Pleated shorts have had somewhat of a comeback in the men’s fashion landscape, and we’re fully onboard. Todd Snyder’s 5” Officer Shorts are a great way to try out the look.

Inspired by old military shorts and crafted from 100% cotton, these shorts are tastefully short with a 5-inch inseam and feature double pleats, as well as a coin pocket. They’re a bit pricier at $148, but for Todd Snyder quality, they’re well worth the price of admission.

The Best Linen Shorts: 7.5 Pleated Linen Short by J.Crew

7.5 Pleated Linen Short by J.Crew7.5 Pleated Linen Short by J.Crew

When it’s absolutely scorching out there, sometimes regular shorts simply won’t do. In that case, it’s time to go full throttle and break out the linen. J.Crew appeared already on this list, but they just have too many great options to offer, like their 7.5” Pleated Linen Short.

Despite their longer length, the extra shaping provided by the single pair of pleats makes these a timeless pair with a bit of extra dimension. Not to mention that flapped coin pocket, which makes for a nice additional touch. They’ll run you just under $90, but when it’s really toasty outside, you’ll be thankful you picked these up.

The Best Loose Denim Shorts: Men’s 5 Star Carpenter Short In Mid Indigo by Wrangler

Men’s 5 Star Carpenter Short In Mid Indigo by WranglerMen’s 5 Star Carpenter Short In Mid Indigo by Wrangler

Yep, jorts are back. If you’ve paid any attention to fashion spaces online, you might have noticed an uptick in denim short wearers over the past couple of years. But thankfully, today’s denim shorts are a lot cooler than the ones you wore in middle school. And with the right styling? They can look downright killer.

Currently, like many other fashion-forward shorts, jorts tend to be among one of two camps. One is loose and long. The other is a more traditional length and slimmer. Both are valid. But if you’re intrigued by the looser silhouette, Wrangler’s 5 Stat Carpenter Shorts have both you and nearly your knees covered.

These shorts have a 10-inch inseam, which while not for the faint of heart, is certain to make a statement. They’ve got a great early-2000s energy about them, and the more rugged details like the carpenter pant pockets really seal the deal. Not wholly convinced? They’re only $20. You can’t beat that.

The Best Retro-Inspired Denim Shorts: 501 ‘93 Cut Off 7” Men’s Shorts by Levi’s

Guy Wearing Retro-Inspired Denim Shorts wiht untucked casula shirtGuy Wearing Retro-Inspired Denim Shorts wiht untucked casula shirt

Now for the other camp. Levi’s is the undisputed king of jeans. So naturally, their denim shorts are a total vibe, too. Their 501 93” Cut Off 7” Shorts have a great retro flair, with distressing along the hem and several tasteful washes.

Not to worry, because they can still be styled with ease, and their laid-back nature keeps things looking and feeling highly casual.

They cost just under $70, but Levi’s denim is damn near always worth it.

The Best All-Use Shorts: Men’s Baggies Shorts 5” by Patagonia

Men’s Baggies Shorts with flip flopsMen’s Baggies Shorts with flip flops

Patagonia Baggies have reigned supreme for quite some time. They debuted these shorts in 1982 and never looked back. They didn’t have to. These shorts have naturally stood the test of time and work with just about anything.

While they do project a somewhat more athletic look at first glance, you’d be surprised at how versatile they can be. Paired them with a plain white tee. Then a cotton crew neck sweater. Try them with a rugby polo. They just work.

Not only that, but they’re intended for water use as well. In a pinch, they make for a solid pair of swim trunks. Get them wet, and don’t sweat. For only $65, there’s no reason these should be as versatile as they are.

Our Absolute Favorite Shorts: Herringbone Twill Larsen Short by Buck Mason

Herringbone Twill Larsen Short by Buck MasonHerringbone Twill Larsen Short by Buck Mason

A middle-ground 6-inch inseam. Two perfectly pleasing pleats. Herringbone weave texture. These might be the perfect shorts! Buck Mason always releases excellent products, but these might be some of the very best shorts you can buy for summer 2024.

They’re made from a 9.4 oz washed cotton twill fabric, and have just the right amount of extra shape and volume due to the single pleated front. They sit higher on the waist due to classic high rise, better breaking up the proportions between your legs and your chest. With a flapped coin pocket and two neutral colors, these shorts work a wide variety of occasions and an even wider number of ensembles.

For $128, we don’t think there’s a more perfect pair of shorts out there.

The Wrap-Up

Maybe Carmine is right. Maybe a don shouldn’t wear shorts. But chances are, you’re not a don. You’re a regular guy looking to upscale his style. And regular guys wear shorts. Because shorts, when executed well, can look pretty damn great!

Hopefully, this carefully curated list of the best shorts a man can buy has been helpful. Keep an eye out for future recommendations, and keep cool this summer!





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