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, our May cover star 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.
To help with that, we’ve turned up the 23 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 Do-Everything Shorts
Earlier this spring, a very specific segment of menswear Twitter lost its damn mind thirsting over this unassuming pair of shorts from the Swoosh. We were skeptical at first. Then we saw the perfect inseam length, the sleek finish, the low-key colorblocking. Taken together, those details make for shorts you’ll want to wear all day every day, no matter what you’ve got on the agenda. Turns out, Twitter gets it right sometimes.
The Best All-Around 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.
The Best Denim Shorts
Yes, it’s true: the jorts revival is here to stay, and it’s time you got on board. Our Legacy’s denim line is famous for experimenting with silhouettes and offbeat finishing touches, and their take on jean shorts is particularly playful. Using a special digital printing technique, they’ve overlaid the fades from a pair of vintage denim directly onto these brand-new jeans. The result is a pair of killer shorts that look straight off the thrift store rack, but upon closer inspection are as ultramodern as it gets.
The Red Carpet Ready Short
These are exactly the kind of shorts to wear should you find yourself at a summer-y red carpet event or in the mood to dress up while keeping your thighs ventilated. Okay, that first scenario is unlikely. But with menswear trending back toward suiting and the inevitable return to office, the need for a gabardine short isn’t so farfetched. Wear them with dress socks and black wingtips as a resounding rebuke to WFH attire, or pair them with a faded hoodie for a high-low approach.
The Shorts With the Most Range
These shorts hit two of today’s major fashion trends. The first one is the undeniable thirst for retro soccer style. The second is Adam Sandler. There isn’t a pair of shorts that swings as wide that these do, which is exactly why you need a pair. Wear ’em with the rest of your workout gear on a heart-pumping gym session. Toss them on with a denim shirt and a bucket hat for a casual spring look. Or go full Sandler with some crusty Ugg boots and an old T-shirt as you pop into your local bodega during a brief Netflix intermission.