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 27 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 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.
The Best Yacht Life Shorts
If your summer plans involve chowing down on some local delicacies somewhere off the coast of the Mediterranean—or that’s simply the vibe you’re trying to cultivate—a pair of pristine, retro-inspired shorts will help you nail the landing. If there was ever a pair to introduce to your most easy-going, completely-untethered-from-sartorial-norms blazer, it would be these. (Aperol spritz sadly not included.)
The Best Denim shorts
Breaking news: The jorts renaissance shows no sign of slowing down. There are plenty of pairs out there that fit slim and trim like their full-length counterparts, but these are cut the way we think jean shorts should be: big, wide, and vaguely reminiscent of the ones your older cousin wore in the ’90s. You might not want to hear it, but at this rate, jorts are well on their way to joining Illmatic and the Jordan 1 as certified classics. (Hey, we’re just the messengers.)
The Repentant Skate Rat Shorts
If you’re the sort of fella who spent most of his 20s in gym shorts and the kind of sneakers that sell out in seconds, Stüssy’s linen shorts want to help you level up your rotation—and curb your hypebeast tendencies. Don’t worry, they fit just like your favorite nylon numbers—wide, above-the-knee, and with a comfortable elastic waist—but they’ll also play nice with those swanky new loafers you can’t stop gabbing about. And should the need for an impromptu kickflip strike (it really shouldn’t), they still offer plenty of mobility.
The Best Prep Revival Shorts
Over the last few years, the line between streetwear’s dominance and the neo-prep resurgence has become so blurred it looks more like a squiggle. (The brand behind your favorite graphic tee probably also sells a pretty sick double-breasted suit.) Enter these seersucker shorts from Todd Snyder, which marry streetwear’s comfort-first ethos (note the gym short-esque elastic waistband) with classic Ivy League styling. The result is a pair of shorts that you can wear any way you want: with trashed canvas kicks and a T-shirt, or loafers and the polo of the season.
The Best Out and About Shorts
Perhaps you’ve got fond childhood memories of pitching tents, kindling fires, and roasting s’mores—or maybe you just need a couple of spare pockets to store your keys and credit card. Point is, The Real McCoys’ utility shorts are up for the job, thanks to their sturdy, made-in-Japan construction and the kind of obsessive attention to detail that remains the brand’s hallmark.