Whether you live in a place with year-round warm weather or are gearing up for the Spring and Summer season, having a well-fitting shorts rotation is key to a well-rounded casual wardrobe. Despite their casualness, the effort you put into how your shorts look and fit shouldn’t be an afterthought. My Fit Guide is something I always refer back to for a reason, and just like you consider the fit, look, and fabrics of your shirts and pants, your shorts arsenal should get the same type of consideration.
Get The Right Fit
Your shorts should be as well-fitting as your favorite pair of chinos or denim, and that starts with getting the right length and taper. The sweet spot for short length is somewhere between the top of your knee up to a max of 2” above your knee, regardless of body type. This length is going to be both versatile and flattering, no matter what else you’re wearing. Ultimately you should look for shorts with a 7”-10” inseam, depending on where you are comfortable wearing them.
Avoid overly baggy or tight shorts by choosing a pair that gives you the right taper. A quick and easy way to find the right fit is, you should be able to pinch 1-2” on either side of your thigh. Much more or less and you’re headed into the shorts danger zone.
Find The Right Style
Now that you’ve got a good idea what the right fit is for you, it’s time to focus on finding the right styles. Here are a few quick tips to ensure you’re setting yourself up for shorts success.
Stick To Flat Front Styles
Pleats are a no-go here, they’re only going to age you and make you look like you’ve got a pooch.
Cotton Is King
In terms of material, you want to choose cotton or cotton blends like chino cloth, seersucker, or linen, they’re the most versatile and easy to care for.
Go With Classic Colors
In the color department, for your primary shorts you want to go with solid colors like blue, grey, and khaki because they’re timeless and will always look sharp. Once you’ve got the basics on lock, you can always mix in a plaid or a fun pattern, but just know that wearing these on a day-to-day basis, outside of a fun event, can read a little boyish. Use your discretion here but I recommend sticking with solids to start.
My Shorts Picks
H&M Chino Shorts
H&M Cotton Shorts
Gap Linen Shorts
Gap Embroidered Shorts
Banana Republic Stretch Shorts
Banana Republic Printed Shorts
Billabong, Hurley, Quiksilver Shorts
Bonobos Printed Shorts
Brooks Brothers Shorts
Brooks Brothers Linen/Cotton Shorts
Brooks Brothers Seersucker Shorts
Vineyard Vines Shorts