A good pair of shorts is as much a summer staple as sunburn and soft serve. But finding the best shorts for men — that is, a well-fitting pair that’s comfortable, breathable, and stylish enough to wear out but won’t feel off if you’re just hanging in the backyard — can be tricky. What length? What material? What vibe? While the latter question is up to you, we’ve got some thoughts on the former.
4 Great Pairs of Men’s Hybrid Shorts
Mack Weldon makes great clothing, and these hybrid shorts are an excellent addition to your summer wardrobe. The fabric has a slight stretch to it — not too much, just enough for a little bit of give — and they’re water-, wind-, and stain-resistant. They have a 9-inch inseam, making them a bit more traditional in terms of design. But if knee-length shorts are for you, then these will be your all-summer wear.
Combining the straightforward look of chinos with the stretch of a great pair of golf shorts, these hybrids pull off one hell of a balancing act. The fabric is the real kicker here. It’s a moisture-wicking cotton-polyester-spandex blend, which means the shorts feature a ton of stretch and plenty of comfort in the heat. A tailored fit and 9-inch inseam round them out.
How Should Shorts Fit?
There are a lot of opinions here. If you want to show off some thigh, we’re not going to stop you. You do you. But in general, here are our thoughts. For guys of average to slightly-above-average height, it’s all about inseam length. Everybody’s preference is different, but shorts with an inseam length from 7 inches (a bit above the kneecap) to 9 inches (essentially at the kneecap) work quite well. Whatever the case, your shorts should be somewhat tailored to your leg, so look for “Straight,” “Athletic” or “Slim” versus “Relaxed” fits.
These hybrids feature a polyester-cotton-spandex fabric blend, which helps them move with ease and prevent moisture at the same time. Note the lack of belt loops. This gives them a clean, streamlined look (a belt breaks up your legs and your torso, making you look shorter). Thanks to that design quirk, feel free to tuck in your polo for a dressy finish. Or not. Your call.
Public Rec took inspiration from their best-selling active pants to create these hybrid shorts. They feature all the trappings of chino shorts, including front slant pockets, but the polyester-spandex fabric stretches and dries quickly. Belt loops and a traditional zipper fly add to the classier look, making them a cut above athletic shorts. They’ll fit in anywhere.
4 Great Pairs of Men’s Chino Shorts
Great-fitting, comfortable and versatile, the Flat Front Chino shorts are an excellent purchase. The stretch Oxford cloth blends the best of both worlds as far mobility and refinement is concerned. It’s also hard to go wrong with a fresh shade of blue, ideal to wear with a crisp white polo, a rugged grey henley, or a white linen shirt.
Can You Wear Shorts to the Office?
Here’s another hotly debated question in the world of menswear. Wearing shorts at the office is less dicey than it used to be, but it’s still frowned upon in professions like finance. Keep this in mind: If you work in an office with a business casual dress code, there’s still a right way and a wrong way to wear shorts at work. Opt for shorts in dark colors (akin to dress pants) with a tailored fit and streamlined pockets. The rest of the outfit should be simple and sharp (think: a well-fitting polo and loafers), and perhaps reserve your shorts-wearing for casual days, not big-time meetings.
J. Crew updated its traditional chino fabric here with a touch of stretch for ease of movement. These still have enough structure to look great during an evening happy hour or a BBQ, though. They sport a 7-inch inseam and the range of colors, from shades of salmon to olive, is perfectly summer-ready.
These well-fitting, cotton-linen blend shorts pretty much split the difference between the 7 and 9-inch inseam, with an inseam of 8.5 inches). It’s a nice compromise length that looks good on all wearers. And design-wise, these shorts manage to split the difference between modern and classic, too.
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