Rethink everything you thought you knew about shorts.

Short Shorts

Summer is coming—can you believe it? And your shorts collection is in desperate need of an update. While you might already have your fair share of mid-length or longer shorts, it’s time to discuss the short shorts for your wardrobe.

While you might have at first shied away, the right short shorts is just about finding the style that suits you best. 

Perfect Fit

When it comes to fit (with some exceptions, like an athletic spandex style), make sure that the leg openings aren’t too tight.

You can get away with so much shorter of an inseam when the legs don’t feel as though they’re painted on your thighs.

Style Tip: the effect

It’s true: short shorts will elongate your legs. And might very well make you feel (and look) longer and leaner than you already are when you slip into the perfect fit.

RELATED: 14 High Waisted Shorts for Summer

What to Look for

Material: Short shorts can be made of anything. It all depends on whether you want a sporty spandex, casual denim, or dressed-up silk.

Fit: While some short shorts benefit from a tight fit (like the following Alo spandex shorts), most of them are better suited when they have a little bit of width to the leg holes.

Size: As mentioned above, look for a slightly wider leg for most short shorts; though they can be slouchy and oversized or more tailored and high-waisted when it comes to their overall shape.

Types and Styles

Ahead find our favorite of the moment, in time to pre-stock your warm weather wardrobe.

We’ve got whimsical crochet styles, high-waisted denim, vintage styles, and tailored chinos alike.

RELATED: 14 Pairs of Bermuda Shorts You Need This Summer

Check out the best of the best here.

Our Top Picks

Best Denim Shorts


Levi’s High Rise Shorts

Shop Now at Amazon

There are few everyday summer shorts more classic than the Levi’s 501. This high-rise option comes in all washes under the sun, with the option of distressed detail or cleaner finishes.

For everyday wear, all you need is a bright white T-shirt and you’re good to go.

Material: 70% cotton, 20% polyester, 8% viscose, 2% elastane

Sizes: 23-33

Best Streamlined Style


Theory Mini Utility Shorts

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These tailored high waisted shorts feel like they’re fresh out of a 1960s playsuit from your parents’ youth.

With bold color, they pack a hard punch but feature little more than side slit pockets to keep them as a barely-there base to your every look this summer.

Material: 62% linen, 36% viscose, 2% elastane

Sizes: 00-16

Best Tailored Shorts


Sea Leona Shorts

Shop Now at Sea

You’ll love these shorts for their playful yet tailored appeal.

With a high paper bag waist, they look great with a bodysuit and button-down alike. The added scalloped hem detail makes them feel a bit more youthful.

Material: 94% cotton, 6% linen

Sizes: 0-12

Best Vintage Shorts


Re/Done The Short

Shop Now at Re/Done

If you’re a vintage lover but don’t want to go thrifting, Re/Done has done all the dirty work for you.

With a curated selection of the most perfect re-worked vintage jeans, you can practically taste the history of these denim short shorts—all from a reputable and pre-vetted source.

Material: 100% cotton

Sizes: 23-34

Best Spandex Shorts


Alo 3” High-Waist Airlift Short

Shop Now at Alo

Whether you’re heading to the gym or simply looking for a sporty alternative to a biker short, Alo has a killer selection of spandex shorts that are ultra-short for those who aren’t looking for the knee-length variety.

Material: signature Airlift fabric

Sizes: XXS-XL

RELATED: 24 Best Biker Shorts for Women 2023

Best Office-Friendly Shorts


Cinq à Sept Twill Sawyer Short

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Keep it classic with a pair of khaki shorts that feel equal part utilitarian necessity for days off and a more tailored option for those summertime office days in settings that allow the wardrobe staple.

Style them with an oversized tee for casual moments and a classic button-down shirt when you need to dress them up a bit. The world is your oyster.

Material: 98% cotton, 2% spandex

Sizes: 00-14

Best Sporty Style


Denimist Checked Cotton-Poplin Shorts

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

If you love the sporty nature of a running short but want to look a bit more pulled-together and less like you’ve just finished a workout, shop these checked cotton shorts from Denimist that feature the same silhouette with a vintage pink buffalo check as its base.

Material: 100% cotton

Sizes: XXS-L

Best Classic Chino


J.Crew 4” Stretch Chino Short

Shop Now at J.Crew

J.Crew has been designing their classic chino shorts in multiple lengths for decades but it’s the shortest of the bunch that we love most.

In a rainbow of hues (and often prints!), these everyday shorts will add just enough tailored prep to every look while also feeling like a cool-girl off-duty style, depending on how you style them.

Material: cotton/elastane

Sizes: 000-24

Best Raw Hem Shorts


True Religion Riley Big T Rolled Hem Short

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If you’re looking for a little bit more detailing on your denim shorts, shop these from True Religion.

While they’re totally void of distressed detail, they feature a raw hem that looks almost ombré with the light wash body for a little extra something special.

Material: 98% cotton, 2% elastane

Sizes: 23-34

Best Crochet Shorts


Farm Rio Crocheted Cotton Shorts

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

For those looking for a colorful and bold short short option that’s fit for the beach and beyond, go retro with this Farm Rio colorful crochet style (fully lined!).

It needs little more than a black or white swimsuit (or tee) to still stand out in a crowd.

Material: 100% cotton; lining: 95% cotton, 5% elastane


Best Tweed Shorts


Oscar de la Renta Eyelash Tweed Wide Leg Shorts

Shop Now at Oscar de la Renta

If Coco Chanel wore short shorts, it might very well be these, albeit by her design.

With a classic black-and-white textured tweed, these shorts are fit for warmer months with a tank or short-sleeve knit. They’ll also remaining in rotation straight through fall, paired with black tights and a heavier topper.

Material: 56% polyester, 39% silk, 5% polyamide

Sizes: 00-16

Best Boho Inspiration


Isabel Marant Étoile Jocadia Shorts

Shop Now at Shopbop

Few do boho quite like Isabel Marant, who has crafted a pair of embroidered short shorts that work double duty as a mini skirt, thanks to a partial overlay and wide legs.

This will allow you styling potential for more dressed-up events as well as a pop of something extra special for the casual ones too!

Material: 100% cotton

Sizes: 34-44

Best Splurge


Dolce & Gabbana Printed Cotton-Poplin Shorts

Shop Now at Dolce & Gabbana

A pair of Dolce & Gabbana shorts will instantly transport you to the Italian coast, even with the high price tag. And, to be sure, they will last you a lifetime.

You’ll love this black-backed floral print that adds some color to your wardrobe in an ultra chic manner.

Material: 100% cotton

Sizes: 36-54

Best Off-Duty Shorts


Miu Miu Embroidered Cotton Shorts

Shop Now at Miu Miu

Sometimes you just want a casual moment that decidedly isn’t a pair of spandex shorts.

These ultra-short terry cloth sweat shorts from Miu Miu do just the trick, whether you’re styling them with an oversized coordinated sweatshirt or lightweight cotton tee.

Material: 100% cotton

Sizes: 36-48

Pro Tip 😎

Go for a wider leg opening when it comes to short inseams. It will make the fit that much more flattering…and comfortable.

Once you find the right fit, short shorts might just become your new favorite style—for morning, noon, and night. Shop all the best here.


What shorts are considered too short?

We don’t suggest opting for an inseam that’s less than 3 inches, but it all depends on your leg length and body type.

Try on a few that range from 3-5 inches and see what you feel most comfortable wearing. It might also depend on the style and event to which you’re headed!

Why are short shorts better?

Short shorts will elongate your legs and make you feel taller, leaner, and—basically—like a supermodel. As long as you’ve found the perfect fit, they might just become your new favorite style.

RELATED: Best 14 Sweat Shorts to Stay Sporty

All products featured on Viva Cabana are independently selected by our editorial team, and the company may earn commission through affiliate links.