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Ultimate Guide to Men’s Shorts for Summer 2024

Are you a shorts man – or are you someone who considers them a bit childish? 

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Generally, guys are divided into two camps. On one hand, there’s the man who can answer a confident “Yes - I'm a shorts man!” to the question. He always has a few pairs ready for the summer season.

The man in this camp won’t say no to two-piece co-ords, appreciates a pattern, and considers chino shorts his default when he’s away from the office. 

At the same time he’s down for something last worn in the ‘80s - especially with inseams for men’s shorts creeping higher and higher. I'd have to admit that this is most definitely my camp.

The Best Men’s Shorts for Summer 2023

Then, there’s the man who stopped wearing shorts in his twenties, if not his teens. He thinks his legs aren’t worth showing off – they're too hairy, too skinny, or not toned enough. Or he might equate shorts with children’s clothing. 

As a result of the latter attitude, the men’s shorts trend was put on the back-burner. They were worn only because the temperature's heated up and he wants to feel cool. Or maybe he's off to do something more active, like kayaking.

For 2024, men’s shorts are having their Renaissance - so here’s where you should start exploring all the possibilities no matter which camp you're in. 

Best Men’s Shorts for Summer: Our Top Picks

Utility Shorts

If utility pants are a thing, why not utility shorts? Dubbed cargo shorts and relegated toward the closets of the frumpiest-dressing men out there, this style has returned from its late ‘90s heyday through to outdoor wear and technical-leaning construction. Think ripstop nylon over cotton with plenty of practical and superfluous pockets.

Utility Shorts - The Favorites:

Burberry Technical Wool Cargo Shorts

1. Burberry Technical Wool Cargo Shorts

Wool’s reputation as a technical fabric continues to grow. This style from Burberry exemplifies that with a durable wool/nylon blend accented with two side pockets and exposed hardware. 

Columbia Men's Brewha Short 7 Inseam

2. Columbia Brewha II Men's Short

Columbia is one of those brands that delivers the technical components alongside a design more comfortable for everyday wear. Here, a cargo silhouette delivers that in cotton, and enhanced with UPF protection and an elastic waist.

Sweat Shorts

Guys in my high school gym class used to create these by cutting sweatpants at the knee. Kind of a transitional style for spring and regions where summer’s never truly hot, these shorts are exactly as they sound: pair heathered, mid weight material with a drawstring elastic waist, and you’re good to go. 

Sweat Shorts - The Favorites:

Polo Ralph Lauren The RL Fleece Short

1. Polo Ralph Lauren The RL Fleece Short

When you can’t decide on a single trend, these men's shorts give you everything – a look reminiscent of swim trunks, bright horizontal stripes, and soft fleece construction ready for the gym.

Burberry Monogram Motif Cashmere Drawcord Shorts

2. Burberry Cashmere Drawcord Shorts

Who thought athleisure could end up so elevated? The quintessential sweat short takes the high road with soft 100% cashmere, complete with a drawstring waist for comfort. 

Chino Shorts

Unless you’ve been avoiding the inevitable, men’s shorts in the present day rarely fall past the knees. Chino shorts present a more versatile, flattering, and comfortable alternative to those blink-and-you’ll-miss-them Bermudas.

A slimmer cut is less likely to camouflage the body and falls a couple of inches above the knee, in more of a narrow pipe formation.

Taking a more casual approach, I've been spotting chino shorts with a work-from-home makeover, complete with an elastic or flexible waist with a drawstring. Pull them up, look casually sharp, and get things done. 

Chino Shorts - The Favorites:

Hugo Boss Relaxed-Fit Shorts in Stretch-Cotton Poplin

1. Hugo Boss Relaxed-Fit Shorts in Stretch-Cotton Poplin

You wish you were going somewhere. These chino-style shorts take you to the pool or beach with a Bermuda silhouette, Caribbean blue hue, and elastic drawstring waist. 

Purple Label Slim Fit Stretch Chino Short

2. Purple Label Slim-Fit Stretch Chino Short

Inches above the knee, creased in front, and a light khaki tan shade, these men's shorts stand right on the line between familiar tradition and modern experimentation. 

Short Shorts

What’s the difference between chino shorts and short shorts? Although hem styles can be debated – you won’t see a dolphin hem on the chino – the inseam is the dividing factor. Going back to a TikTok video plus a few seasons’ worth of runway collections, short shorts fall five inches down at longest, preferably shorter. Chino shorts, meanwhile, average around an eight-inch inseam. 

Short Shorts - The Favorites:

Goodthreads Men's Slim-Fit 5 Inseam Flat-Front Comfort Stretch Chino Shorts

1. Goodthreads Men's Slim-Fit Stretch Chino Shorts

How much shorter can you go? When you stay on the line, these men's shorts take you into five-inch inseam territory with an easygoing design.

men's shorts

2. J. Crew 5" Stretch Short

Think classic chinos but cut off mid-thigh and weathered slightly for comfort.

Patterned Shorts

Menswear has no shortage of patterns – from florals to fruit prints to classics like stripes and checks to, more recently, landscapes covering the body of a garment. Then, there’s the streetwear angle, now enhanced with tie-dye. 

So, if all these options grace our camp collar shirts, why not what we pair it with? Patterned men's shorts are everywhere now due to their statement appeal, and I'd be sure to have at least one pair. 

Patterned Shorts - The Favorites:

Hugo Boss Slim-Fit Shorts In Seasonal-Print

1. Hugo Boss Slim-Fit Shorts In Seasonal-Print

Hugo Boss' summery men's shorts have a moderate rise and a slender silhouette. The pair are made of stretch-cotton satin which is at least 60% organic cotton. The light print and material makes it perfect for warmer seasons, so much so that you'll never want to take them off.

RRL Photo-Print Twill Field Men's Shorts

2. RRL Photo-Print Twill Field Short

Explore the short-short trend with a style printed with vintage blue-toned retro illustrations of carnivals. 


We know – these died out in the ‘90s when they hung past the knees like pants cut too short. These days I've spotted denim shorts with wider and shorter cuts, plus in more relaxed, lighter versions, so they don’t feel as if they’re chafing or weighing you down. 

Jorts - The Favorites:

Polo Ralph Lauren 6.5-Inch Polo Prepster Denim Short

1. Polo Ralph Lauren 6.5-Inch Polo Prepster Denim Short

Dive into denim with a lighter, more flexible style that’s built for summer’s more humid days.

Levi's Men's 505 Regular Fit Short

2. Levi's Men's 505 Regular Fit Short

Go classic and uncomplicated with this pair of Levi’s 505s shortened so that they fall just above the knee. 


As a reminder, boardshorts aren’t the same as swim trunks. They might serve similar purposes, but boardshorts have wet-to-dry material. Nylon or microfiber is treated with quick-dry properties to shed moisture as soon as you’re back on land. A chino or cargo cut, meanwhile, is less likely to stick out once you’re past the beach and the boardwalk. 

Boardshorts - The Favorites:

Billabong Men's 73 Pro Boardshort

1. Billabong Men's 73 Pro Boardshort

I'm getting sunset-over-the-ocean vibes from this four-way stretch pair that’s stylish enough for the boardwalk and flexible enough when you go for a surf.

O'NEILL Men's Santa Cruz Solid 2.0 19 Boardshorts

2. O'NEILL Men's Santa Cruz Solid 2.0 Boardshorts

Keep it simple with a light aqua-blue hue and quick-drying, substantial Ultrasuede fabric.

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best men’s shorts for summer

Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born menswear fashion blogger and copywriter. When not writing about men's style he's also an EDM and synthpop enthusiast.

Ultimate Guide to Men’s Shorts for Summer