Shaq and Kobe. Scooby and Shaggy. Wine and cheese. Three of the best duos you’ll ever come across. Yet while I’d love to discuss NBA legends, cartoons, and how I spend my Friday nights, I’m actually here to talk about another perfect pairing: shorts and summer. More specifically, the best casual shorts for men.
A must-have for every warm-weather wardrobe, casual shorts are your sartorial savior throughout the sunny seasons and beyond. A more breathable and comfortable alternative to jeans or khakis, they come in a plethora of styles (from cargos to jorts) that are perfectly suited to your everyday ensembles.
Keep reading for my round up of the finest options around. You’ll find a selection of seriously stylish shorts for every budget and occasion.
To create this list I sifted through dozens of sites and countless reviews so you can be prepared for the sunny seasons as they call for a wardrobe shift, and at the forefront of this transition are casual shorts for men. As temperatures rise, the comfort and style of your lower-half attire become paramount—with jeans and other types of trousers or pants taking a back seat.
So, whether you’re planning beach getaways, backyard barbecues, or just looking for a new everyday option, choosing the right pair of casual shorts can make all the difference. Join me as I take you through a range of unmissable designs, including
Why it’s great: As classic as they come,
How to wear them: Where do I start? You can wear these just about anywhere, with anything. Turn up the formality with an Oxford shirt and loafers, or keep it super chill with a crew neck tee and canvas sneakers. Don’t forget a belt if you’re tucking in your top.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: I find these types of shorts are quite prone to creasing, especially if you’re spending a lot of time sitting down. But I say embrace them and you’ll be just fine.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 28-36 | Colors Available: 3 | Fit: Slim & Regular
Why it’s great: It’s not just the affordable price tag that impresses me, these shorts are a super versatile addition to your everyday rotation—looking just as good at backyard parties as they do for stuffy days in the office. They’re woven in a cotton fabric for maximum softness, while there’s a drawstring waistband (like you’d find on swim shorts) to ensure a comfortable fit. If you’re looking for something to keep your wallet close by, the side pockets are the perfect place.
How to wear them: There’s a reason these are one of the best casual shorts for men. They’ll look the part with a wide range of staples, from button-down shirts to striped tees and lightweight sweaters.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: They come with a mock fly, so bear this in mind when you’re running to the bathroom after sinking a few Jack Daniel’s and coke.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: XS-XXXL | Colors Available: 3 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: KUON has proved casual shorts can be luxury too. Made from a lightweight cotton twill fabric, the brand’s pleated pair will give relaxed ensembles a polished edge that’ll ensure you’re suitably dressed for parties, park days, and everything in-between.
How to wear them: Stick with the oversized theme by wearing yours with a baggy tee and chunky sneakers. Alternatively, a loose knitted sweater and high-top sneakers are a fine choice.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The loose fit may swallow particularly small frames while accentuating skinny legs. These feel quite high-fashion.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: M-XL | Colors Available: 2 | Fit: Loose
Why it’s great: Apart from the generous number of pockets on offer, it’s the timeless appeal of these cargo shorts that I love the most. They’ll be your go-to for many seasons to come—taking you from early spring right through the summer and beyond. My favorite is the khaki colourway, but they’re available in a wide range of other colors too.
How to wear them: You’re spoilt for outfit options. On particular warm days, they’ll look great with a ribbed tank top and box-fresh sneakers. Otherwise, an oversized band tee and high-tops will earn you maximum style points.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you’re a fan of short shorts, you may not like the mid-length of these cargos. They fall at the knee, but may appear longer if you’re on the small side.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 28-44 | Colors Available: 15 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: I’ve been turning to Isto for my basics for a while now and the label’s organic cotton shorts have never let me down. Versatile and effortlessly stylish, they’re slightly cropped to show off the perfect amount of thigh, while the zip fly is ideal for days drinking with the boys.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: As I mentioned, they’re designed for a more cropped fit. If you’re looking for something closer to the knee, you’ll probably want to try another pair.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 28-38 | Colors Available: 5 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: Cargo shorts can sometimes feel a little too complicated, but not this pair. They feature one large pocket (instead of two), plus your usual side pockets and a zipped one at the back. The stretchy cotton fabric is ideal for busy days in the city, however they’ll work equally as well on vacation.
How to wear them: I find they work best with a slim-fitting T-shirt and smart sneakers. But, you can also wear them with a wide range of wardrobe staples—from shirts to sweaters and loafers or sandals.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: They’re cut slimmer than your average pair of cargo shorts, giving them a much more modern feel. Be careful if you have bulging thighs.
Material: 96% Cotton, 4% Elastane | Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors Available: 2 | Fit: Slim
Why it’s great: As soft as they are stylish, you’ll want to wear them everywhere you go. The organic cotton construction ensures ultimate comfort and the drawstring waistband allows you to pull them tighter if required. The Neutrale branding is subtle, but visible enough to show who you’re repping.
How to wear them: You can wear them in the gym if you like, but I think you should show them off outside of the weights room. Throw on a relaxed long-sleeved T-shirt and complete the look with your favorite pair of sneakers (socks are optional).
Flaws but not dealbreakers: For sweat shorts they’re not exactly cheap, but I’m confident you’ll get more than enough wear out of them to justify the price tag.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: XS-XL | Colors Available: 2 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: These jorts are the perfect alternative to the type of jeans you wear during the colder months. They’re equally as versatile yet allow your legs to breathe and feel the warm sun against your skin. Did I mention they’re also seriously cool? In more ways than one.
How to wear them: Styling limitations are minimal. You can wear these for festivals, fun days in the park, and weekend brunches. I think they look best with a ribbed tank top, flannel shirt, and sneakers. And you could throw on a cap for an extra point of interest.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: They have a fairly loose fit and sit just above the knee if you’re average height. For smaller guys, you’ll find they fall a touch lower—something to consider if you’re worried about making your legs look shorter.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 29-42 | Colors Available: 3 | Fit: Loose
Buying Considerations for Men’s Casual Shorts
Generally speaking, the best casual shorts for men should have a comfortable and flattering fit. For most, that means a slim silhouette that sits naturally at your waist without being too tight or too loose. The leg openings should allow for ease of movement, while they should fall just about your knee or around the mid-thigh area.
Choose shorts made from breathable and lightweight materials suitable for hot weather, such as cotton, linen, or moisture-wicking blends. These fabrics will keep you cool and comfortable during the summer months. Additionally, consider the durability of the fabric to ensure your shorts will last through multiple wears.
Think about how the shorts will fit into your overall wardrobe. Neutral colors like khaki, navy, or olive are versatile and easy to pair with various tops. You should also consider the length and design (chino, cargo, etc.) that aligns with your personal style and the occasions you’ll wear them for. By selecting versatile shorts, you’ll be able to maximize their utility in your wardrobe.
Why You Should Trust Us
As a fashion writer and long time leg bearer, you don’t have to tell me twice to wear shorts. As soon as the temperature hits double figures I’m all about getting the legs out. But it’s not just my love for knee-grazing lower-half options that qualifies me to be talking about the best casual shorts for men. I’ve also done some heavy research (including poring over customer reviews) to make sure I only share the crème de la crème.
To secure the perfect pair of casual shorts for men, you’ll need to find a careful balance of style, comfort, and functionality. Good news is, there’s plenty of options available—allowing you to confidently step into the warm seasons, knowing you’re fully prepared below the waist.
If you’re struggling to pick a favorite from this list, my suggestion would be to give
When it comes to summer, consider lightweight and breathable options like cotton or linen shorts in classic styles such as chino or cargo shorts. Neutral colors like khaki, navy, or olive are versatile and easy to mix and match with various tops. You should also consider shorts with a relaxed fit and an elastic or drawstring waist for added comfort.
The best casual shorts for men should have a slim or relaxed fit that provides comfort and freedom of movement without being overly baggy. They should sit comfortably at your natural waist, and the leg openings should be wide enough to allow ease of motion, especially when sitting or walking. Ideally, you should be able to slide two fingers between the waistband and your skin without feeling constricted.