21 Best Short Shorts for Men Will Help You Get a Leg Up On Summer


Welcome to SHORT WEEK SHORTS WEEK, GQ Recommends’ appropriately abridged ode to the summeriest and calf-baringest of bottoms. Whether you’re a big-and-baggy boy, an above-the-knee fella, or somewhere in between, we’ve got all the thoughts, takes, and, yes, recommendations to make this your greatest, leggiest, most stylish shorts season yet.

Shopping for the best short shorts for men is extremely fun–after years of swishy athletic styles dominating the genre, short shorts—the type that’ll make you feel like a retro hardwood icon or early-’80s Harrison Ford—are cool again. Menswear is in the midst of a glorious anything-goes paradigm shift, and short shorts (along with their waaay longer counterparts) are just the latest swaggering silhouette to be dusted off and given the designer treatment. So if you’ve been eyeing an especially thigh-exposing pair for months now, consider this all the justification you need to finally smash the buy button. 

Today, there’s plenty of workout-ready nylon options ideal for racking up road miles or sweating your way through a grueling set of flutter kicks at the gym. But the benefits of going short aren’t limited to extra mobility or pure sex appeal. When paired with a cropped tee or a boxy camp shirt, shorter-length shorts help streamline your silhouette, making your legs look longer (and the rest of you look taller) in the process. 

Which means there might not be a single item on the market today with a higher style-per-square-inch, and these pairs—the best short shorts for men to buy right now—prove it. After way too many quarters cooped up indoors, don’t you think your shins deserve a little sunshine?

The Best Short Shorts Shopping Guide

The Best All-Purpose Short Shorts

Patagonia Baggies 5″ shorts

Patagonia’s 5” Baggies are an internet sensation (and a surprising source of contention) for good reason. The forgiving leg opening and shorter length offer the perfect combination of style and comfort, while the nylon construction and mesh lining make them ready for whatever the day has in store—even the beach. (They also come in a dozen different colors, costs less than an annual Spotify subscription, and come crafted from recycled fishing nets in line with the brand’s commitment to prioritizing Mother Earth.) In other words, they’re the only shorter-length shorts you need to worry about if you’re still on the fence about the silhouette.

The Best Links-Appropriate Short Shorts

In the new age of golf, you don’t have to settle for conservative chinos and neutral, tech-y flare before setting out to the local country club (although, if that’s your jam by all means proceed). Created by golf enthusiasts, Stephen and Erica Malbon, Malbon is a brand for people who prefer nailing their hole-in-one with a little flair. A prime example is the brand’s  “Wiz” shorts, which offer a punchy, golf- appropriate riff on the nylon baggies, spruced up with a belt loops and plenty of pocket space (two on the side, one welted at the back) that’ll have you looking like a pro on and off the course.

The Best Ultra-Classic Short Shorts

Lands’ End traditional fit pleated 6 Inch chino shorts

As it turns out, shorts that you can actually dress up or down (without looking like a confused clown) do exist. We recently crowned Lands’ End’s pleated chino shorts the shorts of the summer because the amount of style you get for the price is, well, unbeatable. For less than $50, these midweight, cotton-twill shorts feature a sleek, double pleating and roomy, mid-thigh cut that looks just as good with a pair of newly shined loafers as it does with beat up sneakers. Even better, they come fitted out with no wrinkle technology that guarantees your chinos look extra crisp right out of the dryer so you can ditch the starch.

The Best Gym-Ready Short Shorts

lululemon “Pace Breaker” linerless short

When the weather looks this good, a routine gym session could quickly turn into scenic laps around your local park. Make sure you’re prepared to crush the sport of your choice with a pair of versatile shorts. lululemon’s “Pace Breaker” is made from a lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric that’ll keep you cool as you cycle through reps and features a roomier opening to ensure greater flexibility and movement. If you’re someone who likes to keep their tech on hand, zipper pockets sit at the side to keep your gear out of sight (but snugly in place). 

The Best Gateway to Short Shorts

Look, we’re well aware that the inseams on this list can seem prohibitively high. So if you’re new to the idea of wearing shorts that hit well above the knee, one with a slightly lower cut is a solid place to get your feet—er, thighs—wet. J.Crew’s deck shorts aren’t baggy, but they’re not Dr. J-level revealing either. They’ll help ease you into the idea of rocking with a shorter length so you can work your way up to a style included here, or decide you’re happy where your inseam’s at.

The Best Deceptively Comfy Short Shorts

Todd Snyder 5″ weekend shorts

Prefer your workday garms with a touch of elastic in the mix? Now your shorts can get in on the action, too. Todd Snyder’s are cut from a stretchy twill fabric that comes pre-washed for extra comfort, perfect for when you want to look semi-presentable before taking down an epic brunch. Their shorter length will look great paired with a spring-ready work shirt—untucked to keep the drawstring a secret between you and your waistline, natch.

Plus 15 More Short Shorts We Love

Tracksmith “Van Cortlandt” shorts

Designed for optimal speed minus the public “indecency.”

Saturdays “Ambrose” short

Look like walking art when you’re hitting the gallery circuit this summer.

Nike 2″ brief-lined racing shorts

Flex those stellar calfs while you’re running circles around the competition.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh “Simon” shorts

Breezy cotton shorts that’ll keep you cool from the MTA to the Rockaways.

Gramicci “Canyon” short

Lightweight and water-resistant to keep you dry from the occasional drizzle and splash.

Banana Republic 5″ core temp short

These shorts contain active volcanic sand particles to keep you cool and comfortable. Is there anything else to say?

Metalwood mini metal logo short

Sweat shorts, the comfort food of calf-hitting bottoms.

Adidas “Ori” swim shorts

Any day can become beach day in a matter of hours, be ready.

Thom Browne backstrap shorts

Dress shorts? Not a myth, they exist–right here.

Fear of God essentials drawstring shorts

When in doubt, go short and baggy.

Gucci jersey short

2023 and we’re still trying to be as cool as Richie Tenenbaum.

Stóffa straight-leg pleated cotton shorts

Business and casual, you no longer have to choose.

Thom Browne classic running shorts

Ever wondered how avid runner Thom Browne stays trim enough to fit into his signature shrunking suiting? By hitting the tracks in shorts like these.

Abercrombie & Fitch all-day shorts

Cut from a stretchy cotton fabric that promises added mobility no matter where your summer days take you.

New Balance impact shorts

Keep things in the family by pairing these with the brand’s finest running shoes on workout days, or with their protoypical da

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21 Best Short Shorts for Men Will Help You Get a Leg Up On Summer

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