How To Pull Off Dress Shorts Like an A-Lister at Cannes


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.

Dress shorts, we’ll grant you, used to be a bit of an oxymoron. These days, most of your favorite pants are readily available in summer-ready form: khakis, sweats, hell, even jeans. And yet, the specific type of breezy capital-T Trousers all over the runway—and on the shelves of your local big-box brand—this season haven’t had much in the way of warm-weather counterparts…until now. In 2023, a growing cohort of buzzy menswear brands is going long on tailored shorts in every shape and size, and not a moment too soon.  

Already hip to the vibe but not sure you have the juice to pull ‘em off? You do—and you don’t need an IMDb profile to do it. (A razor-sharp suit jacket always helps, though.) The question, then, isn’t a matter of if you should incorporate a pair into your rotation, but how. Thankfully, your pals at GQ Recommends are on the case. Below, we compiled a quartet of can’t-miss outfit ideas that offer inspiration aplenty, all the reason you need to slip into a pair of swanky-as-hell dress shorts right this very second. 

For the Fashion-Savvy Reservoir Dog

Take it from Pharrell: The easiest way to style dress shorts is to wear ‘em with their matching jacket. Picking the shorts in question, though, is a far thornier matter. We’d recommend sticking to solid, dark colors, which makes the whole move a little less jarring for first-timers and ensures your shorts will pair equally well with a striped button-up as a tee. When it comes to dressing ‘em up, a crisp white shirt (untucked, if you’re really going for it), punchy black tie, and hefty derbies stops them from feeling quite so, well, suit-y. Keep the silhouettes wide and slouchy, and you’ll look a lot more like A$AP Rocky than a wayward prepster struggling through summer school. 

COS pleated wide leg wool shorts

COS slim fit melange wool blazer

Stüssy lightweight classic shirt

Comme Des Garcons Homme Deux black and white graphic tie

Solovair 3-eye “Gibson” shoe

Uniqlo colorful socks (GRAY)

For the Fella Dreaming of the Amalfi Coast

Auralee’s tobacco brown shorts boast a lot of the features we love about traditional dress pants—the crisp crease, the snazzy gabardine fabric, the extension tab by the waist—but, crucially, they’re still shorts. To keep the airflow moving, toss on a breezy open-weave knit polo and shoes that straddle the line between proper lace-ups and sandals. Before you head out the door, accessorize with luxe sunglasses and a bucket hat, and voila: your own personal face cabana, no VIP ticket necessary. 

Auralee high-rise wool gabardine shorts

Madewell Johnny collar polo shirt

Calvin Klein cotton classics multipank tank tops

La Botte Gardiane “Jerome” sandals

Corridor hand crochet bucket hat

Dita Eyewear meta-evo one d-frame titanium sunglasses

For the 9-to-5-er Who Needs to Log Off

Pinstripes might be an old-school power move, but on Sacai’s belted shorts they simply add a little raffiné to an outfit you’d never wear to a board meeting. To really nail the point, pair ‘em with a vacation-ready camp shirt in the most F-you pattern imaginable, tinted sunnies, and a tank way fancier than the A-shirts you order by the pack—and then swap out those heavy-duty deal sleds for mules you’ll kick off the second you hit the beach.

Sacai belted pinstripe pants

Folk “Gabe” printed cotton shirt

Saturdays cotton rib tank ivory

Blueu Burnham sapphire & 9kt gold necklace

Marni x No Vacancy Inn “Fussbet” sabot crochet mules

For the Guy Who Puts the Sear in Seersucker

Thanks to the efforts of galaxy-brain dressers like Wes Anderson, seersucker has long since earned its spot on the Mt. Rushmore of summer fabrics. Usually, though, you’ll find the puckered cotton material on Churchill Downs-ready suits surrounded by a whole lot of glaring pastels. But as Ivy Style enters its dirtbag era, seersucker shorts just feel right—especially when they come courtesy of Thom Browne, the reigning king of gloriously freaked Americana. Flip the script by ditching the matching jacket altogether, and then dress down the vibe even further with a crisp white tee, a sweater vest made from the plushest cashmere on the planet, and retro-leaning sneakers. If said sneakers also happen to cure your Samba anxiety in the process, even better. 

Thom Browne gray grosgrain cuffs shorts

Lady White Co. “Athens” T-shirt

Stòffa ribbed cashmere sweater vest

Timex Q Reissue stainless steel 38mm watch

Adidas SPZL “Hochelaga” sneakers


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How To Pull Off Dress Shorts Like an A-Lister at Cannes

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