When it comes to buying summer shorts for men, most guys don't know where to start.
Without an understanding of stylish designs and cuts, many men fall into the trap of buying ‘fashionable' shorts that'll look ridiculous when next summer rolls around. No one wants to look back at photos and think ‘Why on earth did I think THEY were a good idea?'
As always, I'm here to make sure that doesn't happen. In today's article, I'm breaking out the best timeless shorts a man can buy to look stylish this summer and beyond.
In this guide, we'll be covering:
- What Style Of Shorts Should You Buy?
- How Do You Buy Perfect Fitting Shorts?
- What Are The Best Fabrics For Men's Shorts?
- What Colors Of Shorts Are Most Stylish?
- Which Trends Should You Avoid When Buying Shorts?
#1 What Style Of Shorts Should You Buy?
Men's shorts come in a variety of styles, but how do you choose the best design for you?
It all comes down to understanding the many different styles of shorts and where they can fit into your wardrobe.
I'll be honest – there are hundreds of styles to choose from. So today we're going to mention the top 3 most popular styles and how they can fit into your wardrobe.
Flat Front Shorts
These are the most common style of shorts. They have a classic and simple design where the material lies flat near the zipper, giving you a slim, low-waisted look.
Flat-front shorts will be the go-to for all men when looking for a classic pair of shorts that go with a variety of tops and shoes.
These are loose-fitting and baggier in appearance. They offer great utility by having multiple side pockets for plenty of storage.
Cargo shorts get a bad reputation as most men over-stuff the pockets, which makes your legs look bulky and fatter than they are.
These can be worn correctly if you purchase the correct pair and don't overload the pockets.
They are typically made from a synthetic material like nylon with a mesh inner lining to allow them to dry faster. They're the go-to style for outings at the beach or if you'll be on a boat.
Swimming shorts should not be worn casually unless you plan on getting them wet, or else they will seem out of place.
Which Style Should You Choose?
Flat-front shorts will be the most common and most popular style for all men as they offer great versatility and a classic design. They're casual and offer many different options for outfits.
Now that we've found the most popular style of men's shorts to wear, let's discuss finding the right fit for your body type.
#2 How Do You Buy Perfect Fitting Shorts?
Too often, men make the mistake of wearing improper-fitting shorts. There are several things to be on the lookout for when trying to find the right fit for your shorts.
The most important things to look for when trying to find the perfect fit are the length and whether you should get a slim-fit or classic cut.
Choosing the correct length for your height is extremely important as your shorts should cover roughly one-third of your entire leg. This offers the best proportions and gives the best appearance.
The rule of thumb here is that the overall length of shorts should ALWAYS end above the knee and NEVER below it. For most men, 2-3 inches above the knee is a great starting point.
Achieve this by identifying the best inseam length for your height. Finding the right inseam length will be crucial to making sure the shorts fit correctly and look stylish.
The inseam length is the distance from the top of the shorts at the belt line to the bottom leg opening of the shorts.
Most shorts come in a range of inseam lengths, but most men will find that the perfect range is anywhere between 5 inches and 11 inches.
The most commonly selected inseam length is 7 inches and most men who are of average height will find this length to be suitable for them.
If you are on opposite ends of the height spectrum though, you will most likely have to adjust which inseam length you go for.
For example, if you are a shorter man, you may find a 5-inch inseam to be sufficient, while a taller man may have to opt for a 9-inch inseam.
Type Of Fit
There are two types of fits to be on the lookout for when it comes to buying perfect-fitting shorts.
Slim-fit offers a great tailored appearance as they typically taper down the leg but still have plenty of room to move and be comfortable.
This type of cut will work for most men of varying heights, however, they will typically be too tight on bigger-built men.
If the leg opening is too constricting, then you may want to look for another type of fit to be comfortable.
Classic-cut shorts will be a great option for bigger-built men or men with large legs as they still have a clean silhouette but are not as tapered down the leg.
This allows for men who may have larger legs to still look stylish but remain comfortable.
The best rule of thumb is that shorts should fit comfortably around the waist, offer plenty of room in the seat, and have a great taper at the bottom while hitting 2-3 inches above the knee.
If you are questioning what these correct measurements should be, you can always go to your local tailor and get fitted properly.
You could even buy shorts that fit close, then have them altered by your tailor as well to achieve that perfect fit.
#3 What Are The Best Fabrics For Men's Shorts?
After you have found the correct inseam length and fit on your shorts, it's important to discuss the different fabrics or materials that you can select.
The most popular material used for shorts is cotton, but there are other fabrics that you may want to select depending on the type of event or outfit you are looking for.
Fabrics can also be selected for specific weather conditions as you may want a lightweight material in extremely warm weather compared to cotton.
This is the most popular fabric option for men's shorts as it offers a great balance in comfort and temperature regulation while being the least expensive material option.
Cotton shorts tend to have medium wrinkle resistance and are best suited for daily use.
They will allow great versatility as they are available in a spectrum of colors and will give you the most bang-for-your-buck on outfits.
This is a fantastic option for extremely warm weather climates as it is very lightweight and breathable.
Linen allows for great temperature regulation and will be a staple if you are going to be wearing shorts in extreme heat.
Linen is more expensive than cotton and can wrinkle easily, which makes it best suited for those extremely warm days when you need it.
Man-made materials such as nylon and polyester can offer great performance for temperature regulation and moisture-wicking.
These materials vary in price and are best suited for specific needs.
For example, you will want your swimming shorts to be made from nylon as they will be lightweight and dry quickly.
Another example would be golfing shorts as these performance-based materials allow for great flexibility and moisture wicking allowing you to stay comfortable and dry on the course.
#4 What Colors Of Shorts Are Most Stylish?
Colors can be subjective, however, it's easy to remember that your core colors (blue, grey, brown, etc.) will be the most versatile while the pastel colors (lavender, mint, salmon, etc.) will be the most vibrant and outfit specific.
Ranging from light blue all the way to navy, this is a great option as it is highly interchangeable and can be worn with a variety of shirts.
Navy shorts are a staple in a man's wardrobe as they can be worn with polos and casual button-downs and offer the most versatility.
This is a fantastic noncolor that allows you to wear pretty much any colored shirt and still look stylish.
This can range from light grey to charcoal and offers great versatility on outfit options.
Commonly found as khakis, these can range from light beige or tan to a dark brown. They are timeless, simple, and are often the common choice for slightly more formal situations.
These are considered ultra-casual and offer the least versatility for consistent wear.
Colors such as lime, lavender, mint, and salmon will be great options for a vibrant appearance as they draw more attention than their conservative counterparts above.
It is important to note that you should try to have a solid foundation of blues, greys, and browns before delving into brighter colors, as the core colors offer the most versatility for your wardrobe.
#5 Which Trends Should You Avoid When Buying Shorts?
Too much distressing on shorts can look raggedy and will not be the style you are looking for.
Sometimes “trendy” looks are not the most stylish looks, so it's best to find the simple, timeless classics that have remained stylish for years.
Bulky Cargo Shorts
Cargo shorts are a great option for guys who need extra pocket space.
You can wear slimmer cut cargo shorts and keep one of two things in the pockets, but once you find yourself filling them up and giving yourself the “trapezoid” look, you need to find a good backpack to put everything in instead.
Loud Patterns Or Crazy Branding
In today's world of vibrant branding and marketing, it can be easy to slip into the idea that having a large logo on your shorts is “in” currently.
Again, as mentioned before, sometimes “trendy” looks are not always stylish, so stay away from crazy branding or patterns. The simple, timeless look of solid colors will give you the most stylish appearance overall.
Once you have gone through this guide completely, you'll know all there is to know about how to buy men's shorts. If you follow this guide, you can easily pick the right men's shorts for you and rock them all summer long.
If you're ready to take your look to the next level, check out Which Shoes Look Great With Shorts.