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Athletic, relaxed, or preppy, shorts are the quintessential summer staple that every man needs but most have difficulty finding. Shorts, given their casual reputation, can read messy and unrefined if done in the wrong fabrics and if the fit is off. Done well, however, and shorts will read polished, boosting your casual wear for summery looks done to absolute perfection. From short shorts to dressier versions, we take you through the best shorts for men to wear this summer.
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The Dos & Don’ts of Shorts
Shorts are most definitely not the easiest clothing piece to pull off. Whether you are someone who lives in shorts or prefers a pair of jeans, first things first, the fit is everything. Not all men have similar proportions, and the way something sits on someone else may not necessarily complement your body. So try on shorts before you purchase them. Strike an appropriate balance and find shorts that will be fitted, but not entirely constricting. Do not opt for shorts in cheap or ‘board-shorts fabrics for everyday wear – this will read juvenile and will not allude a mature aesthetic.
When to Wear Shorts
Shorts are the answer to relaxed casual looks. Team them with a chambray/linen button-down or a simple t-shirt. A pair of espadrilles or boat shoes will elevate your look and are a more appealing option to the typical thongs most gents tend to wear.
It is important to realize that shorts need to be worn in the right context. We recommend thoroughly considering whether shorts would be ok for the smart casual event you are attending. If so, team chino-esque shorts with simplistic dress shirts and appropriate blazers or throw a lightweight sweater over your shoulders. Loafers and sneakers are great shoes for smart-casual events.
When it comes to perfecting sports luxe, comfortable shorts are integral, but the way they look should take maximum priority. It’s all about the way you adapt sporty clothing for everyday wear, so ensure your shorts are in basic colors for maximum versatility. Team your shorts with other staples, like rich-toned bomber jackets, white trainers, and novel baseball caps for a playful take on the sports luxe trend.
Different Types of Shorts
There are many short styles on the market, but we’ve selected three of the most versatile styles that should be a part of your everyday wardrobe.
Cropped Shorts / Short Shorts
The cropped short nods back to yesteryears with its retro vibes and shorter proportions. One of the most versatile short styles, the cropped short offers much in terms of flattering slimmer to medium body types and works terrifically for casual days and nights alike. Versatile tones are great, but don’t be afraid to experiment with a bit of color given this type of short is typically a casual staple piece. Team your short shorts with white trainers, espadrilles, and playful accessories like baseball caps, bright watches, and round sunglasses.
The tailored short is typically reserved for smart casual looks. With their chino vibes and more inflexible materials, they are great for updating dressy casual looks for the warmer months. While they are stylish, tailored shorts are also great for practicality and will allow your legs to breathe. The main thing you should remember when opting for tailored shorts is to find them in versatile colors like navy, khaki, and beige, which will afford you a great deal of adaptability for your wardrobe.
Your biggest responsibility when it comes to baggy shorts is to ensure that they are well balanced for your body type. Proportion is key, so ensure you know what works with your body, but more importantly for your height. Experiment with different fits and textures to ensure that the baggy shorts will be a flattering piece as opposed to reading clownish or dated. Preserve a much shorter length with your baggy shorts.
How do you wear shorts correctly?
Start by ensuring the fit is right. You want shorts that fit your body shape but also allows an appropriate level of movement. Next, make sure you’re wearing them on the right occasion. Shorts are ideal for casual, smart-casual, and sports-luxe looks. Cropped and baggy shorts are perfect for everyday and casual wear, whereas tailored shorts look crisp for smart-casual occasions. Finally, choose quality fabrics, and avoid board short material unless you’re actually at the beach – it has a more teenage vibe than the mature look you’d be aiming for.
What are the most comfortable men's shorts?
The most comfortable shorts will fit you well and have some stretch for freedom of movement. Even tailored shorts can be made with fabrics that have a stretchy design. However, if you are after a more casual look, it’s hard to go past a pair of sweat shorts made of soft, stretchy cotton for the perfect amount of lounging comfort.
What kind of shorts are in style for guys?
If you’re looking for an on-trend pair of shorts, show a little leg with a cropped pair, look more formal with tailored shorts, or embrace a chilled vibe with a pair of baggy shorts.
Where can I buy good men's shorts?
Most menswear and department stores will have a selection of shorts on offer, especially in the warmer months. Online stores such as ASOS and Amazon are also fantastic; however, always check the return policy so you can send them back if it’s not a good fit. It’s also harder to tell online what the fabric quality is like, so keep this in mind as well.
Should I wear socks with shorts?
Your decision to wear socks will come down to the kind of shoes you’re wearing and the overall look. Shorts are pretty versatile, and you can get away with longer socks, as well as ankle, invisible, or no socks. Longer socks paired with high-top sneakers are great for a casual vibe, while sock-free loafers or boat shoes look best with tailored shorts for a smart-casual occasion.
What shoes can I wear with shorts?
You can choose almost any kind of casual shoe to wear with shorts. Try sneakers, high-tops, slip-ons, sandals, or boat shoes. If you want to dress the look up a little more, rock your tailored shorts with a stylish pair of loafers or even boots if you’re feeling bold.
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