Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Shorts for Spring and Summer

Spring & summer weather means it's shorts season. T-shirt by American Apparel. Shorts by Banana Republic. Watch by Timex Ameritus and patterned watch strap by The Knottery. Sneakers by GREATS Brand.
Spring & summer weather means it’s shorts season. T-shirt by American Apparel. Shorts by Banana Republic. Watch by Timex Ameritus and patterned watch strap by The Knottery. Sneakers by GREATS Brand.

So, spring is finally here (right?). And while I love me a great pair of denim or some excellent chinos, it’s always good to have a pair of shorts in the rotation. I mainly stick to neutral colors like khaki or navy to pair with other like-minded shades, but several designers & brands are adding louder hues and more wild prints to their shorts offerings this year, too. I got a question from a friend the other day recommending a relatively inexpensive, versatile pair — hence the picks you see below here. Now to be clear — none of these recommendations involve the extra pockets or the baggy cut of cargo shorts — that’s outlawed around these here parts. So, turn tail and get yourself to the mall (or stay right at your computer) and do some shopping.

#1. J. Crew Factory 7″ Broken-in Reade Short — $44.50

Washed fabric in a slimmer cut that hits above the knee — exactly what's needed in spring or summer shorts.
Washed fabric in a slimmer cut that hits above the knee — exactly what’s needed in spring or summer shorts.

J. Crew Factory’s some kind of a bully when it comes to online shopping picks on this site, but these shorts check all the boxes in terms of the ideal pair. They’re available in a full range of neutral colors (particularly the grey seen here) and they hit above the knee in a clean, modern fit. The “broken-in” finish gives them an easygoing vibe, too.  J. Crew’s mainline Stanton short (seen here) is a similar style for a bit extra cash.

#2. Frank and Oak Sheldon 7.5″ Herringbone Shorts in Navy — $60

The 7.5" Sheldon Herringbone Shorts in Navy. Seen with an Invicta dive watch, Frank and Oak Cotton Plaid Shirt, and GREATS Brand sneakers.
The 7.5″ Sheldon Herringbone Shorts in Navy. Seen with an Invicta dive watch, Frank and Oak Cotton Plaid Shirt, and GREATS Brand sneakers.

These shorts were first seen in this Frank & Oak Hunt Club crate review just the other day. They’re a really excellent pair, with  great depth to the fabric and a cut that’s a little trimmer than the JCF option above. For having a length of 7.5″, they certainly don’t feel noticeably longer than a 7″ pair. The cotton-linen blend makes them lightweight and breathable, perfect for getting out and about. They’re also available in a darker Asphalt color, but this particular blue wouldn’t clash with, say, navy or indigo.

#3. Urban Outfitters CPO Crosby Chino Shorts — $44

An olive color that's different than the typical navy or khaki, paired with a decent price.
An olive color that’s different than the typical navy or khaki, paired with a decent price.

This pair of shorts from Urban Outfitters feature a similar price when lined up against the J. Crew Factory option above, and they’ve got a somewhat similar faded wash to them. But, that olive color is pretty visually pleasing — it plays well with lots of neutrals like white, tan, grey or navy but is different ahn a basic khaki short. These are available in some brighter colors too, like a Sky Blue or Red option, but the slightly fringed hem at the bottom might turn some away.

#4. Old Navy Slim-Fit Twill Shorts in Ink-Blue Stripe — $22.94

They should fit pretty trim, and the stripes are a nice touch … but that inseam could be a tad long.
They should fit pretty trim, and the stripes are a nice touch … but that inseam could be a tad long.

Old Navy’s shorts are a fairly underrated part of the brand — while they do excellent work when it comes to other basics, their shorts game has finally caught up — for the most part. Prices dip as low as $15 on slim-fit shorts in every color imaginable, from a heightened Beryl Blue and wild Blue Floral Print to a more pedestrian grey. The one caveat is that these do have a longer 9-1/2″ inseam, which might not work for the shorter among us (and even taller guys might prefer a slightly higher-cut short).

#5. Bonobos 7″ Washed Chino Shorts in Deep Khaki — $68

Almost $70, yes, but a nice combination of quality and price.
Almost $70, yes, but a nice combination of quality and price.

Nearly $70 for a pair of shorts? Yikes. Yes, for that amount you could buy almost two pairs of shorts from J. Crew Factory (or heck, almost 5 very on-sale pairs from Old Navy). But there’s a reason behind the pricing for these shorts — you get the same easywearing, relatively durable Washed Chino fabric that the company’s great pants are made out of, and you also get a range of length and color options (although this khaki is highly versatile).

NOTE: Other pairs that just missed the cut here include Bonobos’ newer, tailored Americano shorts (nearly too dressy to be worn casually), and these dark blue patterned chino shorts from H&M.

What do you think of the above recommendations? What will you be stocking your shorts drawer with this spring and summer?

And one final note: Looking around for more suggestions to pull together your spring and summer wardrobe? I’ve been putting together a series of weekly Buyer’s Guide pieces for the great team at lifestyle website VOUCH Mag; check out the full set here
Ernest Alexander

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