Stylish shorts — simple enough, right? Wrong. The top shorts to buy for summer are a far cry from the athletic shorts many of us grew accustomed to through high school … and college … and hey, after college. Coming from a guy who loves a pair of slim light wash denim (even in the summer), it’s still crucial to not let your casual style slip up — and well-fitting, well-made shorts in seasonally friendly fabrics are one way to stay in shipshape. After all, you can wear a pair of stylish men’s shorts with nearly any of your other favorite summer style essentials — from a classic Oxford to a patterned short-sleeve shirt. That goes for lightweight layering pieces, too — a tailored pair of shorts, cut to hit above the knee, can serve as a complement to a light wash trucker jacket, a rugged short-sleeve henley and essential summer sneakers. And if you’ve read my work over at Effortless Gent, you know that it can sometimes be tricky to find the perfect pair of shorts — that goes for both fit and style potential. Know that the below picks cover off on both key ares quite nicely. Heck, even a few of the picks you’ll see below — like the Myles Apparel Everyday Short — can work on an outdoor hike or at a laidback BBQ. To see how I’m wearing shorts this summer, join me on Instagram; if you think I left out any brands, let me know in the comments. Cheers!
#1. Finisterre Coverack Shorts — $72.98
While it’s tough to list out just one pair of shorts in this top spot, it’s something we gotta do. And for my money, the quality, value and classic style of these Finisterre Coverack Shorts is pretty tough to top. From the easy-to-wear shade of khaki on the Coverack Shorts to laidback design touches like a garment-dyed finishing process, they should go with just about anything. Try ’em out with a light blue polo and sharp white sneakers (plus a tough dive watch) for go- anywhere weekend style.
#2. Myles Apparel Everyday Short — $58
We told you that our picks for stylish shorts would work at more casual summer functions as well as athletic pursuits — right? Right. The Myles Apparel Everyday Short comes in a host of colors and features a tailored-yet-mobile fit more commonly found on athletic shorts. Yet, it eschews the gaudy logos you often see on athletic shorts — consider this gym gear for the grown man (or tall teenager). You can easily throw these on for a casual stroll through the park or your morning run — of course. And with all those color options, you might want more than one pair.
#3. Topo Designs Mountain Shorts — $69.98
When it comes to shorts — or menswear in general — are you more of a technically inclined guy? Just as likely to focus on the durability and fabric quality as the fit? In that case, the Topo Designs Mountain Shorts were made for you — to say the least. From the ripstop cotton construction to the top-stitched front pockets — that means more room for your everyday carry — to the selection of stylish colors (including an olive option), you need the Topo Designs Mountain Shorts in your life for your next hike or camping trip.
#4. Abercrombie and Fitch Flat Front Shorts — $28.80
It’s nearly a menswear fact — at least to your Style Guide editor — that you can’t go wrong with a pair of stretch cotton chino shorts in a 7-inch inseam. Why so specific? Well, the inseam length works for most guys — and the neat color and fabric? Those are perfect summer style moves. Try out these shorts with a slim-fit white polo and stylish, retro-inspired sunglasses — try it out on a first or second date for maximum effect, fellas.
Want the feel of your favorite, broken-in, easy-to-wear pair of shorts? Better yet, want that in a silhouette that’s much more polished than you might expect? That’s what you’re getting with the Iron and Resin Logan Shorts, a distinctly summer-friendly offering from a brand known for its rugged motorcycle gear. And the Pistol Lake French Terry Sweatshorts are an old Style Guide favorite — remember this 2015 Style Pick of the Week feature? Of course you do. Wear those to the gym or to a beach bonfire — it’s as easy as that.
Honorable Mention: Cory Vines Path Shorts — $37.98
For the guy who appreciates reliable, affordable and hard-wearing performance shorts, look no further than the Cory Vines Path Shorts. These shorts blend lightweight mesh with neutral colorways, an excellent price and a fit that hits above the knee — another reliable option for gym shorts or heck, errand-running, beach-strolling, park-walking shorts. And hey, for under $40? That puts the Cory Vines Path Shorts just about on my list of the top shorts to buy for summer.
Is your shopping cart filled up with stylish shorts for summer? Maybe more than one pair? Across the board, it’s perhaps easier than ever to get reliable shorts in a modern cut made from excellent fabric — take picks like the more tailored Finisterre Coverack Shorts or the more casual Iron and Resin Logan Shorts. And when one considers the seamless blend of athletic functionality and style that something like the Myles Apparel Everyday Short brings to the table, it’s not as tricky as it once was to upgrade your game across the board. Throw in classic picks from the likes of Abercrombie and Fitch and Pistol Lake — plus the quietly good Cory Vines Path Shorts — and you’re set for any shorts-wearing situation you can dream up. If you’d like to offer up your thoughts on this list, join me on Twitter.
For now — happy shopping and stay stylish!