Get your summer started with the perfect pair of comfy yet casual shorts. It isn’t hard to find that ideal style since there are tons of options out there, ranging from leg-baring to flattering mid-thigh and Bermuda lengths. Casual designs come in stretchy and ultra-comfortable fabrics that look as great as they feel, so you will never have to choose between style and comfort. We have put together a list of some of the very best casual shorts that will keep you cool this summer.
Rekucci Women’s Ease Into Comfort Tab Short
Rekucci Women’s Ease Into Comfort Tab Shorts are a beautiful elastic waist style that can help you get ready for the sunshine. This pick is known for its exceptional fit, flattering look, and high comfort level. It has all kinds of wonderful features, including a wide smoothing waistband with hidden elastic, stretchy fabric, and a faux zip-front design. The inseam is 5″ so it will fall at mid-thigh on most legs. The fabric is a blend of rayon, nylon, and spandex that varies a little bit depending on the color and print you choose (there are lots of colors to choose from), the material is incredibly stretchy, but also firm. The triple faux snaps at the waist and the side tabs snaps add a little bit of unique detailing.
Available from Amazon
Old Navy’s Mid-Rise Twill Everyday Shorts
Old Navy’s Mid-Rise Twill Everyday Shorts are a popular style that people go back to year after year. This year Old Navy has made the waist a bit higher to fit with the high rise waist trend, and the cotton is a bit heavier than previous years. The inseam length is roughly 5″, and the design features diagonal front pockets, as well as decorative welt faux-pockets on the back. If you are looking for an inexpensive everyday style that has an excellent fit and comes in a variety of colors this could be the right choice for you.
Available from OldNavy.com
Everlane The Cotton Twill Short
Everlane’s Cotton Twill Short is a beautiful yet comfy style that many women love to wear on a hot summer day. They are mostly cotton with a minimal amount elastane to give them a tiny bit of stretch. The inseam is quite small at 3″, but they are high waisted with a slightly looser fit through the seat and thigh. Often with the very small inseams, the leg opening is also on the smaller side, but this leg opening has a bit of flair, so they are comfortable to sit in and give a little bit more room of movement. The oversized leg opening also helps make this a super flattering design for lots of different body shapes. The other significant features are the large, functional front pockets and the thick and sturdy fabric that feels very high quality.
Available from Everlane
I.N.C. Pull-On Shorts
These I.N.C. International Concepts’ pull-on shorts are an elegant option that looks great and are comfy to wear due to the stretchy fabric. They are a fairly standard design with a mid-rise and an approximately 5-inch inseam. These are notable for their excellent fit due to the stretch of the material and the cut of the design. The slightly dressy material also doesn’t wrinkle so you can wear them all day and still look polished. They even wash and wear well without losing their color (they do come in pretty colors). Most women find that they have an excellent fit and don’t ride up.
Available from Macy’s
Calson Cotton Twill Shorts
These Calson Cotton Twill Shorts are a classic option that works well for every day. They have an approximately 5″ inseam and are a simple design with front slant and back welt pockets. The fabric is mostly cotton with a hint of spandex for stretch. These are a perfect casual design made with a soft, relatively thick material that allows for easy movement. The cut is also generally considered flattering for women of all ages.
Available from Nordstrom
Lululemon On the Fly Short
Lululemon’s On the Fly Short is a nifty style that works well for lots of different situations. They are made from a sweat-wicking, four-way stretch material that is designed to feel relaxed and stretchy. They come in beautiful colors that work well as a casual ‘out and about’ option. Since the inseam length is only 2.5 inches, they probably aren’t the best style for everyone, but if you like a short hem and stretchy easy to move in material, they are an ideal choice.
Available from Lululemon
Just My Size Women’s Plus Jersey Short
The Just My Size Women’s Plus Jersey Short is a super casual option that is flattering, feels great to wear, and is 100% cotton. These are a simple pull-on style with nice deep pockets that work well if wearing around the house or for errands. The inseam is 7″ so it is a suitable length for those who want a bit of coverage but don’t want to go quite as long as a Bermuda. This pick comes in lots of colors and the stretchy fabric that makes excellent everyday option. The material is thin enough to be reasonably cool but just thick enough that you can’t see through it.
Available from Amazon
For comfort, it is tough to beat a loose pair of linen shorts in the hot weather. They breathe well, usually have a relaxed fit, and you won’t overheat in linen. The only downside is that linen wrinkles a bit too much, so they don’t look super polished out of the dryer or after you have been wearing them all day (also you are going to have to iron them which is pain). Regardless, these J. Crew Seasides are a great style to get your summer going. The linen and Tencel blend is breathable because of the linen but also the soft because of the Tencel. They are a great length for most people, and they have a slight highrise waist, so they are modern and fashionable. They also come in beautiful vibrant colors that will liven up your wardrobe a bit.
Available from J.Crew
If you aren’t so into the look of the Seaside pick, you may also want to check out J Crew’s stretch chino designs, which is also a favorite option for a lot of women. You can get them with inseam lengths of 4, 5, 7, or 10 inches, so there is a length for pretty much everyone, and most options come in quite a good variety of colors. They are made of a thicker material, which may be preferable to some people, although they will be a tad warmer than the light and airy Seaside style listed above.
Available from J Crew
Gap Pull-On Short
Gap has a good selection of casual options, their Khaki and Utility shorts are both durable and excellent styles that come back every year and are worth looking at if you like a slightly longer hem. Their most comfortable style is probably their pull-on option that is made with a very soft cotton and Tencel blend. Gap has offered the Pull-On Short for several years now. It is popular because it is easy to get on and off, it is cute, and washes well. It comes in a few different colors, including pink, which seems to be everywhere right now. The design is straightforward with two front slant and a back welt pocket, a well-positioned drawstring, and there is also elastic on the waistband that will keep the waistband up in case the drawstring comes untied.
Available from Gap
Uniqlo Women Linen Cotton Relaxed Shorts
Uniqlo’s Women Linen Cotton Relaxed Shorts are a lovely loose fit style. The only downside to them is since they are linen you have to iron them every time they are washed, since the linen wrinkles like crazy. They are very flattering, though, and worth the extra effort of the ironing. The fabric is comfortable, and the fit is a little boxy but flattering and trendy. This light and flowy design is perfect for dressing up or down and looks great any way you style it.
Available from Uniqlo
Prana’s Olivia is an excellent choice if you are active and are looking for a casual performance short that still looks cute and stylish. It is made from a quick-drying, moisture-wicking material that you can’t tell is a performance fabric. The Olivia comes in a 5″ or 7″ inseam, has a mid-rise and is described as a relaxed fit. You can roll them up for a smaller length or down for more coverage. Many women find the Olivia to be their perfect style for summer because of the lightweight, comfortable material, and the versatility of the design. Sizing can be a little tricky (some women find they run a bit tight in the leg opening), so if you can’t check them out in person, read all sizing info carefully (a lot of women size up).
Available from Prana
SONOMA Goods for Life® Utility Bermuda Shorts
These Sonoma Goods for Life utility Bermudas would make a comfortable addition to your warm-weather wardrobe. They have cuffed hems that you can wear cuffed or uncuffed, 5-pockets, and quite a long inseam. Women love the soft waistband that won’t cut into your midsection and like that they can be worn as Bermudas or rolled up for a more casual look. They come in a great variety of colors in a soft and comfortable cotton blend.
Available from Kohl’s
A.N.A 3.5” Chino Short
The A.N.A. Chino Short that you can get at JC Penny is an inexpensive option worth checking out. They come in a fantastic range of choices for patterns and colors, some of them very cute. This twill style is known for having a great fit and being very comfy. You can also get the A.N.A Chino styles in a 5, 7, or 9-inch inseams in plus and tall sizes as well. So if you like the look of this style in the picture above but aren’t sure about the length, there are other options.
Available from JC Penny
AE High-Waisted Everyday Soft Short
American Eagle is a surprisingly good place to find shorts. Most of their styles show a lot of leg and are tight-fitting, but the fabrics are usually very soft and stretchy. They have a few Bermuda and mid-length designs, but one of their best options, if you are looking for comfort, is the AE High-Waisted Everyday Soft Short. They look very much like a skirt, but they are loose-fitting and ultra-comfy. The material is a soft viscose, so it has a little bit of stretch and is quite airy and light for warm weather. They are perfect for every day or for dressing up and are usually offered in cute patterned material; I haven’t seen this design offered in solid colors, but depending on when you are reading this post, that may be an option.
Available from AE.com
What to Look For:
Everyone has different features when looking for a perfect pair of shorts. A few things to consider to help you find the very best style for your needs are:
Inseam length– The length of the inseam is the most important feature for a lot of women when choosing the right style. We tried to include a variety of lengths on our list above, so there is something for everyone. If you like leg-baring styles, look for an inseam length of 2-3 inches, which will barely cover the behind. Five-inch lengths usually fall about mid-thigh on most women and tend to work well for the widest variety of ages and body shapes. If you like longer but not knee-length, try 7-inch styles for a little bit more coverage, and if you love a Bermuda style, you will want to look for about 10″ or longer.
Fabric– The best casual designs are usually made of some type of cotton blend. Cotton is one of the best materials for warm weather because it is typically cool and breathable. Linen is also great for comfort, but it does wrinkle easily.
Color– You can get shorts in a fantastic variety of colors these days. J Crew and Old Navy are offering lots of lovely colors this season.