Summer’s here and those legs aren’t going to tan themselves. That’s why it’s time to ditch the full-length pants and reach for something a bit more warm-weather appropriate instead. We are talking, of course, about shorts.
Whether you’re a fan of shorts or not, their numerous benefits during the summer months are hard to deny. They’ll keep you cool when temperatures soar, they’ll encourage your legs to develop a sunkissed glow and, let’s face it, they’re infinitely more comfortable than their long-legged cousins.
So, where to begin? There are many different styles of shorts out there and many different brands making them. So, to make things easier to digest, we’ve broken down your shorts options into four key categories and detailed a few of our favourite brands for each.
British brand Sunspel is always a solid choice for simple, high-quality garments. The label’s jersey shorts are made from soft loopback fabric and have a relaxed fit which makes them perfect for lounging around. Plus, the colour palette is understated and tasteful (think grey, black and navy) meaning whatever you go for, it’ll be versatile and match with the lion’s share of whatever’s hanging in your wardrobe.
Nobody does premium athleisure staples like Reigning Champ. The Canadian brand is known for producing cotton-jersey garments like hoodies, joggers and sweat shorts, with high quality and attention to detail as its biggest selling points. Everything is made locally by skilled craftspeople who know their trade inside out and this is evident in the end product. Simple, well-made and classic.
Nike is the biggest sportswear brand on the face of the earth and always a safe bet for athletic shorts. There’s plenty to choose from, ranging from lightweight designs in technical fabrics to classic jersey versions with subtle branding. Whatever style you’re looking for, chances are Nike will have it – and for the simple stuff, prices are usually pretty competitive.
If you’re unfamiliar with Wahts, allow us to fill you in. Launched in 2012, this Dutch brand specialises in comfortable garments, fusing premium quality with sportswear silhouettes. There are lots of options for athletic shorts and a number of different fabrics to choose from, whether you’re after pique, towelling or just plain old jersey. The colour options are great too, ranging from subtle and earthy to bold and bright, and despite the high quality, everything is relatively affordable.
Sweden’s Asket doesn’t make much, but what it does make, it makes very, very well. The label only puts out true staple items, of which chino shorts are one, and because everything operates on a direct-to-consumer approach, you can get premium quality for less than you would pay elsewhere. There’s only one style of chino shorts here, but that’s all you really need – a simple, straight-leg cut, in either green, beige or navy.
Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Norse Projects is known for blending stripped-back Scandi style with streetwear influences. The brand’s Aros chinos have been a hero piece since the early days and the short version is a great option during the warmer months. Expect classic styling, simple design and subtle patch branding to the back.
If you’re looking to stock up on your wardrobe basics without spending a fortune, Everlane is a good place to start. The brand has plenty of options when it comes to chino shorts, all of which are simple, classic and affordable. There are also several options for fit and style, including a pull-on version with an elasticated waist, which is ideal for anyone looking for a good balance of style and comfort.
Chino shorts are a preppy staple, and no one does preppy staples better than Ralph Lauren. This is one of the most popular and reliable names when it comes to smart-casual essentials like these and should be right at the top of your list. There are a number of styles to choose from, including the label’s Performance shorts, which are made from a linen-blend fabric that’ll keep you cool when the mercury rises.
Parisian label AMI’s fashion-forward tailored shorts may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for something a bit different then you won’t be disappointed. Here you’ll find out-there fits, pleats a plenty and wide, billowing legs. They’re pricey, but the quality is next level and they come with plenty of fashion clout to boot.
When it comes to menswear, few countries are better equipped to deliver the goods than Italy, and Luca Faloni is one of our favourite Italian labels. The brand’s cotton shorts are crafted in Northern Italy from premium whipcord cotton, making them highly durable but also light and breathable.
No one had really heard of tailored swim shorts before Orlebar Brown came along. The British brand’s smart swimwear changed the game and ushered in a new age of beach-to-bar attire. Casual enough to wear by the pool, yet smart enough to wear to dinner, they’re the perfect option for vacation and come in a range of colours and patterns. The label has since applied this same ethos to a line of traditional shorts, available in a range of seasonally-appropriate fabrics and colourways.
The world’s foremost cashmere processor, Loro Piana is an Italian textiles and fashion brand with a commitment to quality. The brand sources only the very finest of raw materials from around the world, including unique cashmere from baby goats in China, Mongolia and the Andes, and extra-fine merino wool from New Zealand. Unsurprisingly, this makes for some rather nice tailored shorts, featuring details like pleats and adjustable waist tabs, and premium Italian craftsmanship.
A brand that should need no introduction, Levi’s is the reason we’re all wearing denim today and it still makes some of the best denim jeans in the world. It’s not all full-length though. In fact, Levi’s also stocks a range of denim shorts for when the weather heats up, including short versions of some of its classic styles, like the 501.
Nudie has been putting Sweden firmly on the denim map since 2001. The brand is known for its great-fitting denim legwear and is built around a commitment to sustainability through repair. Shorts are no exception to this rule, so if you’re looking for quality denim shorts from a reputable brand with good sustainability credentials then look no further.
High-fashion brands aren’t putting out a lot of denim shorts at the moment… with the notable exception of Saint Laurent. The Parisian label has always been known for its rebellious streak, with denim garments always featuring heavily in its ready-to-wear collections, and shorts are no exception. Expect frayed cut offs, distressed washes and even a touch of leopard print that epitomise the label’s edgy, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic.
Swedish brand Acne Studios is well known for unconventional silhouettes, but also for doing very good denim. The brand’s shorts are cut in contemporary shapes – often relaxed and loose-fitting – and are perfect for anyone looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary.