How to Wear Shorts Correctly: A Guide for Men

Posted on July 17 2019

When the heat of summer hits, it's time for shorts weather! Your legs have been begging for some freedom all winter long, and now is the time to strut your stuff. Shorts keep you cool, and they're also a great way to reflect your personal style throughout the hotter months.

But before you plunk down money on a pair, it's key to know how to wear shorts that will suit your body type.

Check out this handy guide that will help you find the ideal pair of shorts you'll want to wear all season and beyond.

Achieving the Ideal Fit

A lot of men's shorts tend to be on the baggier side, but it's really best if you choose something a bit more fitted. Baggy shorts don't really complement most body types.

Shorts that are wider at the bottom than the top usually have leg openings that are much too wide for your leg. This creates the illusion that your legs are much smaller and thinner than they are. Not a good look.

Baggy shorts also create a bottom-heavy appearance that isn't very complimentary. Pants tend to follow the legs all the way down, and they're often defined by shape. But with shorts, they can easily start to look shapeless if you're not careful.

So, how do you know how to wear shorts that will look good on you? First, you need to find a pair of shorts that have a tailored look suited to your body type.

A quality pair of shorts will give definition to your legs and fit your natural waistline. Pick a pair with a flat front that has a tailored-inspired touch. A clean button and zipper finish, along with well placed belt loops will round out a tailored look. 

In contrast, an elastic waistband emphasizes your belly and isn't quite as flattering. Elastic waists should be reserved for swim wear only. You should also select shorts that have narrow leg openings and don't flare out. This will help to define your shape.

Make sure you keep the length of your shorts above the knee. This also creates a tailored aesthetic. Having the short end one inch above your knee is a universally flattering rule of thumb.

How to Wear Shorts That are the Right Length

When it comes to finding the right pair of shorts, the length is key. Avoid shorts that are below your knee unless you plan to wear cargo shorts. The most common lengths on the market are 8 or 9 inches. Those two lengths usually fit the majority of the population. 10” or 7” lengths are also found in current day styles, but are on the longer and shorter ends of the spectrum.

When you choose shorts that are the right length, you'll feel much more confident. The idea of finding the right pair is to choose a length that works best with your height and size.

So, how do you know which length will work for you? Try these tips below:

  • Tall men: If you're on the taller side, try mid-length shorts. Long shorts may make you look even taller, and those that are too short could make your legs look too thin. The mid-length style is just right for all of you taller guys.
  • Medium height men: For those who are at an average to medium height, you're in luck. Almost any length will work for you, but you should still avoid buying anything that sits below the knee.
  • Short men: Shorter men can wear shorter-length shorts in most cases. Just make sure you don't pick a baggy style or you could end up looking and feeling much shorter than you already are.

Don't Forget the Fabric

Much like any other piece of clothing you buy, the fabric composition is extremely important in terms of both comfort and style. Since shorts are summertime wear, you want to choose something that's lightweight and breathable.

The gold standard for shorts are ones made of cotton. This fabric is suitable for hot weather, and it's usually breathable and very lightweight. If you want to step it up, try a chino cotton blend which is a lightweight cotton twill. 

Madras is another fantastic option that features a loose, handwoven weave. Seersucker is a lightweight cotton that has a puckered texture that can help with air circulation. Other options include chambray, twill, and chino. 

Linen is another excellent choice for summertime thanks to its breathable properties. One of the downsides to linen is that it often shows wrinkles much more than cotton. So have your steamer ready if you are traveling and plan to rock your linen! If you decide to go with linen shorts, choose a pair that are high quality with a dense weave that feels soft to the touch. High-quality linen won't wrinkle as much, and it tends to get softer as you wear it.

You might be surprised that wool is actually a good choice for shorts. This material regulates the temperature while absorbing and evaporating moisture. Just make sure that if you choose wool, it's a lightweight, loosely woven form. This will allow the air to flow through so you can feel cool while you look great. This would be a great transition fabric, to help you wear shorts well into the cooler Fall season, and creates a real old school Prep look.

Once you've decided on the length, fit, and fabric, you can determine what color you like. Neutral colors like navy blue, stone or tan always look attractive and go with almost anything. Summertime calls for some pastels and maybe a bold red if you dare!

Choose shorts in an awesome pattern like nautical designs, classic plaids or a fun all-over embroidery. If you choose a patterned pair, be sure that your shirt is a solid color so you don't clash.

The Perfect Pair is Possible

Now that you know how to wear shorts, finding the right pair for you should be a breeze. This clothing will keep you cool all summer long while boosting your confidence to new levels.

With the right fit and length, you're on track to finding a pair of shorts you'll love to wear every single summer. 

Shop our website for an incredible selection of men's clothing along with all the latest trends to keep you looking your best. 

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