Your Guide to Men's Shorts
Hi hello it’s Beau, and today we’re talking about the shorts we buy, what we look for when buying shorts, and also some tips for making your own denim cut-offs. I spent years wearing ill-fitting shorts because I didn’t know where to shop or what would look right on my body. We’ve got a few simple tips that really just boil down to inseam length, material, and how comfortable you are showing thigh.
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Matt and I tend to share most of our clothes, including shorts, even though our figures are a bit different. I’m 5’ 8” on a good day, and Matt is 5’ 11.75” and I will never call him 6’ because he’s NOT. The point being, we’re in the mid-to-upper 5' range, and if you’re much shorter or much taller, some of the below info may not be perfect for you. We’ve also both got pretty…hearty…legs, thighs, and butts. If you’re on the thinner side, just take into account the info below is based on our somewhat thick body type.
Inseam | We typically only buy shorts with a 7” or 5” inseam. Anything longer than 7” tends to cause a taper effect towards the knee and creates kind of an hour glass figure. All shapes and sizes are beautiful, but for our personal preference on how we look, we prefer to keep the shorts shorter to prevent that curved shape around the hips.
Material | Most shorts we buy, with the exception of athletic shorts, are at or around 100% cotton. This is ideal because it’s breathable and allows for a broken-in fit after a few wears. We find sticking to cotton shorts also helps keep us cool during the summer, and, like, we live in Louisiana so that’s kind of a necessity.
Thighs | OK, so we kinda talked about this above when discussing inseam, but I’ve got more thoughts on this. I grew up as a pretty overweight kid, and always had very big “chubby” legs. It took me years to get comfortable showing them, to be totally honest. But, now that I’ve gotten used to wearing appropriately short shorts, I’ve come to understand that a shorter short actually helps balance my shape. Before, I’d wear slim fitting shorts that were down to near my knee in an attempt to hide my thick thighs, with the thought that a slim fit would also make me less bulky. The result was that my hips would flare out and then taper in super tight toward the knee, creating that hourglass shape that I personally don’t want to have. Going with a short that terminates mid-thigh while still keeping to a slim fit really helps balance my legs, waist, and shoulders. This is true for Matt too, even though he’s slightly leaner and can get a way with a somewhat longer short. If you’re open to it, I’d strongly encourage showing that thigh!
Where We Shop
J Crew has a surprisingly good selection of 5”, 6”, and 7” shorts, including some truly amazing and appropriately priced drawstring 6” dock shorts that we love. The colors skew neutral, and the few pairs we got a couple of years ago get used all the time as they go with pretty much everything. Shop the shorts here!
ASOS has a great selection of 5” and 7” shorts. They’ve got a ton of crap, so you really need to sort through all of it to find the gems, but they’re there. A quick note on shopping fast fashion sites like ASOS and Zara: do your part by making sure you’re really going to get good use out of the items. These companies make stuff that’s really trendy and it’s easy to go and buy a bunch of things that’ll get used in one Instagram photo and then disposed of, but it’s not great for the environment and tends to result in a lot of waste. Click here to shop ASOS.
10 Thousand Gear is an athletic shorts company that is new to us, but we’re already in love. They’ve got great 5” and 7” shorts with liners and pockets that are sturdy while still giving complete range of motion during our workouts. They gave us a promo code ‘PROBABLYTHIS’ to use for 20% off, which is pretty dope. We got the foundation short in black, the interval short in light grey, and the session short in black 5”.
American Eagle has a 6” khaki short that comes in a super wide range of colors and patterns. These are like, the quintessential summer short that will always be in style. At a price of $45, we’d say they’re a great investment. Shop the shorts here!
Nordstrom has a great and varied selection of shorts at the 7” and 5” mark. They’re a great starting spot to see a bunch of different options and styles, and to go from there! Click here to shop Nordstrom.
Banana Republic has a cotton/poly blend 7” short that is a bit classy and could work for a brunch look or anyone going for a preppy golf vibe. While we don’t usually go for cotton/poly blend shorts, we’ve been wearing these a good bit recently and love how sleek and crisp they are. Shop the shorts here.
Make Your Own Cut-Offs
This is probably pretty obvious, but you can literally make your own cut-offs by just…cutting off the legs of jeans (or even just other pairs of shorts that are too long). Our tips here are simple:
Use your favorite pair of shorts as your template! Start with establishing what inseam is best for you by finding a pair of shorts that fit the way you like before making your own cut-offs.
Take a pair of slim-fit jeans you’re ready to part with (or go thrifting for a pair that would make excellent shorts) and place your favorite pair of shorts on top of the jeans. Use a pen to mark where to cut, so that the cut-offs will match the length of the shorts.
Use some super sharp scissors, and cut the jeans! Make sure to keep the line as clean as possible, but it’s pretty easy to adjust for any jagged edges.
We’ve done this a few times, and find it’s a great way to repurpose old jeans. We do recommend using slim fit or skinny jeans, as cutting the shorts will loosen the fibers and can cause them to flare out a tiny bit. By using slim fit / skinny jeans, you’re ensuring you don’t have shorts that flare out a bunch.
And that’s that! If you try out any of the shorts let us know, or let us know where you shop for your favorite pair of shorts below ;)
xoxo Beau (& Matt!)