How Should Your Shorts Fit?

April 07, 2022 5 min read

How Should Your Shorts Fit?

Do you need help determining how your shorts should fit or recommendations for stylish shorts to add to your wardrobe this summer? If so, this ultimate guide to men’s shorts is for you. We’ll explore men’s shorts lengths, shorts to wear for different occasions and popular styles of men’s shorts to invest in this summer. Let’s dive in!

Choosing Shorts for Your Height

The primary rule of the men’s shorts length guide is to choose the length of your shorts according to your height. Like pants, you measure men’s shorts by their inseam. The typical inseam lengths are 5, 7, 9 and 11 inches. If your height is average or on the shorter side, you’ll want to avoid a longer inseam to keep your shorts from falling below your knees. If you’re under 6 feet tall, you may want to stick to the 5 to 7-inch inseam range.

On the other hand, taller guys can opt for longer inseam lengths to accommodate long legs. If you’re over 6 feet tall, 9-11 inches may be a more ideal inseam length. However, the only foolproof way to determine which inseam length best fits your height is to try on shorts with varying inseam lengths. Test out a few pairs to find the sweet spot for the length of your shorts.

Whatever your height, you’ll also want to make sure your shorts don’t come too far up. Too-short shorts can be unflattering or even indecent — it’s best to stick to shorts at least 5 inches long.

Choosing Shorts for Your Body Type

Try to choose shorts that flatter your body type, especially your legs. A good rule of thumb is that the thicker your thighs are, the longer and wider your shorts should be. A pair of shorts shouldn’t feel tight against your skin — when trying them on, make sure they allow some extra space between your shorts and legs to wear them comfortably. If you find that shorts tend to fit snugly around your thighs, big and tall shorts offer a better and more comfortable fit.

You'll probably want to choose a slimmer cut if you have a thinner build and smaller legs, as overly baggy shorts can make your legs and torso appear disproportionate. Once again, remember to leave a little extra room between your legs and shorts so they aren’t too tight. Even slimmer shorts should offer a healthy medium between snug and loose-fitting.

Shorts for Every Occasion

When choosing shorts, remember to dress for the occasion. Here are some common shorts-appropriate settings and events and some recommended styles for each one:

  • A beach or pool day: Spending the day at the pool or hitting the beach? A pair of swimming trunks or board shorts are ideal for swimming.
  • A casual party or cookout: Whether you’re enjoying a summer evening with friends, attending a backyard party or hosting a cookout, you have a variety of casual shorts styles to choose from. A pair of denim shorts, chino shorts, Bermuda shorts or cargo shorts are all appropriate choices for these settings.
  • A sports game: If you’re going to a sports game where you plan to sit for long stretches, you’ll likely want a stretchy, comfortable material. Consider a pair of chino shorts or athletic shorts for this type of setting.
  • A run or workout session: For a high-intensity run or workout session at the gym, choose a stretchy pair of athletic shorts that allow easy movement. Throw on a pair of running shorts or basketball shorts before starting your workout.

It’s also just as important to be aware of settings where shorts are less appropriate attire. For example, you should generally avoid wearing shorts in business settings, professional meetings and job interviews. While some casual workplaces may allow shorts, most workplaces will expect you to dress in business casual attire, so it’s best to opt for a pair of trousers or khakis instead.

Popular Short Styles

5 Popular Shorts Styles

Trendy men’s shorts are essential for dressing well this summer. This section will look at five popular men’s shorts styles you might consider adding to your wardrobe.

1. Chino Shorts

Chino shorts are soft, lightweight men’s shorts typically made from cotton. Since they come in many colors, lengths and designs, they can accommodate a variety of spring and summer outfits.

Try pairing khaki, black or navy chino shorts with a polo shirt or short-sleeved button-up for a slightly more formal outfit. A pair of comfy loafers or boat shoes can complete this look nicely. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more casual, a T-shirt with some sneakers or sandals go wonderfully with chino shorts.

2. Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda shorts, also known as “dress shorts” or “walking shorts,” are a semi-casual style of shorts. Like chino shorts, they come in an array of patterns and colors to add to your wardrobe.

You can pair Bermuda shorts with a variety of shirts such as V-neck or crewneck T-shirts, polos or button-downs. Try pairing them with a floral button-down or Hawaiian shirt and some sandals for a summery look.

3. Denim Shorts

Denim is easily the most versatile fabric for both pants and shorts. You can pair this material with various colors, shirts and shoes to create any desired look.

Whatever the look or style you want to convey, there’s always room for denim shorts in your everyday wardrobe. You can match these shorts with any style or color shirt you wear, offering you endless variety. 

4. Cargo Shorts

Cargo shorts have a slightly bulkier style and flared pockets. They typically come in camouflage or neutral colors such as tan, brown and gray.

You can create an everyday look with a pair of cargo shorts, a casual T-shirt and some sneakers. However, you can also dress up your outfit by pairing your cargo shorts with a button-down shirt and a pair of boat shoes.

5. Athletic Shorts

A pair of mesh or sweat athletic shorts is an essential addition to your wardrobe. Pair some running or basketball shorts with sneakers and a cotton or nylon T-shirt or tank top for a comfortable workout. In addition to a run or workout session at the gym, this outfit can also be a comfortable option for other casual settings.

Shop Men's Pants and Shorts at Penner's

Shop Men’s Pants and Shorts Online at Penner’s

Whatever warm-weather look you want to achieve this season, Penner’s can help you find the right pair of pants or shorts to accompany your outfit. Whether you’re looking for classic denim, trendy khakis or some soft wool or linen pants, we have the perfect pair to accent your style. Visit our website to browse our selection of men’s bottoms at Penner’s!