From Stone Cold Steve Austin to John Cena, jean shorts have long been the reliable go-to for a plethora of questionably-dressed WWE wrestlers. Which is probably why they’ve faced such sartorial backlash over the years. That, and they’re a long-time favorite of middle-aged suburban dads and burly construction workers.
But hear us out… Despite their unfair reputation, the best jorts (that’s jean shorts, by the way) are certainly nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they’re ideal for adding a little edge to casual attire, whether you’re at a barbecue, brunch, or bar. Pick the right pair, wear them correctly, and you’ve got yourself a summer essential you can definitely put on with pride.
Keep reading for our selection of must-have designs from brands including Levi’s, Prada, and Ralph Lauren. We’ve handpicked the best of the best and chosen styles for every budget—so no one will go without.
Our Top Picks
About as classic as they come, Frank And Oak’s best jorts are the perfect choice for anyone new to the world of denim shorts. As versatile as they are stylish, they’re slim enough to be considered smart-casual but work just as well if you’re keeping things relaxed.
Produced in a timeless light blue wash, they use recycled fabrics and a hint of stretch for comfort—so you can wear them all day without feeling restricted. Team yours with everything from button-down shirts to band tees and crew neck sweaters, while a pair of Chuck Taylors will ensure you never put a foot wrong.
Material: 79% Cotton, 20% Recycled Cotton, 1% Elastane | Sizes Available: 28”-38” | Colors Available: Light Blue
Are these men’s jorts bringing back memories? No, they’re not actually the pair your dad used to wear while tending the barbecue, but they look pretty similar, right? Inspired by classic 90s styles, they’re cut to a loose fit from 100% cotton. The medium wash offers a versatile shade that’ll team with pretty much anything, but you can’t go wrong with a long-sleeved T-shirt and retro sneakers.
Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Recycled Cotton | Sizes Available: 28”-42” | Colors Available: Blue
Who would have thought it? Cargo shorts aren’t just back, they’re actually kind of essential now. Coming in all shapes, sizes, and styles, there’s something for everyone. Wrangler’s best jorts are here to prove that. They offer 13 different colorways in case you want a variety to go with your denim.
The perfectly sized pockets are an excellent option for weekend escapades, especially when you want to keep baggage to a minimum). They’ll feel right at home with a printed tee and flannel shirt. Perfect.
Material: 70% Cotton, 16.7% Polyester, 13.3% Other | Sizes Available: 30”-42” | Colors Available: Blue, Black
If you’re looking for ultimate versatility, we’ve found you the best jorts. Nudie’s ‘Josh’ shorts are the sort of thigh-skimmer guaranteed to impress your friends. Since vintage black is so classically understated, you can wear them with just about anything. We suggest teaming yours with a patterned shirt on your next vacation or with an oversized tee at the weekend.
Material: 100% Organic Cotton | Sizes Available: 30”-38” | Colors Available: Black, Blue
A favorite of 90s and 00s hip-hop stars, baggy denim shorts are somewhat of an acquired taste—but that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to rock your own. Simply ensure the rest of your outfit follows a similar silhouette, and you’ll be the talk of the town (for all the right reasons). This pair from Levi’s is our top pick.
These best jorts may look like they’ve been chucked into a NutriBullet, but trust us, distressed denim is all the rage. The eco-friendly cotton isn’t the only benefit of these worn-in jorts. These aren’t mass-produced by machines—meaning you’ll never find another guy with the same pair. We think they’re ideal for festivals and summer yard parties, so we’re teaming ours with a crisp white tee and low-top Chuck Taylors.
Material: 80% Recycled Cotton, 20% Organic Cotton | Sizes Available: 27”-38” | Colors Available: Light Blue
Who wears short shorts? That’ll be you… Well, that’s if you decide to invest in this pair from Polo Ralph Lauren. They’re sort of a mix between your favorite pair of swim shorts and the best jorts. Perfect for a summer vacation and city breaks, they’ll look just as good with a striped Breton shirt as they will with a button-down Oxford.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: XS-XXL | Colors Available: Blue
Light wash denim shorts are about as classic as it gets. A must-have in every summer collection, they’re a versatile option that’ll ensure you’re stylishly dressed for backyard parties, festivals, and trips to the beach. This pair from H&M are a real steal, so we suggest investing in the other colors too. Keep them casual with a relaxed-fit tee and sandals.
Material: 99% Cotton, Spandex 1% | Sizes Available: 28”-42” | Colors Available: Light Blue, Blue, Black
Prada’s denim Bermudas won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re the ideal statement piece if you want to stand out. The washed effect provides a vintage look that will always be in style, while the subtle distressed detailing gives them the kind of care-free attitude only the sharpest of dressers possess. For a truly catwalk-worthy look, try wearing yours with socks, sandals, and an oversized shirt.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 28”-42” | Colors Available: Blue
DIY are sometimes the best jorts and are a popular choice for anyone with a bit of spare time, patience, and a pair of scissors. But if you don’t trust your snipping skills, Old Navy’s cut-off denim shorts are an excellent alternative. The comfortable, carefree look perfectly complements a band tee and New Balance sneakers.
Material: 94% Cotton, 5% Recycled Cotton, 1% Spandex | Sizes Available: 28”-54” | Colors Available: Light Blue
What to Look For When Searching For The Best Jorts
When it comes to finding the right short length, two inches above the knee is the standard rule. However, that’s become somewhat outdated, so simply choose a length you’re comfortable with. It can also be helpful to dress for the weather or occasion. In reality, what you like (or require) can change day-to-day, so give yourself options by investing in a few different pairs.
The best jorts are available in a range of styles, many of which are included in this guide. The one you choose will come down to your own personal style and where you intend to wear them. Classic, mid-length jorts tend to come across as the smarter choice, while distressed or baggier options look more casual. Trust your instincts, and go with what you think is most suitable.
The first thing you should ask yourself when choosing a pair of men’s jorts—or any piece of clothing, for that matter—is how well they suit the proportions of your legs. It’s important to be honest here but not critical. Every body shape is different, so find what looks best on you.
Once your appraisal is complete, the conclusion should be fairly obvious. For example: if you’ve got muscular thighs, slim-fit jorts are probably going to be too tight. If you’re short, you’ll want a pair that finishes above the knee.
Simply put, jorts are a portmanteau for jean shorts. Jeans + shorts = jorts. You may also see them being referred to as denim shorts. A classic summer staple, they can either be purchased that way or made by cutting the legs off a pair of jeans.
A versatile addition to any wardrobe, jorts are a great choice for smart-casual ensembles. They can be teamed with a wide variety of styles—many of which you’ll already have in your own collection.
They’ll look awesome with sandals on your next summer getaway, while a graphic tee, jorts, and high-top Chucks make up the perfect festival outfit. For something suitable for every day, we suggest wearing yours with a plain T-shirt and chunky white sneakers.
Because they’re so versatile, there’s really no wrong or right way to wear jean shorts. How you style them will depend on personal choice. However, it’s worth noting that some styles are smarter than others. So take this into consideration when putting together your outfits.
For example, if your jorts are frayed at the edge, you’ll want to pair them with casual pieces such as oversized tees and sneakers. Otherwise, you may wish to turn them up for a smarter look with short-sleeved shirts and plain tees. But to avoid looking like your dad, don’t tuck your shirt in.