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The 9 Best Jean Shorts for Men to Buy in 2021

As much as we love denim of all sorts, something’s got to give when the thermostat climbs ever higher. Enter the best jean shorts, an on-trend way to get much of what you love about your favorite pair of jeans, all without putting too much strain on your legs in the summer heat. Don’t get us wrong: We’re not quite talking about the jean shorts your dad fashioned decades ago out of a beat-up pair of denim.

The best jean shorts for men are ready-made by clothing brands that often specialize in making regular denim, so you know you can count on quality and comfort. Much like your favorite pairs of jeans, denim shorts come in a variety of washes and cuts, most of which fall on the shorter side (think a 5-inch inseam versus 3-inch inseam).

That last point is key: The best jean shorts should follow the same trends as other shorts in your wardrobe, and this year, we say let your thighs breathe a little bit. Look for shorts with a 7-inch inseam, a 5-inch inseam, or (gasp) even shorter than that. Not sure where to start? These are our picks for the best denim shorts for men.

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Best Overall Jean Shorts: Scotch & Soda Ralston Slim-Fit Jean Shorts

Turn toward a brand you can trust (we love Scotch & Soda denim, after all) for your new favorite pair of jean shorts. These trim jean shorts use stretch cotton denim in a summer-friendly light wash. The cut also mimics that of your favorite chino shorts, but with a more casual look and feel. Talk about a great way to dip your toes into the world of jean shorts.

Best Stretch Jean Shorts: Express Medium Wash Hyper Stretch Denim Shorts

When looking for denim shorts, it’s best to keep comfort in mind, just as when shopping for your favorite pair of jeans. Luckily, Express makes jean shorts much the same way it makes the brand’s slim denim, and in this case, that means a ton of stretch, a cut that hits well above the knee, and a wash that’s distinctive and casually cool.

Best Dark Wash Jean Shorts: Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Hemmed Shorts

Levi’s has plenty of expertise when it comes to making jean shorts that are classic yet fresh, and that means they’ve turned the brand’s iconic 511 slim-fit jeans into a standout pair of jean shorts. Wear these with everything from a tank top and sandals to a fresh white T-shirt and high-top sneakers.

Best Retro Jean Shorts: Urban Renewal Levi’s 501 Cutoff Denim Shorts

These jean shorts check all the right boxes, starting with the retro and yet surprisingly on-trend 5-inch inseam length for a bit of throwback style. The cut-off hem is just like your dad would’ve worn ’em, and the lightest of light washes isn’t half-bad, either. Wear these on your next cabin weekend getaway, and you’ll channel the same retro-cool style as pops did.

Other Jean Shorts We Love 

Bearbottom Clothing Stretch Denim Shorts

These might be the most comfortable jean shorts on the market, with its light, soft acid wash finish and the elastic waistband. They’re a perfect casual style move to wear as you sip on your favorite summer beer through plenty of seasonal getaways in the sun (sunglasses and tee sold separately).

ASOS Design Slim Denim Shorts in Indigo

ASOS Denim Shorts
ASOS

ASOS specializes in fashion-forward staples that won’t break the bank, and right now, there’s not a pair of shorts more on-trend and ideal for summer than the right pair of jean shorts. We love the deep indigo color of this slim-fitting pair.

Lucky Athletic Denim Shorts

Lucky Athletic Shorts
Lucky Brand

These stretch denim shorts are made for the guy who values casual style on the go, and that means you can wear them for every summer barbecue or casual afternoon hangout without a care in the world. The light wash is a cool throwback touch, like so many of our favorite jean shorts on this list.

boohooMAN Skinny Stretch Jean Shorts

Boohooman Stretch Jean Shorts
Boohooman

Want to show off your work on the squat rack this summer? Look no further than these fashionably cut jean shorts in a neat acid wash, all the better to wear on laid-back weekends and to bonfires, time and time again.

BDG Denim Volley Shorts

Perhaps the best pair of jean shorts is the pair that you can throw on at a moment’s notice and wear from day to night. These denim volley shorts from BDG are built for comfort and movement, ideal for anything summer throws your way (just don’t forget to stock the cooler and pack up sunscreen).

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