As I talk about all the time at WERD—and I mean all the time–a guy’s style rotation should have options aplenty, but not, well, too many options.
Personally, I try my best to curate a wardrobe that works for me – going for quality over quantity, even when dressing casually. That means making the right picks carefully so that you’re covered in every situation–literally and figuratively–and it also means “stepping things up” even when you don’t necessarily have to do so.
For example: A day spent at home, either on a WFH day or a casual weekend with the family. It’s OK to throw on just about anything, right? Not exactly. As I learned during many WFH days, it pays to dress just a bit better than normal – as in, trading in athletic shorts for a pair of the best lounge shorts.
Lounge shorts are made to be worn super casually, of course–it’s right in the name, after all– but more than that, the right pair of lounge shorts can act as a solid style move for off-duty weekend outings, even outside of the house.
And unlike a pair of baggy shorts from your college days, you’re going to feel better and look better while wearing them – style is all about the details, as I always say.
Still with me? The best lounge shorts can certainly be worn outside the house, especially if they’re made from breezy, comfortable fabric in a nicely tailored (but not overly tight!) fit.
You’re getting the best of both worlds, with details that often include a comfortable drawstring waistband and plentiful pockets, but with the same style you might find in a pair of stretch chino shorts.
Sure, you can’t quite dress up lounge shorts, but you can assuredly rock your favorite pair with a slub pocket tee and canvas sneakers for plentiful, casual warm-weather pursuits. That combination is one of my favorite summer style moves, and hopefully, you feel the same way. These picks will amp up your off-duty style in a major way.
While some lounge shorts blend laidback details like a drawstring waistband with the classic construction of dressier shorts (like cotton twill fabric), others fully embrace comfort in the best way possible.
Take Nice Laundry’s fan-favorite lounge shorts. Stretch nylon fabric provides a touch of performance-minded comfort, while a Micromodal interior fabric is super-soft to the touch.
They’ve drawn rave reviews for the liner and the fabric itself, and the affordable price also makes them a standout style move.
It’s not quite enough these days to make gear that looks great – a men’s casual clothing brand has to have a purpose, and Outerknown definitely has a purpose (beyond merely crafting some of the best lounge shorts, that is).
That means the brand uses fabrics like organic cotton and recycled polyester to craft these ultra-soft lounge shorts, giving back to the environment and improving your wardrobe in the process.
The oversized front patch pockets deliver crucial EDC storage space, but it’s the soft, towel-like fabric that makes these a real winning move.
Todd Snyder is a master when it comes to all manner of menswear essentials, particularly tailored wear and classy picks like polos and sweaters, but he’s got the rest of your wardrobe squared away, too.
Take the aptly named Weekend Shorts. It’s the stretch twill cotton blend fabric that gives them more polish than your average pair of lounge shorts, and the garment-dyed fabric is a visually interesting touch, too. Available in a 5 or 7-inch inseam which works well on guys of most heights and body types.
Remember what I said about stepping up your wardrobe in as many ways as possible? Vuori makes it easy to upgrade your off-duty dressing, and the difference really is in the details. I’m a big fan of Vuori’s durable, high-performing athletic gear, and here’s a secret.
The same moisture-wicking, super-soft material that goes into its athletic shorts and T-shirts is found in these lounge shorts. I approve of the design, the soft stretch and the endless wearability in easygoing style situations, like a weekend coffee run or a park stroll.
Think of your old college athletic logo shorts, and then forget everything you knew about ‘em, because Vuori’s DreamKnit fabric blend truly is next-level in terms of quality and comfort.
The basics aren’t so basic when crafted by Taylor Stitch, and that even holds true for your off-duty lounge shorts.
A textured waffle weave fabric is both visually appealing and soft to the touch, with a light-wash finish for all-day comfort on your lower half.
The thick elastic waistband offers both room to move and a secure fit – it shouldn’t bunch or ride up.
Plus, these feature front slash pockets and back patch button pockets (just like any pair of chino shorts), all with your everyday carry in mind. Add a Taylor Stitch pocket tee and canvas kicks for all-day fun in the summer sun.
Fair Harbor might have launched with a razor-sharp focus on swimwear and sustainability, but the company has grown quickly while sticking to its core values: Stylish, laidback clothing that’s polished–and yet still supremely comfortable.
Make no mistake, I’m a huge fan of the brand’s colorful, durable and yet soft swimwear, so it’s a thrill to see them expand into stylish loungewear.
The aptly named One Shorts hit all the right notes in terms of comfort, good looks and all-day wearability– those are three keys I look for even in my off-duty wardrobe. In fact, you might even say they could be the only ones you need in terms of the best lounge shorts.
The best lounge shorts tend to simplify your wardrobe – don’t reach for a pair of baggy athletic shorts the next time you want lightweight summer comfort.
Instead, opt for a soft cotton jersey pair with a drawstring waistband – as a matter of fact, these lounge shorts from Amazon’s in-house Essentials brand are so affordable, you can pick up multiple pairs to get you through your next WFH week. Plus, there are plentiful color options to suit every style.
Summer style savings and summer fun in the sun – what could be better? L.L. Bean gives you easy access to both by way of these durable-yet-comfortable cotton twill shorts, which feature a modern 6-inch inseam and an easy-on cotton drawstring waistband.
These are the kind of shorts practically designed for lazy days at the dock or on the water, cold beer in hand, and they come in a wide range of classic colors. The next time you pack up your weekender bag, make sure a pair or two of L.L. Bean’s Dock Shorts are included.
The best lounge shorts are made to nail easygoing style, sure, but that doesn’t mean they have to lean too hard into athletic short vibes–you’re going to want to wear them in regular style situations aside from the gym, too.
I look for shorts made with classic fabrics like cotton or cotton twill, often with a bit of a garment-dyed finish, and these shorts fit the bill quite nicely. Plus, the color is classic and versatile.
Five Four’s cotton-spandex blend shorts give you the polish of regular chino shorts, and the comfort and stretch of lounge shorts, and they do so at a shockingly low price.
The brand frequently draws inspiration from old-school military styles, and this double-sided, cotton-mesh blend pair is both a perfect throwback homage and a fresh, modern pair to buy now. The ribbed, elastic waist won’t bunch or ride up, and a zip back pocket is a handy touch, too.