The best denim shorts for spring


Last year I made a round of three Jean Shorts and they absolutely loved them. But this year I decided to go stronger,as I do.I tried on 11 different pairs and I’m breaking them down below! I’ll be honest, there are plenty of high-rise buildings out there because that’s just what’s in store right now, but not all high-rise buildings are created equal, so be sure to read the descriptions under each pair. I also included a cutout and swag photo for each. Bonus points if you can see where I have a brief lol.

PS: Many of these options are included inShopbop Sale event, I have listed them from various retailers below but wanted you to check them out on Shopbop first to get the discount!

Just for reference, I’m 5’9″ and about a size 6 or 28 in Denim. Do what you want with this information.

Best Daily Couple

size up for a relaxed fit
soft vintage touch

I’d say if you’re looking for a less high-rise pair, give these a shot. They are definitely high rise (11.5″ tall) but they fit relaxed so they don’t feel super confining like your typical high rise. In fact, I was surprised to find that they were so long in height because I consideRed them to be medium height. But I have a weird long TOP, so good luck finding my belly button.

I’m wearing 29 in vintage Parker Shorts. Size up on these (but you don’t have to!) because I like them baggy. I tried the 28 of this pair but they were too Short for me. They did fit at my waist, but were too daring for my personal preference. If you want a looser fit then size one up!

Find them at Shopbop.

Find them at Nordstrom.

Find them at Verishop.

Find them at Revolv.

Best Relaxed Fit

relaxed fit
true to size
thighs relaxed
4.25″ inseam

If you’ve tried Parker’s vintage Shorts, but they’re a little Short for your liking, try the Reese cut! They sit a little tighter in the hips/waist and are a true high rise fit (they keep everything tucked in!) I like the longer length and the thighs seem to be more relaxed in this pair compaRed to the Parker.

I’m at 28 in the Shorts here they fit true to size. I find that Agolde relaxes while you wear them. I wouldn’t say a full size, but they definitely have a nice worn-in feel, especially if you don’t wash them a lot.

Find them at Bloomingdales.

Find them at Shopbop.

Find them at Anthropologie.

Best White Denim Shorts

less than $40
true to size
worn hem

I tried this pair a few weeks ago and really loved them. Unfortunately, I heard the reviews saying to go up a size at least 2 sizes and got a 30. No ma’am. These shorts have a generous fit AND plenty of stretch. Think stretchy Denim fabric for these. The only reason I would suggest sizing up is for the length because they are quite short. I decided on a 29 for the length and leg openings,but the waist is a bit loose.

A good quality, too. They are not see-through, which is a blessing for any White jean. Plus, this pair is a great mid-rise fit too! Click below for more color options besides white if you’re looking for a mid-rise option.

Find them on Amazon.

Best Distressed

true to size

This is a pair I bought two Summers ago and I LOVED it so much I bought it again this year. (I have lost some weight so needed to size down otherwise the other pair is still in great shape. This pair washes well and wears well. The worn loosens but stays intact.) This pair is definitely daring, at least for me. . The harrowing is pretty dramatic, but they are so unique that I love them. Ridden Denim is heavier denim that molds to your shape and wears down more as you wear it. They really age well, which is a huge plus.

The fit is true to size! They are high waisted, reaching just below my belly button. I’m at 6 here.

Find them on Shopbop here.

Find them at Nordstrom here.

Find them at Good American here.

Best Budget Search

less than $40
size one for a truer fit
a little distressed

These are the O.G. high-waisted dress from Old Navy. shorts and I was really surprised at how well they do. I find Jean Shorts a hit or miss in Old Navy, but these slipped like a glove. They fit great, I got to a size 8 and they fit me perfectly. The inseam is 3″ and it doesn’t feel too short and it covers the booty which is really nice. They are slightly worn but no major holes! It appears that the denim will also soften with washing and wear.

Find them from Old Navy here.

Best Mommy Denim Shorts

extreme high altitude
good loot coverage
old look
always has snacks in her bag

If you’re here for the ’90s revival, then this is the pair for you. Mom jean but make it short. This is the classic mom jean cut: slimmer waist, high rise, and wider legs. This cut also rounds out your hips and booty. I really like this pair because they are comfortable if you like high rise and let me tell you the rise of these is a real hit. I mean look at that Zipper, they had to borrow this one from a sleeping bag, it’s so long.

In other words, if you don’t like overly dramatic skyscrapers, don’t apply. These are the highest shots I have ever put on my body and I love them. I’m at 28 I’d say true to size and they will stretch with use! The length is a little shorter on the sides, but I felt quite comfortable with the booty coverage. Madewell denim true to size.

Find them from Madewell here.

Best Skyscraper

nice crotch
less than $100

I should say the best (not even your boobies) high altitude. If you want that, check out the aforementioned pair of mom Jeans.

To my friends who love skyscrapers,I love this pair from J.Crew. They are a great price, I love the medium Blue shade and the high rise holds everything. I put them on and they felt like a pair I’d had for years. They fit perfectly right out of the bag. They have stretch in them so they fit tighter through the thighs and hips. I don’t anticipate this pair getting much stretch with wear. I’m at 28 here, I suggest true to size!

I also feel like these are just a classic look for jean shorts. They’re not too tight, they’re not too frayed, and the length is just right.

Find them from J.Crew here.

The best option for thick thighs

generous fit
frayed hem
thighs relaxed

The number one question I get when posting shorts on IG is, ‘Will these work for thicker thighs? I completely understand this question, as I am somewhere in the middle. I have more athletic thighs, so when the shorts are super tight on me, it takes the whole vibe out of me, you know? If you hate thigh-hugging shorts too, then this is the pair for you. This pair is from LOFT and has a nice relaxed fit through the waist and thighs. It’s the kind of short you want to wear all Summer. The fit is generous but I’m on a 6 so I’ll say true to size. If you are between sizes you can go down a size or just wait for a relaxed fit.

Find Loft shorts here.

Best Classic Cut

true to size
shorter inseam

It’s a giveaway between Madewell and Agolde denim for my favorite brand of shorts. Both wash and wear very well and the fits are always reliable. This pair from Madewell is probably the shortest pair I own (so outrageous) so look defiantly at the inseam and length here. They fit relaxed but run true to size, I’m at 28. Because they are 100% cotton they have no stretch, however they will stretch with wear and wash back to size.

Find them from Madewell here.

Find them from Nordstrom here.

Best medium long couple

Last year, the Bermuda shorts trend was trying to get out the door to see if it was safe to come back out. We slam the door in his face real quick. HOWEVER, I respect a shorter length. Not to the knees because it’s a lot of fabric not to be a full jean, but I can make it to mid-thigh. I was pleasantly surprised by this pair of Levi’s (I decided to go with a tried and true brand that I like for this trend). They fit exactly like the 501 if you’re familiar with that fit: a structuRed, high-rise, flat-back jean. , if we are honest. So keep that in mind for this pair of shorts.

For fit, I went down to a size 29. I learned my lesson in Levi’s shorts and lesson. SIZE UP. They fit tighter than jeans at the waist, or at least they fit me.

Find them from Shopbop here.

Best Opinion Unpopular

paper bag waist
high waist
relaxed fit
I’m not here to make friends

I saved this pair for last because I know you’re going to hate them. *nervous laugh*We can divide the population into two unequal groups: those who like a paper bag waist and those who want to immediately throw it away. I’m obviously a fan even though I don’t have a very defined waist, so a paper bag waist is like putting a rubber band around an apple. But they are comfortable and I feel like a 90s mom in a Summer camp setting. Get me a visor and a banana clip,I go places.

I’m in the middle, but they are a very generous fit. You could easily size down to a small in these as they are very generous in the waist. I would say if you are an 8/10 the medium will look great on you! I mean, about as good as a paper bag waistband is going to fit. HAHAHA. Why do I love this trend? I will never know. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Find them here at Nordstrom.

Find them here at Shopbop.