Last Updated on 5 June 2020 by Marie Davis
The right pair of men’s casual chino shorts are the perfect wardrobe staple for spring and summer since they are so versatile that you can wear them with anything in almost any kind of situation in the warmer months. The best men’s shorts are those that are comfortable, have a little bit of flex in the fabric, and that looks good. Designs these days come in a wide range of fits from slim fit to the more traditional relaxed classic fit. They also come in multiple lengths from long inseams that hit below the knees to breezy shorter styles for the hottest days. The fabrics have also been updated with the heavyweight twill long gone and replaced with lightweight, breathable fabrics made with added stretch for comfort that is easy to move in. The modern short also comes in a huge variety of colors and washes to satisfy the most fashion-forward, Read on if you are interested in finding some of the best all-around chino shorts options.
J Crew Chino Shorts
J Crew is known for making some of the best men’s short going. Their styles look fantastic, are of high quality, and are a good fit for most body types. They can be a bit pricey, but you can usually find some good options at J Crew Factory that make them a little bit more affordable. The J Crew styles tend to come in a wide array of color options, have a classic fit, and hold up well to wear. They also come in a few different inseam lengths from 6″ to 10.5″, so there are a lot of different options depending on where you like the hem to fall. A few other notable features include: deep pockets, soft, flexible fabrics, and some styles also have slight padding around the waistband that makes them extra comfortable.
Available from J Crew and J Crew Factory
Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Stretch Classic-Fit 9.5″ Shorts
Another excellent option is the Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Fit that has been updated with extra stretch, so they are now more comfortable to wear. This style sits at the natural waist and has a slightly loose fit through the legs. It has two regular-sized deep front angled pockets along with a right hip coin pocket and two buttoned back pockets. If you are into logos, it does have the Polo embroidered pony just above the back right pocket. The added stretch to the fabric makes these an excellent fit for most body types. The 9.5 ” inseam length is also suitable for average body sizes, usually falling just a little bit above the knee on most men. This design is known for being high quality and very durable so it will stand up well to regular wear and washing.
Available from RalphLauren.com
Gap Vintage Wash Shorts with GapFlex
The Gap Vintage Wash Shorts with GapFlex are another super comfy option that has a little bit of flexibility in the fabric for extra comfort. GapFlex technology also helps to achieve a perfect fit. This design comes in 7, 10, 11 or 12-inch inseam lengths (the one pictured is 10″), so you have a nice variety of options to choose from depending on your height and how much leg you like to show. The color options are also really fashionable and change slightly from year to year. They have all the features you would expect in a quality chino, including a somewhat stretchy waistband, zipper fly with button closure, as well as front slant and coin pockets, and back welt pockets. The fabric does have a vintage, worn-in look to it, which makes it a much more casual option and doesn’t work as well for dressier situations.
Available from Gap.com
L.L Bean Wrinkle-Free Double L® Chino Shorts
For those who have no interest in ironing their clothes, you are going to want to check out the L.L Bean Wrinkle-Free Double L®. You can wear them right out of the dryer, and they maintain the front crease well over time. They have an 8″ inseam so they may be a tad short for some men who like the hem to hit closer to the knee. The key feature of this design is the expandable comfort band with hidden elastic panels. Men love this feature because it means you can go up or down in weight and have no trouble getting a comfortable fit. The fabric is a soft 100% cotton but doesn’t have any stretch which has become so popular in different types of pants over the last few years. The pockets are nice and deep, so you don’t have to worry about losing your possessions. The combined features of not needing to be ironed, the hidden comfort waist, and the look and feel of the short all add to the popularity of this style.
Available from L.L Bean
Bonobos Stretch Washed Chino Shorts
Bonobos is one of the best places to get great fitting regular chino pants, so it is no surprise that they also have excellent shorts. They have a few different options, including tech chino that repels water, stretch washed shorts, and standard oxford chinos, which are all well worth a look. Bonobos are known for providing a perfect fit on their pants due to the full range of sizing options they offer. Their styles come in inseam lengths from 5,7,9 or 11 inches with waistband sizing from 28″ to 40 inches in a slim or standard. They are a little pricey, but the quality is very high.
Available from Bonobos.com
Lululemon Commission Short
If you are looking for a slightly more modern take on the chino, the Lululemon Commission Short is one option you may want to consider. They are quite a slim fit, and they are made from the DWR-treated water-repellent, breathable, and stretchy fabric that Lululemon uses in a lot of their garments. The Inseam is 9 inches, which means on most men it will fall above the knee. They aren’t cheap but are a great option if you are active and want a smart-looking style that is super stretchy and functional. It has plenty of pockets, some of which are nice and deep, which makes them great for travel, so nothing falls out or feels uncomfortable. The other feature to be aware of is that they have excellent ventilation to keep you cool on those hot summer days.
Available from Lululemon
Everlane The Midweight Chino
Everlane has a few chinos options in with either a 7″ or a 9″ inseam. Their original design was the Midweight Chino which is the same type of fabric as their popular chinos pant, but they now have lighter and performance options that may work better in hotter weather as far as comfort and breathability go. Most of the Everlane shorts have a little bit of stretch to them, so they fit well and allow for a good range of motion. All of the colors look great and will work well with lots of different types of shirts.
Available from Everlane
American Eagle Khaki Shorts
If you love the comfort of a chino but don’t love the classic formal look to some of the options, you may want to check out the American Eagle Khaki Shorts. They are a little more casual and suitable for a more relaxed look. The length hits just above the knee, and the fit is relatively loose. AE is known for the stretch of the fabrics that they use in their pants and jeans, and these shorts also have the Ne(X)t Level Stretch fabric that is so comfy and popular. There is a slight bagginess to them, making them all the more comfortable.
Available from AE.com
Uniqlo Men Chino Short
A comfortable, casual option that won’t break the bank is the Uniqlo Men Chino Short. People who own this style remark on the high quality for the low price. They are a pretty casual option with a slightly worn-in look to them, that is also said to be very comfortable and durable. They come in a range of pastel colors as well as all of the standard color options you could need. The inseam is 9.5 inches, so it is a good average length.
Available from Uniqlo
Dockers Straight Fit Chino Smart 360 Flex Shorts D2
You can’t do a post about chinos without including at least one Dockers option. The Dockers of today are a far cry from the Docker of previous decades. Dockers use all of the latest lightweight and stretch materials and offer a wide variety of designs that are slim fit and very modern. One of their best options is the Dockers Straight Fit Chino Smart 360 Flex that is known for being comfy, durable, relaxed(but not baggy), and versatile enough to go from casual, to sporty to dressy with a change of shirt. Men who own this style say they are flexible, fit well, look great, and are well made. The stretch in the fabric makes them comfy and easy to move in them but do not lose their shape after wearing them for a while.
Available from JC Penny
Vineyard Vines 9 Inch Stretch Breaker
If you are looking for classic American chinos made for summertime by the water, look no further than Vineyard Vines. This brand offers some beautiful, versatile men’s styles in tonnes of colors. The design is a flattering tailored look that is comfy to wear due to the small amount of stretch in the fabric. Their styles come in inseam lengths from 7 to 11 inches, so there is something for everyone.
Available from VineyardVines.com
A nice designer option that may be suitable for some office environments is the AG ‘Griffin.’ These are a beautiful style that is a good length (11 inches) for most. The colors are interesting and sometimes come in a check pattern. Like most of the styles in this list, they have the stretch in the fabric to make them flexible and comfortable.
Available from Nordstrom
Outlier New Way
A lot of men love the Outlier New Way shorts. It is another style that is tailored like a dress pant but uses high-performance fabrics to make them super comfortable and easy to wear in any kind of situation from dressy to swimming. They are not cheap, but they are built to be super versatile and to last for a long time. The New Way has an 8-inch inseam and is lightweight, breathable, and perfect for a summer day.
Available from Outlier
What to Look For:
Color- Short come in all colors of the rainbow these days. If you are looking for a wide range of bold color options try American Eagle or Bonobos.
Price– The best styles fall within the price range of about $50-$100. Within this range, you will get great options that feel amazing to wear and that will last for years.
Inseam length– Most chinos shorts range from about 7 inches to 10 inches with a few options that fall outside that range. If you like your shorts longer look for a longer inseam length.