Types of Shorts to Wear for Different Occasions

An Overview of Shorts in Fashion

Shorts are a form of fashion bottoms where the leg length is much shorter than traditional pants. While most people wait for warm weather, you can use shorts as a fashion statement any time of the year. Pair shorts with a sweater, boots, and leggings for a casual winter look, or combine leather shorts with dressy sandals and a bodysuit for a more evening-ready look in the summer.

16 Types of Shorts

There are dozens of different shorts suitable for any gender or comfort level, including:

  1. Athletic shorts: Athletic shorts are a style of sportswear that includes cycling shorts, running shorts, tennis shorts, swimming trunks, gym shorts, and board shorts. Athletic shorts are often made from stretchable, breathable spandex or nylon fabrics, allowing proper moisture-wicking and air circulation. These bottoms may feature a drawstring that allows the wearer to adjust the tightness or an inner lining that serves as underwear.
  2. Bermuda shorts: Also known as dress shorts or walking shorts, Bermuda shorts have a slightly baggy bottom with a hem that falls only an inch or two above the knee. Though they work well in tropical climates, you can wear them in any type of weather with a T-shirt or flowing button-down tucked into the waistband.
  3. Boxer shorts: Originally worn by male boxers, these soft fabric trunks are now fashionable for men and women outside of the boxing ring or training gym. Some fashionistas pair boxer shorts with a crop top and blazer for a flirty, casual look.
  4. Boy shorts: Many people wear boy shorts as underwear, but this style is also a popular bathing suit cut because it flatters most body shapes and covers the hips and butt. You can wear these bottoms as casual summer shorts with a tank top or a graphic T-shirt.
  5. Boyfriend shorts: These casual shorts provide a loose-fitting bottom and waist for a comfortable fit. This cut is more narrow around the leg and falls either at or a few inches above the knee.
  6. Cargo shorts: The British military designed cargo pants as part of their Battle Dress Uniforms in the early twentieth century. The style has continued to evolve, with shorts being among the most popular iterations. These baggy shorts provide a loose fit and feature multiple pockets (in the standard location and along the sides of the shorts). You can pair these shorts with a tee, tank, or polo shirt.
  7. Chino shorts: Chino shorts are made from a comfortable fabric, providing an easy fit while walking or sitting, like their full-legged counterpart. They are usually knee-length shorts with a zipper enclosure in the front. Pair these shorts with a lightly patterned top or linen button-down.
  8. Convertible shorts: These shorts start as pants but include snap buttons, zippers, or velcro that allow the wearer to remove the lower part of the pants, turning the attire into a wearable pair of shorts.
  9. Denim shorts: Denim shorts come in various cuts and lengths, such as low-rise, high-waisted, or boyfriend cut. Depending on the type of wash, these denim bottoms can work in an array of different settings and occasions, and you can pair them with nearly any kind of top.
  10. Daisy Dukes: Colloquially known as “booty shorts,” these cutoff shorts—named after a character from the ‘70s TV show Dukes of Hazard—are typically made from denim and cut high into the buttocks. Hot pants are a shorter and tighter version of Daisy Dukes, though the material isn’t always denim.
  11. High-rise shorts: High-waisted shorts rest above the waist, sitting higher on the midsection than traditional-cut shorts. Pair high-rise shorts with tight or loose-fitting tops and booties, heels, or sandals.
  12. Jamaica shorts: These shorts fall around the mid-thigh, between the groin and the knee. Pair these bottoms with a crop top, tank, or T-shirt.
  13. Low-rise shorts: Low-rise shorts—also known as hip-huggers—fall right below the waist, wrapping snugly around the hips. As an outfit, you can pair these bottoms with midriffs or long shirts and a French tuck, or throw a cardigan over a camisole.
  14. Pleated shorts: Pleated shorts often fall right above the knee and are high-waisted with elastic inserts, creating a “creased” look in the front of the shorts. Flat-front shorts are a direct contrast to this style and do not feature pleats.
  15. Skorts: Skorts are shorts with a wrap-around fabric sewn on top to mimic the look of a skirt. You can usually wear a skort for any occasion where a skirt is suitable.
  16. Slip shorts: Slip shorts work similarly to a dress slip, hugging and contouring your body beneath the rest of the outfit you’re wearing. Slip shorts are usually made from a thin, stretchy fabric that can sit seamlessly under your other clothes.

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