It’s getting hotter and hotter out, and you’ve been wearing your favorite denim shorts for what feels like weeks on end. Don’t worry—we’ve all been there. But when you dig through your shorts drawer and everything else seems too short, too old, or too out-of-fashion, it’s time to think about upgrading your warm-weather wardrobe.
Intimidating as that sounds, it’s about to get a whole lot easier, because we’ve rounded up a list of 10 stylish pairs of shorts below. On-trend and approved by real women, these dress shorts offer an alternative to your usual hot-day uniform. So go ahead and donate those worn-out, low-rise hip-huggers you’ve been holding onto, because we’re certain there’s a pretty pair of shorts for you in the lineup below.
How We Found The Best Women’s Dress Shorts
When it comes to dress shorts, we won’t settle for wedgies, chafing, or cheeks hanging out (unless it’s intentional). We want flattering, comfortable shorts that we’d feel confident wearing in the light of day and out at night. With standards like that, we have no option but to rely on our algorithm, a tool that uses information like social buzz, user reviews, and editorial mentions to find and rank the best products in a given category. As you may have guessed, today’s category is dress shorts, and we’re happy to report that the 10 styles below meet all of our shorts standards and then some.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Pull-On Shorts. Opening image: aritzia.com
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Loft Fluid Bermuda Shorts
DEFINING DETAILS: High-waisted with a flattering pleated front, these bermuda shorts have a loose fit that’s ideal for days when you want to look put-together while feeling completely comfortable.
STYLE WITH: Wondering what to wear with these shorts? Try tucking in an oversized white button-down and donning some platform derby shoes for a modern take on a timeless, preppy look.
Vince Coin Pocket Bermuda Shorts
DEFINING DETAILS: If length is a concern to you when it comes to shorts, this bermuda-style pair from Vince might be just what you’re looking for. They have a 13” inseam that’s designed to hit right at the knee, as well as two coin pockets and belt loops.
STYLE WITH: You can dress these shorts up by pairing them with a matching blazer, heels, and statement earrings.
White House Black Market High-Rise Matte Jersey Shorts
DEFINING DETAILS: The little flare of these high-waisted shorts is perfect for women with curves, and the removable belt is also a welcomed sight because you can cinch it to add shape if you need to. And with an inseam of 4.5”, they’re just out of the short-shorts territory, so the probability of experiencing a wardrobe malfunction is low.
STYLE WITH: These shorts have a lot of outfit potential. For a casual ensemble, try tucking in your go-to graphic tee and sporting a pair of platform sneakers.
Boden Paperbag High Waisted Shorts
DEFINING DETAILS: Paperbag shorts: We know them, and we love them for being one of the most forgiving styles of women’s shorts. This pair from Boden is double pleated with a self-tie belt and pockets.
USER REVIEW: “I'm tall with a high waist and struggle to find shorts that fit. These, however, are perfect. Really comfortable. Flattering shape. I ordered the blue and then ordered both the other colors too.”
Wilfred Anthem Short
DEFINING DETAILS: Dressy shorts for women have come a long way since the plaid bermuda pairs that defined the early aughts. These high-rise, drapey shorts are a modern-day miracle with their subtle pleats, belt loops, and matte finish.
STYLE WITH: We’d love to see these shorts with a vest or sleeveless blazer, and Aritzia has a few options that fit that description.
Banana Republic Factory Tie-Waist Short
DEFINING DETAILS: No one wants to deal with fussy buttons on a hot day, which is why Banana Republic designed these women’s shorts with something that can't be overvalued: an elasticized waist. They also have a drawcord tie, though, so you can adjust the waistline for the perfect fit.
USER REVIEW: “I've been on the hunt for shorts a grown woman would actually wear: comfortable, stylish, high-waisted, with a decent amount of legroom. These ticked all the boxes for me.”
Ann Taylor The Metro Short
DEFINING DETAILS: Perhaps the most unique thing about these high-waisted shorts is their 6” inseam. For women’s shorts, this length is practically unheard of, which is tragic because it is the perfect pit-stop between short-shorts and bermudas.
STYLE WITH: Any top on our list of date night blouses would look fantastic with these.
J.Crew Tie-Waist Short In Lightweight Chino
DEFINING DETAILS: Made from a stretchy cotton-elastane blend, Banana Republic’s tie-waist shorts have achieved the impossible: turned an insanely comfortable pair of shorts into something effortlessly chic.
Express Super High Waisted Tailored Pleated Shorts
DEFINING DETAILS: Welcome to pastel heaven, where the shorts are pleated to perfection and come in four stunning, soft shades: lilac, mint green, pink, and blue. Tailored so they’re super high-waisted, these shorts are for women who won’t settle for a fit that’s anything other than ridiculously flattering.
Grace Karin Bowknot Tie Waist Summer Casual Shorts
DEFINING DETAILS: A drawstring waist with a bow wrap tie and big pockets? Yes, please. But here’s the really amazing thing(s): These shorts are under $30 and come in over 30 different colors. And there’s more: They also have 3,000 5-star reviews. All this to say, it’s no wonder they made the #1 spot on our list.
USER REVIEW: “Omg shorts that actually fit well for curves??? Yes! Not too short, not too long. Lightweight. Buy these!”