This time of year, it feels like we've been wearing our winter wardrobe forever, and even our favorite jeans aren’t sparking joy like they usually do. But don’t fret—with summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to update your denim drawer with the season’s best shorts. While there’s a time and a place for short shorts and bermudas, a great-fitting pair of mid-length denim shorts is the style sure to get the most wear. Appropriate for a variety of summer occasions, from brunch with friends to baseball games and days at the beach, you’ll find a myriad of ways to dress them up or down.
Don’t know where to start shopping for your new shorts? We can help. From silhouette-skimming to stylishly slouchy, we’ve rounded up the best mid-length denim shorts to get you through the season.
How We Found The Best Mid-Length Denim Shorts
Shopping for shorts can feel a little intimidating, but armed with a bit of info, you can find a pair that makes you look and, most importantly, feel incredible. That’s where we come in. What makes our Top 10 Lists so unique is our unbiased algorithm that considers things like reviews from real customers, top-selling styles, and expert recommendations. In other words, we’ve done the research for you so you can quickly find the best products without scrolling through dozens of pages on the internet. Check out the 10 styles that made the cut to find your new summer faves.
Next up, check out the 10 Best White Jeans. Opening image: madewell.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.
Joe's Frayed Denim Shorts
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: These frayed shorts from Joe’s give off the relaxed, casual vibe that summer is all about, while the cuffs provide an extra shot of style. These denim shorts also have a touch of stretch that makes them fit like a glove.
PAIR THEM WITH: Wear these classic summer shorts with a white button-down shirt, and you’ve got your summer uniform sorted.
Old Navy High-Waisted O.G. Straight Cut-Off Jean Shorts
WHO IT’S FOR: With a 7-inch inseam, these are the longest shorts on our list, so they’re perfect for taller ladies or anyone who wants a bit more coverage! These shorts are also high-waisted, so no need to worry about overexposure.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Old Navy is working on an array of sustainability and inclusion initiatives to improve our planet and the lives of the people on it. They also encourage their customers to complete “random acts of awesomeness” like complimenting a stranger.
Gap 5" Mid Rise Denim Shorts With Washwell
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Gap is a go-to when looking for some of the best basics around, so you know they'll have you covered when it comes to a great fitting short. Available in multiple washes, these mid-rise shorts are the ultimate everyday style.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: These shorts are part of Gap’s “Washwell” collection, which means 20% less water is used to create these garments than ones made with conventional methods. According to the company, Washwell has saved millions of liters of water since the program started in 2016.
Old Navy High-Waisted Button-Fly O.G. Straight Cut-Off Jean Shorts
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: The incredible fit and fabric make these a savvy buy at an affordable price. Plus, the straight-leg style means that these shorts will never go out of fashion.
USER REVIEW: “By far my favorite pair of jean shorts I have ever owned. I'm a curvy girl and it's hard to find a nice jean material that isn't too stretchy. These are perfect!”
Madewell Relaxed Mid-Length Denim Shorts In Steenwick Wash
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: These faded and distressed shorts look like you gave your favorite old jeans a DIY makeover. In keeping with the retro style, these shorts are 100% cotton, so they’re great for people who are looking to incorporate more natural fabrics into their wardrobe.
HELPFUL TIP: According to reviews, these shorts run on the large side. Consider ordering one size smaller than usual.
Abercrombie & Fitch 90s Low Rise Baggy Shorts
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: '90s fashion is one of the hottest trends of the season, and these shorts by one of the era’s most popular purveyors give off the perfect vintage vibe. Luckily, they're available in three washes—this cut-off style is an effortless essential you may want to stock up on.
WHERE TO WEAR: These are the perfect beach shorts. Pair them with a solid one-piece swimsuit as a clever riff on the decade’s bodysuit trend.
Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Shorts
WHAT IT DOES: In addition to being a great-looking short, this pair from Wit & Wisdom has built-in shaping technology to help give you a smoother, lifted appearance. The well-constructed waistband doesn’t stretch out, so they'll keep their shape wear after wear.
USER REVIEW: “I love the Wit & Wisdom jeans and shorts. I’ll never go back to wearing jeans that don’t stretch like these. So much more comfortable. Great finishes. They wash and dry well. Consistent sizing and fit.”
Caslon Boyfriend Shorts
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: This cute cuffed pair of Caslon shorts is both slightly shorter and a bit lower rise than some of the others. This makes them an ideal choice for someone new to the mid-length trend or anyone looking for a short that shows off a little more of their shape.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Finding a pair of mid-length shorts that's truly mid-length can be especially tough for shorter ladies. Luckily, these shorts also come in petite sizes that are perfect for those under 5’4.”
Levi's 501 Mid Thigh Shorts
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Levi’s 501s are synonymous with jeans. As classic as it gets, this fit will never go out of style. The slightly high-rise design is modernized with just a touch of distressing and a bit of stretch for easy wear.
USER REVIEW: "This is my favorite pair of shorts. So comfortable and flattering, and they make your butt look great! I definitely recommend!"
Agolde Parker Long Loose Vintage Shorts
WHO ITS FOR: This celeb-favorite brand boasts some of the most cutting-edge styles around, these top-selling shorts included. Fitted in the waist but long and loose in the legs, they're equal parts flattering and modest.
WHERE TO WEAR THEM: These shorts are perfect for a summer concert paired with a great tank top.