Corset tops, shoulder pads, neon shades—as cool as this summer's trends may be, many of them aren't exactly easy to pull off. But if there's one trend we've seen that works in every wardrobe, it's the utility trend. Both fashionable and functional, the utility trend is universally flattering, easy to wear, and always looks effortlessly cool. While utility-inspired pieces never exactly went out of style, this season's catwalks were covered with entirely new versions of the trend. Designers have given us tailored boilersuits, updated army jackets, cargo pants (yes, cargo pants), and more. Our personal favorite? The utility short. Just like your usual denim pair, the utility short goes with just about anything you pair it with and is quite possibly the easiest way to test out this buzzy trend. Below, we've rounded up the Top 10 utility shorts on the market based on user reviews, editorial mentions, best-seller lists, and more. Give your go-to cutoffs a break and opt for a pair of the military chic shorts that follow. Opening image: anthropologie.com
Did you like our 10 Best Utility Shorts? Then you’ll love our 10 Best Denim Shorts!
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Universal Thread Mid-Rise Tie Front Utility Shorts
BEST FOR: For a subtle take on the utility short trend, you can't go wrong with these beauts. With their breathable fabric and comfy rib-knit waist, you'll want to keep them on 24/7.
STYLE WITH: Style these with a trendy white tank for a look that can go from lounging to casual lunch date.
Anthropologie Megan Patch Pocket Shorts
WHERE TO WEAR: A little more polished than the rest, these poplin shorts can easily be dressed up for summer parties and nights on the town. Good luck choosing one color—all four are to-die-for.
USERS SAID: "These shorts are amazing. They are super stretchy and comfortable, and they hit at a great length on the leg and at the waist. They are a bit more elevated than a typical jean short. I highly recommend these!"
Gap Utility Khaki Short
WHY YOU NEED IT: Tie-dye and utility? That's two buzzy trends in one for less than $50. Run, don't walk.
LOVED FOR: These hit the sweet spot when it comes to length—they're long enough to provide a little more coverage than your average cutoff but short enough to still look cute.
American Eagle Utility Denim Short
LOVED FOR: The super high waist on these shorts gives you a legs-for-days look (and provides the perfect opportunity for a summery crop top, too).
USERS SAID: "I tried these on in the store and HAD to have them. Anything with deep pockets is a sell for me, and the rough edge is also super cute. Overall these are really flattering and super comfy—wish they came in more colors!!
Anthropologie Wanderer Utility Shorts
WHY YOU NEED IT: With its cool camo print, these shorts are on-trend but still neutral enough to pair with anything. You can wear them two ways—rolled up for a shorter look or down for a Bermuda length.
USERS SAID: "The material is thick but soooo soft. They are incredibly comfortable, a nice rise (not too low, not too high), and because you can roll them up or down, it's easy to adjust the length."
Madewell Camp Shorts
BEST FOR: Looking for something that's just as comfy as it is cute? Meet your match. These shorts have a super discreet elastic waist in the back that makes them a total breeze to wear.
STYLE WITH: We'll be living in these with a linen tee all summer long.
PrAna Olivia Short
BEST FOR: You'd never suspect how hard-working these cute shorts really are. Designed with PrAna's quick-drying, moisture-wicking fabric, they're perfect for your most active summer days.
HELPFUL TIP: Some reviewers found these shorts to run small, so we recommend sizing up if you're between sizes.
Athleta Farallon Short
LOVED FOR: In true Athleta fashion, these shorts are just as appropriate for sweaty hikes and bike rides as they are for brunch.
USERS SAID: "LOVE these shorts! So comfy, cute enough to wear with casual clothes when not working out, and stretchy without getting baggy after wear."
Athleta Cabo Linen 4" Short
WHERE TO WEAR: Get yourself a short that can do both. With stash pockets, an adjustable waistband, and subtly textured linen that feels light on the skin, these are perfect for outdoor adventures and outdoor dinners alike.
FUN FACT: Unlike most linen pieces, you can wash and dry these without worrying about ruining them. Score.
Old Navy Mid-Rise Soft Twill Pull-On Utility Shorts
WHY YOU NEED IT: With their breezy, soft-washed cotton and elastic waistband, these cute but comfortable shorts will become a summer staple in no time. Did we mention they ring up under $30?