Of all the style trends we’re glad to see back, there’s none more well-suited for right now — in our humble opinion — than corduroy shorts. The corduroy short takes a fabric most commonly associated with the fall and winter months and turns it into something breezy, lightweight and ever-so-stylish for summer.
You’ve probably seen corduroy shorts in old family Polaroids of summer vacations gone by, but this year’s crop of the best corduroy shorts does it even better. Today’s corduroy shorts nod to the short men’s shorts trend of the past few years, but with more modern features like a drawstring waistband and a few extra pockets for your everyday carry.
The ridged wales of cotton corduroy add some visual interest to any look, and they’re a nice change of pace if you want something different than technical nylon-blend shorts or classic cotton chino shorts. They come in plentiful colors and inseam lengths to suit every guy, even if you prefer a longer inseam length. And if you want to show off some extra skin? Corduroy shorts have you covered — or not covered — in the best way possible.
How Should I Style My Corduroy Shorts?
You can wear them much like you might wear chino shorts, with everything from a navy polo and leather loafers — think Chevy Chase in the ’80s classic National Lampoon’s Vacation — or with more casual picks, like a short-sleeve henley and low-top canvas sneakers.
If you’re going with a more bold style, though — say, a pair of 5-inch inseam shorts — you might want to switch things up. For instance, go for a high-low style with a relaxed-fit camp collar shirt, and feel free to mix in some bold floral patterns in your shirting game, especially if your shorts are a neutral color. When in doubt, go relaxed and casual by mixing in the best of the rest of your summer menswear essentials.
With those tips in mind, you’re probably chomping at the bit to find a pair of the best corduroy shorts. Start with our favorite picks.
1. Goodthreads Men’s Cord Shorts
If you’re new to the world of corduroy shorts, it’s best to start your search with a brand you can trust to blend value with style and easygoing wearability. Goodthreads checks all those boxes and then some, with an on-trend 5-inch inseam rising to meet the occasion in this versatile set of cord shorts. These also feature comfortable stretch and a subtle thin-wale corduroy design.
2. H&M Relaxed Fit Corduroy Shorts
H&M can be counted on to save you a few bucks while delivering styles that are of the moment and yet still easy to wear without being overly flashy, like these subtly stylish corduroy shorts. They’re ideal if you favor more relaxed cuts or don’t want to wear super “short shorts,” and the elastic belt at the waist is a touch that embraces runway trends without overdoing it.
3. Pac-Sun Corduroy Volley Shorts
There is any number of ways you can go with your corduroy shorts in terms of color, both more classic (like shades of tan) or more eye-catching, like this pair from Pac-Sun. The lilac color is a solid way to switch up your summer style rotation, especially when paired with neutrals like a white or gray T-shirt with pockets, and the drawstring waistband is comfortable on breezy summer days.
4. Gap Corduroy Shorts
Gap is perhaps best known for its wear-with-anything denim and basics, and when you want to switch things up from your light wash jeans or navy chino shorts, a set of corduroy shorts is as reliable — and fun — a move as it gets. This corduroy pair features a classic (but not baggy) fit, a reasonable inseam length and crisp colors to team with anything in your wardrobe, like a sleek Frozen Navy option.
5. Todd Snyder Washed Corduroy Weekend Short
BEST DRESS SHORTS
The idea of wearing corduroy shorts as a dressier version of your tried-and-true shorts might seem tricky to pull off, but bear with us. Todd Snyder’s expertly crafted pair might seem laidback (note the drawstring waist). Still, the versatile 7-inch inseam and dark navy color make them easy to dress up with a crisp white polo and suede loafers or with a sweater polo and leather loafers for dressy-yet-laidback evening cocktails.
6. Elwood Wide Wale Corduroy Shorts
The differences between corduroy fabrics are subtle, but when you notice them, they start to stand out everywhere you look. Take these wide-wale corduroy shorts, which switch things up from other pairs of the best corduroy shorts. The effect calls to mind retro corduroy shorts, and, combined with the fresh summer color, they’re a noticeable style swerve sure to draw more than a few compliments this season.
7. Rowing Blazers Wide Corduroy Shorts
Regular SPY readers know that we love Rowing Blazers, and we’ve featured the brand’s new corduroy shorts for men in previous summer style guides. These shorts feature bright colors like mustard, plum and dusty rose, and they feature a wide-leg design that will pair great with baggy t-shirts or looser-fit button-up shirts. Keep in mind that these made-to-order shorts won’t arrive at your doorstep right away.
8. Birdwell Corduroy Shorts for Men
Corduroy shorts might call to mind laidback lounging, but some pairs of the best corduroy shorts prove a bit more useful. Birdwell’s corduroy shorts are throwback-minded in design, with cool patch pockets, a lifetime guarantee and USA-made, 100% cotton construction. To say they check all the boxes is an understatement.
9. Outerknown Straight-Leg Organic Cotton Corduroy Shorts
Sustainable, eco-conscious style is the name of the game in more ways than one these days, with plenty of brands going the extra mile to turn fashionable moves like the best corduroy shorts into more environmentally friendly looks. That’s where Outerknown excels, using organic cotton in vivid colorways to take the classic corduroy short into the 21st century.
10. Goodlife Stretch Corduroy Shorts
Your daily dress code might not permit you to wear shorts 24/7, but if you want a set of the best corduroy shorts that look great, wear well with everything from a navy polo to a gray henley and are comfortable as heck, then Goodlife is your best bet. From BBQs to patio beers to summer vacations and even WFH days, these stretch corduroy shorts hit all the right notes (and they feature a just-right 6 1/2″ inseam, too).
11. Polo Ralph Lauren Prepster Cotton-Corduroy Shorts
These shorts feature a straight fit and a wide-wale design, plus a comfortable drawstring waistband and that subtle-but-recognizable Ralph Lauren logo. In short, they’re some of the best corduroy shorts, with plenty of classic styling potential — they’re perhaps best worn with a Ralph Lauren polo, after all.
12. Hammies Men’s Corduroy Shorts
BEST RETRO STYLE
The 1970s are back in a major way with Hammies. The brand throws it back to the super-short shorts of that era, as favored by skaters and style legends like Tom Selleck, and they’re doing so with a fit that’s just as short and every bit as stylish. The elastic waist and stretch fabric are comfortable, modern touches, and there are enough color options to suit every palette.
Read More: The Best Short-Shorts for Men
13. Scotch & Soda Corduroy Shorts
What makes a pair of corduroy shorts luxurious? Well, the right materials, the right look and the right designer name (in this case, Amsterdam’s Scotch & Soda) certainly don’t hurt. Between those three key categories, spending nearly $130 on corduroy shorts is plenty worthwhile, especially when they’re done up in an eye-catching color that’s ready to stand out when paired with summer neutrals.