June 07, 2021

Men’s Summer Shorts Style Guide

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were bundling up in our warmest clothes and venturing out into the tundra of winter—but now here we are, getting into the warm and sunny summer months. The birds are singing, the fresh air is calling, and the only thing standing between you and a perfect day in the sun is the right summer apparel.

Sure, you could always throw on the same old shorts you’ve been wearing for years, but you might look a little out of place in outdated styles, so if you haven’t updated your wardrobe to suit the weather, now might be a good time to start thinking about it.

Luckily for you, we at Willy California have put together a guide to explain all you need to know about men’s summer shorts.

Style and Features of Men’s Summer Shorts


There are differing schools of thought when it comes to how long or short a man’s shorts should be, and there are no wrong answers. When it comes down to it, the right cut for you is the one that makes you look good and feel good. Whether that means you want a shorter cut that allows you to better appreciate a summer breeze or a longer cut that doesn’t reveal as much leg, it’s up to you.

That said, shorts that are extremely long or extremely short are specific choices that may not work for everybody. If you want to play it safe, look for a pair of shorts with a hem that rests within a few inches of the knee.


We all remember cargo shorts, right? These late 90s / early 2000s shorts had more pockets than a reasonable person would know what to do with. While styles of the 90s are coming back in vogue in the Gen Z world, cargo shorts have yet to make a comeback. That may be because current minimalist trends frown upon needlessly using materials and resources on unnecessary pockets, or it may just be because all those pockets make for a less-than-attractive outline.

Today’s men’s shorts generally show a bit more of our natural shape than older styles. That’s not to say that they’re extremely revealing—but that they’re made to highlight the thighs and glutes that we’ve been working on (as long as we don’t skip leg day). Too many pockets can hide the assets that we’d prefer to show off—so it may be wise to opt for a pair of shorts with a few discrete pockets: two in the front, two in the back.

Buttons, Zippers and Drawstrings

What you use to fasten your shorts is entirely dependent on your purposes. If you’re looking for a pair of dressy shorts that will work just as well on the golf course as they do on a date, you should probably lean toward more formal options—shorts that button at the top.

But if you need a pair of ultra-casual shorts for hanging out around the house or running errands, you may want to look at shorts that are less formal—designed with comfort in mind. Some pairs of casual shorts utilize a drawstring, rather than buttons and zippers, making them easy to throw on.

Material to Look for in Summer Shorts

Just as important as the physical style and shape of your clothing, the material that your clothing is made from makes all the difference in its ability to keep you feeling your best. These are some of the major factors to keep in mind when it comes to the material of your next pair of shorts.


Ultimately, comfort is one of the most important facets when it comes to picking out clothing—especially shorts. You may like the look of a trendy pair of shorts, but if the cut is constraining or the fabric is abrasive, odds are you won’t ever want to wear them. So when picking out a pair of shorts, make sure that they’re made from materials that feel good on your skin.


The way that a fabric feels against your skin isn’t the only thing that makes a pair of shorts comfortable. A good pair of shorts should be able to stretch with your body—whether you’re wearing them during an intense workout or a long workday.

There are many materials that make for stretchy clothing. Micromodal and spandex are some of the more flexible materials in the clothing market—they’re perfect for athletic apparel due to their high level of stretchiness—but don’t sleep on super-stretchy classics, like cotton and polyester.


As we all know, as things start to heat up, we start to sweat—it’s only natural. Whether you’re in a middle of a workout at the gym or playing a pickup game of basketball out in the sun, odds are you’re going to sweat. And while some people may be perfectly happy to wear wet clothing, most people find this very uncomfortable.

Articles of clothing with moisture-wicking properties were designed to rapidly pull moisture away from your body and allow it to dry on the surface of the material—making it an extremely useful feature in any clothing you intend to wear for athletic purposes.

Even if you’re buying a pair of casual shorts that you don’t plan to wear to the gym, it’s important to look for clothing with moisture-wicking properties in the summertime. You never know when it’s going to be sweltering out, and you can only remove so many layers—you don’t want to be caught in clothing that doesn’t breathe when you’re stuck in the sun.


In addition to moisture-wicking, antimicrobial properties are incredibly important—especially for athletic apparel. The human body is covered in tiny little living things called microorganisms. These microorganisms are mostly beneficial, with one caveat: as soon as you start to sweat, some microorganisms can mix with the sweat, creating body odor.

Never fear, though—the textile world has been working on fighting body odor for a long time, and technological advancements make it possible for fabric to fight off these microorganisms before they can cause unpleasant odors. 

Willy California Shorts

At Willy California, we have a wide offering when it comes to men’s shorts. We have dressier options for guys in need of more formal summer clothing, and we have ultra-casual styles for those who just need something comfy to lounge around in. Here are some of our favorites:

The Training Shorts

Our Training Shorts are built for performance. Made from a four-way stretch blend of polyester and spandex, these shorts are designed to move with your body—stretching, squatting, jumping, or doing whatever your fitness routine requires of you, all while keeping you supported with a breathable compression liner. 

Our Training Shorts are perfect for runners and cyclists, but they’re also incredibly comfortable for lounging around the house.

The Workout Shorts

Similar to our Training Shorts, but with a little more give for guys who like a looser fit, our Workout Shorts are a clean-cut and comfortable option for any workout routine. Made with lightweight, moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating performance fabric, these shorts are stretchy, breathable, and perfect for a trip to the gym.

The Nicer Shorts

While the previous two styles were definitely made with working out in mind, our Nicer Shorts were designed to be a stylish alternative to the basic pair of khaki shorts. Constructed with a lightweight, anti-wrinkle blend of polyester and spandex, these shorts are super stretchy and comfortable—without sacrificing style.

These are perfect for the office (as long as your office allows you to wear shorts) and for a date walking along the boardwalk, but they were also designed with golf course dress codes in mind—so if you want to wear them to your country club, you don’t have to worry about being turned away.

The Run-Around Shorts

Our Run-Around Shorts were designed for comfort and leisure. While they may not be formal enough for a day at work or at the golf course, they’re certainly comfortable enough for a lazy day lounging on the couch—while still being stylish enough to wear out to run errands.

And while they may look more casual than our more technical athletic shorts, they’re still plenty capable of holding their own at the gym or on the basketball court. Made from a blend of Supima Cotton, Micromodal, and Spandex, our Run-Around Shorts are extremely stretchy, with moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties as well.

In Conclusion

As we get ready to step out into the sun, we should have a wardrobe that’s ready to take us where we need to go—whether that’s the beach, the gym, the office, or anywhere else. And when it comes to men’s shorts, Willy California has you covered.