We all know that feeling: we watch the days begin to lengthen, experience the sun beat down on us, and feel the sweat drip down our cheeks. It’s July, and we know that the summer is about to be in full swing. It’s the perfect time to grab an ice-cold beer any day of the week, kick back, and relax.
With its beautiful weather and late sunsets, summer often brings us a newfound boost of serotonin and the motivation to get outside, stay active, and take advantage of everything the season has to offer; but do you ever have those days when the heat is just too much?
Nobody likes that feeling of fatigue that comes with too much heat exposure. What was once a fun day on the field or the trail ends with an abrupt afternoon in bed, complete with a cold compress and a tall glass of water. In fact, heat exhaustion can be detrimental to your health, and it’s important to take the proper precautions and stock up your closet with the right clothes when the season changes.
Wearing loose, lightweight clothing is one of the many ways that you can stay cool in the midst of hot weather. As men on the go, we definitely don’t want to feel weighed down, and we want to keep that unwanted fatigue at bay. Not only that, but we want to look our best while doing it. Jean shorts, cargo shorts, jeans, chinos, and dress shorts are out for summer.
We’re here to break down some must-have shorts for men this summer to help you stay cool, whether you’re going on a morning jog, tossing a football at the family picnic, dressing up for brunch, or even hitting the office. It all starts with finding the best shorts.
When we think about stashing our long pants in the back drawer and switching our closets over for the heat, we can start by thinking about the scenarios that dictate what clothes we want in our wardrobe. Summer is the perfect time to get active and fit, relax in the sun, and dine out or grab some beachside drinks. As far as essential shorts go, it’s as simple as securing a few staple items in a variety of styles.
Let’s walk through each of these scenarios with a few examples to give you some style inspiration.
When it comes to getting active in the summertime, we often find ourselves outside, whether we’re going on a hike, hitting the golf course, or hanging at the backyard barbecue.
As we mentioned earlier, it is crucial to pick a lightweight material to allow airflow that lets your body sweat and cool itself if you’re going to be out in the heat. We recommend something that’s practical but that still has style to it, so you can feel great and dress to impress.
These stretch workout shorts from Willy California are moisture-wicking and temperature regulating and will let your skin breathe with a polyester and spandex blend, while still looking sleek. The spandex helps make them super durable and resistant to rips. This item is the perfect example of athleisure, the booming clothing trend that describes items that are simultaneously stylish and athletic.
They come in a wide range of styles and colors, including a more adventurous sky blue, red, navy, and pink, which may disguise them even further from looking like your typical “gym short.” If you find a pair you really like, make sure it’s the right fit and purchase it in multiple colors to create several outfits! They’re great for a casual vibe to wear with a graphic tee if you’re not at the gym.
They are a great pair to whip out for a social event where you may be under the hot sun but still want to look nice. They’ll work for a workout session too, so pull them out if you’re headed to do some weight lifting (they’ve got pockets for all your essentials)
While shorts like the ones we discussed in the previous section definitely work for a hard training session, you may want to consider a pair that’s even better for a high-impact workout. You want a pair of men’s shorts for workouts where you’re really planning on breaking a sweat like a champion and taking your workout to the next level.
This pair of training shorts is made of lightweight fabric, but it also includes a breathable compression liner. This liner is something to consider if you’re really looking to hit the cardio hard this summer, as it’ll give you more support and allow for more movement.
You may also want to consider a pair like this if you prefer something a bit shorter (it has a 7” inseam), which lends itself well to intense activities like running and biking. Men’s short shorts are a popular item right now and one of the latest trends.
Research shows that clothing designed specifically for sports performance outdoes your typical clothing when it comes to cooling effects, so this type of material is actually proven to help keep you cooler if you’re out jogging under the hot summer sun. Forget about your old organic cotton jogger shorts that promise to do wonders for you. These are some of the best men’s shorts available.
So far, we’ve talked a lot about staying busy, pumping iron, and getting your heart rate up, but what about relaxing? The summer weather might inspire us to make gains and get physical, but it’s also time to chill out because you deserve the rest.
When it comes to lounging, we recommend a more classic pair of shorts with a cotton blend and drawstring. This softer material will help you unwind and the drawstring provides some extra security.
While something like this may not be the ideal choice if you plan to sweat, it is perfect for lounging around the house, taking an evening stroll, or going out to the movie theater to see that summer blockbuster. You can pair your new shorts with your favorite t-shirt and some casual boat shoes or sneakers.
What’s better than shorts that feel like pajamas but look put together to the outside eye? Every guy deserves some relaxation, and there’s no better time than those warm, comfortable summer nights when you feel like you could just fall asleep under the stars.
Of course, you can still use something like this to work out, but given that they aren’t moisture-wicking, just remember that they may not be one of the best shorts styles if you’re getting super sweaty. At the end of the day, it’s totally your preference, though.
We’ve talked fitness, we’ve talked relaxation, but what if we need to dress up a bit more?
Let’s say that you hypothetically have a reservation for brunch on a beautiful patio on the water, but afterward, the group decides to take a spontaneous bike ride down the boardwalk or a last-minute trip to the golf course. You're still dressed for brunch, but the sun’s beating down, and you want to stay cool.
Again, this is when athleisure comes to the rescue. We recommend adding a buttoned short to your closet for a more refined look. The button really adds a nice touch, and the shorts stop just above the knee. Choose a pair with lightweight fabric and some stretch to it, similar to the workout shorts we mentioned earlier. You’ll look sharp while still maintaining that ever-important comfort in the heat.
Depending on your company culture and its level of formality, this may even be a great option to wear to the office. Athleisure is becoming increasingly more accepted in industries like Hollywood.
It keeps you looking sleek during the day but prepares you to run out on the field and catch your kid’s baseball game after you leave the office behind.
Now that we’ve gone over the four essentials you’ll want to snag, it’s important to also pay attention to two more broad characteristics when picking out your shorts: color and length.
We mentioned earlier that you can play around with color to create different moods for different outfits, and there’s no shame in buying the same short in multiple variations if you find a pair you really like.
Keep in mind that, in terms of practicality, lighter colors will keep you cooler. In terms of style, lighter colors are better for the daytime and can lend themselves to a more preppy or formal look, depending on what they’re paired with. Choose a darker short for a nighttime look or to match a louder, vibrant top.
This guide talks you through how to choose the right short length to suit your body type. When it comes down to it, it’s as simple as taking into account your height and how much thigh you want to show. For example, if you’re looking for solid middle ground, you may want to check out something with a 9” inseam. If it’s swim trunks you’re choosing, you have a little more wiggle room with length.
What we have learned is that there’s a huge collection of men’s shorts out there that are capable of keeping you cool and comfortable in the heat while still looking flattering. You’ll want to plan your closet based on your own personal lifestyle, but every guy can use some core essentials so that you’re prepared to do anything from sweat, to chill, to dress it up.
Shorts are a summer necessity when it comes to dressing for the heat, and if you pay attention to their quality and the materials they’re made from, you can actually maximize your comfort levels. Not only that, but a little attention to color and length can peak your style. Willy California is definitely going to become one of your favorite brands with our hybrid shorts that can go from day to night. This summer, let’s stay cool and look sharp while doing it!