Summer calls for shorts, and for most guys, chino shorts are the best option. Haere are the best chino shorts you can buy right now (on any budget).
Unless you live in a really mild climate, you’ll probably need to have several pairs of shorts to last you through the summer.
And there are many factors to consider when you’re choosing a pair of shorts.
Of course, you want good-looking shorts that fit well and flatter your frame. Ideally, the shorts should also be made of lightweight, breathable fabrics so you stay as cool as possible when it’s balmy out.
Chino shorts tick all of those boxes and the some. That’s why they’re one of our favorite types of shorts (especially for the summer).
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the best men’s chino shorts you can buy today along with some outfit ideas and styling advice.
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What Are Chino Shorts?
The term “chino” relates to the chino fabric the shorts are made from. It’s a cotton twill fabric that’s strong and durable, making it great for pants and shorts.
That’s why chino shorts tend to be thicker and more structured than, say, athletic shorts. The very fabric they’re made of is thicker and sturdier. There are other cotton-based shorts available, but for our money, chinos are the best and most flexible cotton shorts for men.
Even though chino is a thicker fabric, it’s still breathable. Since chino is a cotton-based fabric, it has similar properties to cotton, which is a breathable (though not moisture-wicking) fabric.
The bottom line: Don’t work out in chino shorts, and you’ll be fine.
Chino shorts are basically chino pants but, well, shorter. Chino pants are well-loved for being versatile, comfortable pants, and chino shorts share those characteristics while keeping you cool.
A Few Chino Shorts Outfit Ideas
While shorts are pretty basic as far as wardrobe essentials go, they can be styled in more ways than you think.
Need to be convinced? Take a look at 6 of our favorite ways to wear chino shorts.
#1: With a Basic T-Shirt
We have to start out with the classic combo of shorts and a t-shirt.
This is as simple as it gets, but that’s a big part of the reason why it’s such a timeless look. However, there are a couple of modern updates here, namely the more fitted t-shirt to match the structured chino shorts.
Add some sunglasses and white
#2: With a Relaxed T-Shirt
Although fitted t-shirts are best for most guys, you can also wear a slightly more relaxed fit if you prefer to have a bit of breathing room for those humid days.
Notice how the t-shirt isn’t too baggy. That’s a common mistake guys make when they wear relaxed fit tees. The shirt shouldn’t be too oversized, but it’s okay if it stacks a litle bit at the bottom as seen here.
This is an even more casual outfit, so whether you’re staying home or heading out, this outfit will keep you looking (and feeling) cool.
#3: With a Polo
The polo shirt has made a resurgence over the last few years, but it’s still an underrated garment, especially for summer.
Polos keep you cool but offer a slightly dressier look than a t-shirt. That said, polos can be just as versatile as t-shirts, especially if you choose polos with minimal branding and neutral colors.
#4: With a Casual Button Up
For cooler summer days, try pairing a button up with your chino shorts.
A fitted button up will dress up your shorts, and other formal touches (like a pair of loafers) will elevate the outfit even more. This is an excellent choice for all kinds of summer occasions, from social gatherings to first dates.
Material-wise, look for something breathable. Cotton, linen, polyester and hemp (or blends of any of these) are all good choices. In addition, since chino shorts are structured, you’ll want to match that look by choosing a slimmer, more fitted button up. (In other words, no oversized flannels.)
#5: With a Short Sleeve Button Up
Too hot for long sleeves? Cool off with a short sleeve button up.
Short sleeves with shorts is a winning combo any way you cut it. You can also play around with the print of the button up––wearing a subtle pattern can add visual texture while keeping your outfit sleek.
For a little extra flair, try cuffing your shorts and/or your shirt sleeves. This is actually an old trick to help make your shorts fit better if you have some that are just a little too long. On the other hand, you might just like the look of rolled-up shorts.
#6: Color Blocking
Summer provides a good opportunity to experiment with wearing louder colors, but if you choose to do so, don’t go overboard. One easy solution is to pair a bold button-up with a neutral pair of shorts.
It’s even better if you can match the shorts with your shirt. Here’s a really tasteful example of that sort of color blocking in action:
The button up has a mismatched, offset design that you don’t see often, but the matching shorts help to tone it down and make the outfit look more intentional.
You can apply this same technique to other bold designs. Floral patterns are always a safe bet, but be careful to not choose something too loud.
The Best Men’s Chino Shorts
Wondering about the best place to buy chino shorts? Look no further. Here are 5 handpicked chino shorts in order from least expensive to most expensive.
#1: Amazon Essentials Slim-Fit 7” Chino Shorts
Of course Amazon makes chino shorts, right? Averaging at around $15 per pair, these shorts are simple and functional.
Now, you’re not getting designer quality here, but all things considered, this is a great price for chino shorts. It’s especially nice if you want to grab a few pairs, since you can get several without breaking the bank.
#2: H&M Slim Fit Chino Shorts
You know H&M for affordable, stylish clothes, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with their slim fit chino shorts.
These are a bit slimmer than some of the other slim fits on this list, so you’ll want to make sure they’ll accommodate your leg size. That said, they’re a good choice for short and thin/lean guys.
#3: Goodthreads Chino Shorts
Another Amazon brand, Goodthreads offers similarly priced chino shorts that usually cost around $25.
In contrast to the Amazon Essentials shorts, these Goodthreads shorts are made from a blend of 98% cotton and 2% spandex, so you’re getting a little more wiggle room with these. They also have some nice color options––I’m a fan of the “Eiffel Tower” shade.
#4: ASOS DESIGN Slim Chino Shorts
ASOS is a men’s fashion heavyweight, especially when it comes to basics, so it’s no surprise that their chino shorts give you a lot of bang for your buck.
These are just $29. (No, that’s not a typo.) For that price, the build quality here is remarkable. Simply put, these are excellent entry level shorts.
#5: Topman Chino Shorts
For an accessible, affordable entry point to chino shorts, check out Topman’s line of slim chino shorts.
At just $35, these are great for guys who haven’t owned chino shorts before and want to try them out. They’re 98% cotton and 2% elastane, so they’ll be breathable and have a nice amount of stretch.
You can choose from several neutral colors, including a nice camel tone and a clean white. (Pro tip: White chino shorts look great with a dark contrasting top.)
#6: Bearbottom Stretch Chino Shorts
Also coming in at $35, these Bearbottom stretch shorts provide the classic chino look with improved flexibility.
The cotton/spandex blend gives you more mobility than other shorts, which also means they’re comfortable whether you’re sitting, standing or moving. These are available in 14 different colors, and you can choose from a 5.5” or 7” inseam.
#7: L.L Bean Double L Chino Shorts
You may know L.L. Bean for their classic boots, but they also make some pretty nice (and very affordable) chino shorts.
These shorts are 100% cotton and feature wrinkle free technology, so you won’t be ironing these every time you wear them. Since these shorts are so crisp and clean, they’re perfect for a preppier aesthetic––think a minimal polo and boat shoes.
#8: Abercrombie & Fitch Stretch Chino Shorts
Yes, Abercrombie may have been your store of choice when you were in high school, but they make some great clothes for guys of all ages. That includes these stretch chino shorts.
These are classic chino shorts with a summery vibe, perfect for pairing with both casual and preppy outfits. If versatility is important for you, then these shorts are worth considering.
#9: Everlane Slim Fit Performance Chino Shorts
Everlane makes some excellent basics, and these shorts are no exception.
What makes these “performance” shorts? They’re made of a 4-way stretch blend of 94% cotton and 6% elastane for a stretchier, more flexible fit. If you’re looking for men’s stretch shorts, these will serve you well.
These are available in six appealing colors, and you can choose from a 7” or 9” inseam. In terms of size, Everlane offers everything from 29 to 38.
#10: Bonobos Stretch Washed Chino Shorts
Another great pair of men’s stretch shorts, these chino shorts from Bonobos have a lot going for them.
The stretch fit is ideal for optimal movement, and the mixture of 98% cotton and 2% Lycra ensures a comfortable fit. They’re available in a wide range of colors, and you can choose from a slim, standard or athletic fit.
The inseam options here are even more impressive. There are four choices: 5”, 7”, 9” and 11”. While 11” is probably too short for most guys (unless you’re really tall), it’s nice to have so many options.
#11: Ash & Erie Chino Shorts
These chino shorts are somewhat lightweight and only stretchy (2% elastane), so they wear like your typical chinos shorts.
The difference is, they're made specifically for shorter men (like all Ash & Erie clothes). So the 7″ inseam, tapered leg opening and scaled-down details are meant to flatter guys 5'8″ and under.
If you notice that pockets are too big or too low on you, or you can never find shorts with the right rise for your build, you might want to give these a try.
#12: Lululemon Commission Shorts
You know Lululemon for their athletic clothing line, but did you know they offer a full line of men’s clothes? If you didn’t, you’re not alone, which is exactly why we’re putting the spotlight on their Commission chino shorts.
As you might expect, these shorts are engineered for movement. Lululemon uses a blend of cotton, nylon, and elastane, and they also treat it with their proprietary No-Stink Zinc™ technology to inhibit bacterial growth.
And while you probably won’t be running a marathon in these shorts, they’re worth looking at if you find other shorts too restrictive.
#13: Outlier New Way Shorts
If you want the best summer short that money can buy, you should seriously look at Outlier’s innovative New Way shorts.
These may look like any other chino shorts, but they have a couple of surprising features. First, they’re water-ready, so they can double as swimming trunks, which is perfect for days at the pool or the beach.
Second, the fit is more similar to that of a dress pant than of a short, meaning they’re slightly more fitted than some other slim fit shorts.
The New Ways are priced at $128, which is an excellent price for the quality and adaptability of these shorts. You’re getting both shorts and swimming trunks in one garment, and you can wear these for virtually any occasion that’s not a black tie event.
It’s important to have the right shorts for summer. Chino shorts are sturdy, versatile and comfortable––what’s not to like? Simply put, they’re the best men’s shorts for summer.
So pick yourself up a pair or two. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
What are your favorite chino shorts? How do you style them? Let us know in the comments below!