Whether it’s a balmy day or you’re simply the sort of person whose legs could stand a blizzard without cover, denim shorts are a timeless staple that’ll go with virtually anything inside a casual wardrobe.
It’s a huge call, but we’re also willing to bet a good pair of denim shorts will outlast a pair of denim jeans. Their long-legged counterparts come in multiple styles that go in and out of fashion, but a classic pair of denim shorts remain mostly exempt from falling into a specific trend category, thus remaining relevant for season after season.
There are specific silhouettes and styles of denim shorts that, albeit subtly, can elevate your entire outfit—and while yes, cut-offs are usually reserved for casual daytime outings, there are some styles you can dress up—hear us out.
Below, we round up the very best and easy-to-style denim shorts for women of all shapes and sizes.
1. High waisted
Spell X Outland Denim’s High Rise Short
With a high-rise waist, a relaxed fit and a simple, classic design, these jean shorts are the perfect entry point for anyone who hasn’t delved into the world of short shorts. Outland’s ethical and sustainable practices are also worth noting—it employs and educates people who are a risk or experiencing modern slavery, and each garment is made with organic cotton and no harmful chemicals, well worth the investment.
Shop the High Rise Short, $159 at Outland Denim
2. Low waisted
Abrand Jeans 99 Low Short Walkaway
The current revival of low-waisted bottoms aren’t for everyone, but if you were considering jumping on the bandwagon we recommend a look at Abrand. They offer pretty much every style of denim shorts, so they obviously know their stuff. Their low-waist style is simple, classic and could easily become one half of your next fail-safe combo: Jean (shorts) and a white top.
Shop the Abrand Jeans 99 Low Short Walkaway, $89.95 at The Iconic
Levi’s 501 Original Short
You can’t buy denim without considering a pair of classic Levi’s. As the original denim connoisseurs, this brand knows how to make a flattering denim fit, and these distressed 501s are perfect for those who are after a casual, California-cool vibe.
Shop the Levi’s 501 Original Short, $114 at Revolve
Neuw Ryder Shorts
Not unlike our beloved mom and boyfriend jeans, a pair of relaxed denim shorts are the perfect casual addition for any tank top or plain white tee lover. These Neuw shorts also have the perfect classic denim blue wash which will give you an effortless look.
Shop the Neuw Ryder Shorts, $99.95 at The Iconic
Rollas Trade Short Dark Stone
Of all the denim shorts, an A-line style is easiest to dress up. Our one piece of advice if you’re taking them from day to night? Try for a darker denim—this pair by Rollas look great with a button-up or a cute going-out top.
Shop Rollas Trade Short, $119.96 at Universal Store
Rag & Bone Maya 6 inch shorts
This style is based on the brand’s classic Maya short with a little extra length. It has an A-line silhouette that’s super flattering—a win for anyone after a mid-length style that doesn’t stray into tight à la bike shorts territory.
Shop the Maya 6 inch shorts, $285 at Rag & Bone
Lee High Baggy Shorts
For those after a little more coverage, a Bermuda short is the perfect in-between. Lee’s high baggy shorts are super comfortable worn high waisted, or you can wear them low waisted and add a little extra length by sizing up.