2019 Shorts Rundown

And just like that, it’s shorts weather.  Well, Mother Nature may sneak in a couple more days with highs in the 50s, but with the sun shining.  It’s time to let those calves breath a little.

Shorts are a funny thing.  You can tell the guys whose wives buy their shorts for them – they are usually 2″ too wide, and 10″ too long.  Rule(s) of thumb: Shorts should barely touch the top of the knee (at minimum), but still give the thighs a little coverage.  Anything shorter than a 5″ inseam get a little questionable.

When it comes to shorts, there are a TON of choices out there.  I like to go for a good fit, preferably all cotton, and a good inseam.  I’m a 6.5-8″ inseam guy, depending on the fit.  I don’t like them too long, nor to I like them too short.  I don’t mind taking shorts to the tailors.  For me, shorts need to have a good value proposition: I don’t like to overspend on a piece that is largely casual.   Shorts are disposable, but they are replaceable.  This year, here are the shorts I like:

From Top Left:

1. Duck Head Gold School Chino Shorts:  The classics of the classics, but with an updated fabric and a great fit.  The middle 80%-ers.  They go with everything, and look better as they get beat up.
2. Orvis Signature Chino Cotton Shorts:  I know these are long (this is what tailors are for), but the color choices from Orvis are outstanding.  These Mellow Yellows are super cool.
3. Southern Proper PC Shorts:  The greatest casual shorts ever made.  The cut is just right, not too long, but not so short that you look like an overaged post-grad frat guy.
4. Onward Reserve Piedmont Shorts:  Onward’s Piedmont shorts hit on all the right cylinders.  The rise is just right, the inseam is a very appropriate 7.5″, and the price point is just right.  Good colors, too.
5. Patagonia 7″ Stand Up Shorts:  Stand Ups have changed over the past couple of years.  I’m all about Patagonia, but the SUs I bought in 2000 are a little different than the shorts I buy today.  To get that good look, buy the 7″ inseams, but buy 2″ bigger in the waist, then wash and dry them.  That’s the winning recipe for the iconic Stand Up look.
6. Peter Millar Crown Vintage Canvas Shorts:  A cool pair of canvas shorts is a great addition.  The rough looking canvas adds some depth, and they’ll patina very well.  Pair them with a white golf shirt and you are in business.
7. Patagonia Baggies Shorts:  Probably the greatest shorts ever made.  They do everything.
8. J. Crew Factory 7″ Shorts:  The best deal on the planet for chino shorts.
9. Sid Mashburn Dark Blue/White Stripe Pincord Shorts:  I’m not over seersucker, but I’m close.  To fill my stripe-need, try these Pincords from Sid. Good stuff.

What are your go-to shorts this year?

P L E A S E    S U P P O R T    O U R    P A R T N E R S :



  1. JT Lancer
    04/03/2019 / 8:33 AM

    I’ll catch some flack but the 7” store brand shorts at Belk are a great option. They’re cheap and have held up (surprisingly) well for me. The J Crew shorts are solid but are tighter through the leg than I’d prefer

    • BMC
      04/04/2019 / 8:44 AM

      Totally agree with the Belk shorts and love the regular, not tight but not billowing fit. Saddlebred brand 7″ shorts are all I’ve bought the past 3 or 4 years. I’ve had one belt loop rip out and split the crotch in one of my 4 year old pairs back sometime in the fall but the others have held up great. I wear them year round around the house in NC because I’m hot-natured. Have 5 of them. 2 gray, 1 khaki, 1 navy (replaced the split crotch navy pair with another), 1 green.

      • Jeff
        04/04/2019 / 10:15 AM

        Totally agree. Shorts are about comfort. The Saddlebred 7” and the Nautica 6.5” are great colors, great fit and you can get them routinely under $30

  2. Nem
    04/03/2019 / 9:02 AM

    J.Crew and Coast make my 7″ inseam go-to shorts for general use around town.  I have Stand-Ups in 5″ and 7″ that get the bulk of exercise wear.  I got tired of taking other brands to my tailor for shortening.  Good list though.

  3. abw
    04/03/2019 / 11:23 AM

    I think Polo deserves some recognition in this department. Say what you want about the decline in quality, but i’ve had polo shorts longer than any other and break in great. 

  4. JMR
    04/03/2019 / 12:06 PM

    J.Crew used to make great linen shorts at a 7″ inseam a couple years ago that are perfect for the heat and humidity of summer. I keep holding out hope that they’ll bring them back.

  5. Stephen
    04/03/2019 / 12:11 PM

    Anyone tried Bearbottom? From what I can tell they’re similar to the Southern Proper but about half the price.

    • Trip
      04/04/2019 / 10:35 AM

      I have two pairs (though, granted, I think they’re about six years old). They are good to go, and about half the price of Chubbies.

  6. Stephen Hardy
    04/03/2019 / 2:25 PM


  7. Lank
    04/03/2019 / 3:57 PM

    Thoughts on mountain khaki twill shorts?

    • HLL
      04/04/2019 / 1:56 PM

      I Have 3 pair of the 7.5 MK Twills – been my go to lately. Great length and feel. Every year I get older, my shorts get shorter. I also like the Southern Tide 7 inch Channel Marker short. I also wear Columbia Backcast on weekends or crawfish boils often.

  8. CON
    04/03/2019 / 8:36 PM

    Great stuff, Jay. Have to jump in and plug my guys at Chubbies for the great stuff they continue to pump out. That southern proper joint is in the Chubbies realm for sure – but for those who might be hesitant to go with the originals at Chubbies – fear not, the brand has grown up along with the owners. Lots of incredible stretch cottons, more conservative trunks than you’d expect, and a new model sans zipper that frankly is the most comfortable short I own (after my 5” baggies). Keep it up, man! Viva la RCS. 

  9. Trip
    04/04/2019 / 10:37 AM

    J Crew Factory Varick (5″) shorts are my go-to. They hold up very well, especially for shorts you can pick up under $30. I was a bit saddened by the fact that this year’s models are no longer 100% cotton, though.

  10. Adam Tait
    04/05/2019 / 2:59 PM

    This is a fun post. I am originally from Mobile, AL and everyone just wears 5″ inseam Aftco fishing shorts. That is including myself. Thanks for the post. 

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