It’s no secret that history repeats itself. But it’s kind of surprising how fast it happens in the fashion world, especially in the height of fast fashion. Not even fifteen years ago, men were opting for ill-fitting, sagging shorts that fell below their knees.
However, in recent years, with the help of celebs like Milo Ventimiglia and Paul Mescal, men’s shorts are shooting back in time and up the thigh, returning to the length that was all the rage in the 70s and 80s.
If you’re eager to give in to TikTok’s peer pressure to shorten your shorts but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Whether looking to keep it smart-casual, getting rid for that cold-season getaway or you’re ready to show off your winter gains, you’ve landed in the right place.
We’ve compiled a list of the best 5 inch inseam shorts to keep you cool (temperature and style-wise) this summer. Keep reading to find the perfect pair to show off those legs you’ve been hiding for too long.
Our Top Picks
At Chubbies, the motto is “the weekend has arrived”, which means that you can trust them to know summer comfort, and their Silver Linings 5.5” Flat Front shorts are the perfect combination of those two things. These shorts feature the short inseam in style right now, as well as the stretch and comfort of your favorite pair of athletic shorts.
With a non-slip waistband and spandex stretch fabric, these shorts are designed to move with you no matter where you go, while their Oxford lined pockets ensure that your essentials are safe on the move. Grab one in their wide variety of colors, pair it with your favorite polo, and hit the links.
Material: 98% cotton 2% spandex | Style: Chino | Sizes Available: 30-40 | Colors: Black, beige, gray, blue, + | Care: Machine wash
No matter what you’re buying, there’s nothing like getting a little more
With their slim fit and 5” inseam as well as an adjustable drawstring waist, roomy side and back pockets to fit all of your essentials, and a breathable and stretchy cotton blend fabric, these shorts have you covered with both function and fashion, and are a steal at 2 for around $45.
Material: 97% cotton 3% elastane | Style: Chino | Sizes Available: XXS-XXXXL | Colors: Beige, green | Care: Machine wash
When it comes to durable and effective athletic and outdoor wear you rarely have to look further than Patagonia, which is why it’s no surprise that their Baggies Shorts are ranked among the best men’s athletic 5 inch inseam shorts you can buy right now.
Made of a quick-drying nylon fabric and equipped with an adjustable, drawstring waist, these shorts are designed to move with you through any conditions—including in and out of the water. Made in basic colors that will match anything as well as a fun printed pattern, these shorts are sure to be your go-to for all things active, from the trails to the beach.
Material: 100% nylon | Style: Athletic | Sizes Available: XS-XXL | Colors: Gray, blue, red printed | Care: Machine wash
Combine classic and modern for an effortlessly cool summer look with J. Crew’s 5” Warwick Flex Khaki Short. These shorts have everything you can ask for in a pair of shorts for a trendy summer: a 5 inch inseam that falls about mid-thigh, a wide variety of colors to match everything in your wardrobe for any occasion, and a cotton and elastane fabric designed to move with you.
Combine these features with sizeable front and back pockets, and elegant button and belt loop details, and you have a versatile pair of short shorts that will fit in anywhere while keeping you comfortable.
Material: Cotton, elastane | Style: Chino | Sizes Available: 28-38 | Colors: Yellow, white, pink, beige, + | Care: Machine wash
With Bearbottom Men’s Stretch Denim Short, you no longer have to live in fear of the options for men’s denim shorts consisting solely of John Cena style baggy jorts. Made in a classic light wash and a trendy dark acid wash, these shorts are the perfect option for the men who have a hard time ditching their winter denim.
Made with a generous elastic waistband and 4-way stretch denim, these shorts are as comfortable as they are stylish. Add to that front pockets and button back pockets to keep your things secure, you have a pair of denim shorts you’ll never want to take off.
Material: 97% cotton 3% spandex | Style: Denim | Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors: Light wash, acid wash | Care: Machine wash
With Bather’s line of classic swim trunks, you can now look just as good in the water as you do out of it. These swim trunks are the perfect men’s 5 inch inseam swim trunks, with elegant details that combine function with fashion. These trunks are crafted with an elasticized waist that moves with you, as well as 4 way stretch mesh lining that protects you without adding bulk.
With reinforced pockets and a quick drying nylon shell, these trunks are here to get you to the beach, the boardwalk, and back again. Pick up one of their solid colors, or adventure into their printed styles and hit the sand in style.
Material: 100% nylon | Style: Bathing suit | Sizes Available: XS-XXL | Colors: Navy, black, red, green, + | Care: Machine wash
When you get into the dog days of summer, there’s only one rule: comfier is always better. That’s why we found Gap Men’s 5” Easy Shorts, the sweatpants of summer shorts. With Gap’s GapFlex stretch technology fabric, a faux waist for maximum comfort, and a generous elastic drawstring waist, you’ll wish you never had to take them off.
We’ve noticed that these shorts can run a little big, so if you’re not looking for a more relaxed fit you may want to consider sizing down when you buy.
Material: 98% cotton, 2% spandex | Style: Slip-on | Sizes Available: XS-XXL | Colors: Navy, beige | Care: Machine wash
If there’s anyone who knows how to make sure you’re looking good while you sweat, it’s Lululemon, which is why their Bowline Short 5” Stretch Ripstop shorts are the perfect addition to any runners’ summer wardrobe. Created with Lululemon’s water and abrasion resistant Ripstop fabric, these shorts are designed to get you through tough conditions while keeping you cool and dry.
Their drawstring waist and nylon and elastane mixed fabric move with you, while their secure zippered and hidden pockets make sure you don’t need to be worried about losing anything while you’re in the zone. Throw these on with your favorite sneakers and hit the road.
Material: 85% nylon 15% elastane | Style: Athletic | Sizes Available: XS-XXL | Colors: Navy, beige, green, blue, + | Care: Machine wash
If you see Abercrombie & Fitch as a brand just for vape-happy middle and high schoolers, you’re doing it wrong. Abercrombie Men’s All-Day Shorts are the perfect solution for men who like a little darkness—in their wardrobe, that is.
These 5 inch inseam shorts have all the function of any other shorts with the sleek style of a washed out black dye. With a hidden elastic waistband, breathable cotton blend fabric, and hidden media pocket to protect your essentials these shorts are designed to get you through your day comfortably.
Material: 68% cotton 28% nylon 4% elastane | Style: Chino | Sizes Available: 26-38 | Colors: Black, beige | Care: Machine wash
Just because the shorts are getting shorter doesn’t mean they have to lose all of their style. Enter Katin Local Cord Short, an elegant solution for men on the move. These shorts feature not 2, not 4, but 6 roomy pockets to store anything you need while you’re out and about.
They come in black and a stylish baby blue, and are equipped with an adjustable, techwear inspired belted waist so that you don’t need to worry about being too weighed down.
Material: 100% cotton | Style: Cargo | Sizes Available: XS-XL | Colors: Brown, black, blue | Care: Machine wash
What to look for When Searching For The Best 5 Inch Inseam Shorts
If you’re hoping to navigate the fraught waters of 5 inch inseam shorts before summer hits or you jump into vacation-mode, don’t fret, it’s your time to pay attention to the next part.
One of the key elements of finding the best 5 inch inseam shorts for you is fit. Since there’s considerably less to these shorts than others you may be used to, you don’t want to take any chances. Your shorts should fit just like any pair of slacks, with a snug but non-restrictive waist and slim-fit leg openings.
Just because shorts tend to be seen as more casual doesn’t mean styling should be thrown out the window. Even the shortest shorts come in a variety of fabrics and styles so you can wear them anywhere from the beach to the bar, and different features that tailor them for every occasion.
No matter what they look like, shorts have one true main goal: to help you beat the heat. Be sure that you’re paying attention to the breathability and weight of the fabric your shorts are made from while shopping. A light cotton blend, linen, or even an athletic material is a great option for keeping cool and looking cool.
Though this question feels redundant, where 5 inch inseam shorts fall on you really depends on your height. For men from 5’ 10 to a few inches over 6 feet, 5 inch inseam shorts will hit just about mid-thigh, which is the ideal length.
Thes best rule of thumb when styling any kind of shirt is to keep it casual—it’s summertime after all. Throw on a pair of loafers with your new Chubbies when heading out to brunch or if you’re on the go try pairing your favorite running shoes with your king of athleisure style shorts (hint we’re talking about Lululemon). Remember when in it doubt Keep It Simple Stupid (we’ll let you figure out the joke there).
If you’re confident enough to rock the 5 inch inseam shorts, it’s safe to say that your main goal is to show off your leg day gains. To keep the focus on those quads, try opting for something simple up top, like a baggy tee with a half tuck or a button down open over a plain white tank top.