Yes, Denim Shorts Can Look Polished (And Still Be Comfortable!)

These are the pairs we’re buying this summer.

By: Hannah Baxter

Perfect denim shorts are, paradoxically, a staple for summertime getaways and impossible to find. Theyre either too short, too fussy, too distressed, too long, too tight—too a lot of things. Luckily, we love nothing more than discovering new labels and must-have styles from our co-workers, so that’s exactly who we turned to when it was time to trade out our trusty jeans for the warmer season. Whether you like a vintage high-rise or a low-slung cutoff, these are the six pairs that Cov staffers swear by.


Levi’s 501 Shorts

“Call me a grandma, but when I look for a denim short, I’m all about coverage—aka zero butt-cheek visibility. Before my trip to Coachella (where I knew I would need to dress for the scorching heat), I picked up these classics and couldn’t be more pleased. They’re comfortable, versatile, and something I know I won’t be tugging at every second throughout the day, but—and here’s the catch!—I also fall under the “petite” category, and reviews say that sizing varies, so just try them on before you buy.” —Samantha Sutton

Rag & Bone Freeport Cut Off Shorts

“As much as I love for jeans to hit well above my belly button, in the summer I want all waistlines dropped to my hips for ventilation. These Rag & Bone cutoffs are super comfortable and just drapey enough that I can wear them either walking around the city or as a beach cover-up as I VERY slowly learn to surf.” —Hannah Baxter

Off-White Black Graffiti Short

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a die-hard 501 cutoff girl—I have multiples in every wash. But when I tried on (and ultimately purchased) my first pair of Off-White shorts, it was magic. First, they meet my criteria of a button fly—it’s the only thing that doesn’t pucker and I swear gives me better posture. Secondly, they are the perfect length; not too short so my cheeks hang out, but not too long where I feel like I’m wearing bermudas (‘member those?). Lastly, they are so soft but still tough like denim—honestly, I don’t even know how that’s possible, but it is. Now, if only I could afford to stockpile them like everything else that I love.” —Noah Lehava

Topshop Moto High Waisted Rip Mom Short

“Honestly, a favorite denim short has never really been a thing for me. Every year it’s as though a different brand becomes the holy grail, but at the same time I’m more of a bike-shorts-under-a-long-tee kind of girl, anyways. The one pair I see myself adding to my closet this year are these distressed ones from Topshop—you can’t go wrong with a light wash and rips.” —Jodi Taylor

Levi’s Wedgie Selvedge Shorts

“Levi’s Original Wedgie jeans are hands-down my favorite fit of denim that I’ve ever had. When I found out that they came in a shorts version, I had to snag a pair before they sold out. They are just the right length and so versatile.” —Meg Gegler

Gap Mid Rise Denim Roll Shorts

“I like my denim shorts to be loose and comfy—nothing too restrictive or hot. I love these, and they’re totally the kind of denim shorts that get better and better with every wear. I’ll probably order them two sizes too big and live in them this summer.” —Laurel Pantin