You know how when you repeat a word out loud over and over, it somehow dissociates from your vocabulary to sound like part of an entirely foreign lexicon? (Try saying milk 15 times if you don’t believe us.) Now consider “jorts.” The silly-sounding name for an article of clothing is actually a portmanteau, and it all started when “jeans” met “shorts” in a forbidden romance.
In the ’80s and ’90s, jorts seemed to be relegated to dressed-down dads and, at times, downright embarrassing weekend outfits. But just like the fanny pack, what was once a style no-no has become a staple of the season. Today, we’re seeing jean shorts reincarnated in countless iterations to be slipped on for almost any warm-weather occasion. Feeling edgy? Go for cut-offs that have a distressed look. Heading to the beach? Seek out a pair with drawstrings and a slouchy fit. We’ve got your thighs covered with seven jorts across a spectrum of price ranges and styles. Now we’re speaking your language.
Jorts Done Right: Meet Your Summer Style Staples
1. Ksubi Chopper Short Dunez Trashed
This Aussie brand uses an earthy sepia tone garment dye that pairs well with a black or white tee. It’s made from rigid denim, featuring scuffing on the front, a rolled raw hem, and branded detailing on the back pocket like Ksubi’s signature 4×4 cross embroidery.
2. Frame L’Homme Cut Off Short
These five-pocket Frame cut-offs have a slim fit that’s just snug enough on the thighs (thanks to a touch of elastane included in the denim). We love that the ripped hems hit just above the knee.
3. NN07 Johnny 1849 Regular Cotton Shorts
These have a clean appearance with zero distressing, making them more versatile when it comes to styling. With a slight stretch infused into the denim from the Better Cotton Initiative (a non-governmental organization focused on sustainable cotton growing), this pair is comfy enough to slip on for a bike commute.
4. Levi’s Marine Carpenter Denim Men’s Shorts
The slouchy carpenter cut gives a utilitarian feel to Levi’s marine shorts, which are constructed with lightweight denim. They’ve been pimped out with the iconic brand’s proprietary Cool Technology to keep you feeling fresh through the heat of the summer.
5. A.P.C. Teddy Shorts
You won’t find softer jorts than the straight-leg Teddy style from A.P.C., which uses non-selvage cotton denim from Japan. This five-pocket pair sits right at the waist and features a retro light wash appearance with tone-on-tone topstitching and metallic hardware.
6. Cos Straight-Leg Denim Shorts
COS crafted their straight-fit jorts with recycled cotton denim waste, a hallmark characteristic of its eco-friendly Spring/Summer 2021 collection. The brand even kept this style free of rivets to encourage future recycling—so don’t just toss these babies out when you’re ready to move on!
7. Universal Works Indigo-Dyed Herringbone Denim Drawstring Shorts
With a drawstring waist and a twice-dyed indigo hue that will fade deliciously in time, UK brand Universal Works’ interpretation of jorts is effortlessly cool. This wildcard pair is supremely casual, if not wholly beach-friendly, but the unexpected herringbone (chevron-like) pattern is what really makes them stand out from the list.
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