We’re entering the dog days of summer—those muggy days where you can hardly step outside, let alone put together a cute outfit. That’s why I’m focusing on the lighter things in life, namely the best linen pants, linen dresses, and linen shorts. If linen pants are for your coastal grandma-inspired trips out of town, then linen shorts are for those scorching days when clothes seem impossible.
There are a ton of different linen shorts available right now, so you’re bound to find one in your preferred style, colorway, or budget. There are drawstring shorts that make for a great bathing suit coverup, the kind you can keep in your beach bag all summer long. Or, shop tailored versions that look great when paired with a linen blazer or a coordinating linen shirt as a summer work outfit (that is, if your office lets you wear shorts).
Linen shorts are also a great alternative to denim shorts—they’re just as wearable if you buy them in a neutral color like navy blue, white, black, or tan, but they’re often far more comfortable. Plus, the styling opportunities are endless once you find a pair that you love. To prove it, I spoke to Zoe Gofman, a celebrity stylist who has worked with supermodels like Adriana Lima and Shanina Shaik.
How To Style Linen Shorts for Daytime
“For a daytime look, I always like to take advantage of the fact that we can wear all-white looks during the summertime,” Gofman tells me. So, try to keep it simple. “I would normally go for a basic white tee with a white linen shirt or a plain black tank.” And when it comes to accessories, stick to the basics of your summer wardrobe. “You can style linen shorts with sneakers, ballet flats, or sandals depending on the occasion for daytime looks.” Bonus points if your all-white outfits match your coolest all-white sneakers.
How To Style Linen Shorts for Nighttime
This may be surprising to say, but linen shorts can be sexy for nighttime, especially when you style them with trendier accessories that show a little skin. “One way I love styling linen shorts for nighttime is to wear them with a button-down, little open-toe heels, a little belt, and a clutch,” says Gofman. Or, follow her lead and opt for a pair of linen shorts that come in shades like navy blue or black. “Even during the summertime, I always tend to add a darker color to my nighttime look to give more of a night vibe, so many of the accessories styled with linen shorts during the nighttime are dark-colored.”
Deals on Linen Shorts
- Best Overall Linen Shorts: Abercrombie & Fitch Ultra High Rise Linen-Blend Pull-On Short
- Best Affordable Linen Shorts: H&M Linen Shorts
- Best White Linen Shorts: J.Crew Cuffed High-Rise Suit Short in Stretch Linen Blend
- Best Black Linen Shorts: Banana Republic Palma 4" Linen Short
The Best Linen Shorts
Best Overall Linen Shorts
It's no secret that Abercrombie & Fitch is having a moment right now. Everything on their site sells out in a matter of days, so make sure to get your hands on this pair of comfortable and high-waisted linen shorts while you have the chance. They're also available to shop in tons of other colors like a bright Barbiecore pink, a classic black, and a leafy green colorway. They’re made from a soft linen-cotton blend and are machine washable (on cold!).
Customer Review: "Love these! Great for petite ladies. Look polished and comfortable in the summer" — Abercrombie & Fitch
“Madewell has been really on point for their summer apparel and these shorts are divine. I love that they are reasonably priced, especially because it can be a little scary going out in white linen. Because of their price point, it would not scare me to get a little vodka cranberry on them if there happens to be a spill. These are also one of the few linen shorts that can definitely be worn with sneakers. I don't wear sneakers often, but when I do these are the ones I wear. " — Zoe Gofman, Celebrity Stylist
Customer Review: "Love these shorts! The length is good and breezy and they can be easily dressed up or dressed down. They run big so size down!" — Madewell
Best Black Linen Shorts
You can't go wrong with this four-inch-long pair of linen shorts from Banana Republic, another brand that's having a moment for summer 2023. These have a super high rise that measures 11.5 inches and are available in two size ranges, regular and petite. The regular-length version of these shorts has a slightly longer inseam than the name suggests, measuring 4.5 inches. You can shop them in two other colors if you’re not into wearing black in the summer: an olive green and a beige hue.
Best Affordable Linen Shorts
These $25 linen shorts are the answer to all of your beach day woes. They're lightweight enough to keep in your bag in between trips, but cute enough to carry you from the beach to after-sun cocktails if you're on vacation and want to pack light. Shop them in a bunch of fun colors, including this green shade and a bright cherry red. They're made from 100 percent linen and come with an easy drawstring closure—no annoying buttons or zippers in sight. One con? The fabrication means that they look wrinkled without much wear.
Customer Review: "Really cute! but wrinkles easily!" — H&M
Best White Linen Shorts
J.Crew makes the cutest summer staples around, and this pair of cuffed linen shorts are proof. Well-priced at under just $100 and available in four colors, they're bound to become a piece that you constantly re-wear in your summer wardrobe. The four-inch inseam means that they won't come up super short on the leg, while the super high rise (it measures nearly 12 inches) means that it will hit just around your belly button. Plus, the cuffed look adds a bit of structure.
Customer Review: "These shorts are the best thing I’ve purchased from J. Crew in a long time. Comfortable fit, nice fabric, easy to dress up or down. I hope they come out with more colors or a fun print. I bought my normal size but if you’re between sizes, I would size down." — J.Crew
Best Linen Shorts on Amazon
Nearly 700 five-star reviews don't lie: This pair of linen shorts is among the best Amazon has to offer. Great if you need a pair in a pinch or are just a chronic last-minute packer, these lightweight shorts are here to save your summer wardrobe. They come in two different lengths and are available to shop in nine neutral colors including this black version, a pale olive green option, a classic white hue, and a sweet blush pink pick. So easy!
Customer Review: "Wish I’d found these earlier in the summer. Light but good weight for no see-through coverage. Good length. Super soft and comfortable. Purchased in khaki and black as well! Like drawstring as an option for waist." — Amazon
Best Belted Linen Shorts
Prefer to look a little fancier on your day off? These belted linen shorts from Veronica Beard are the best ones for you. They come in two colors (a baby blue and this cream color) and are made from an easy linen blend that won't wrinkle as easily. Plus, the belt design is removable for more versatility when styling. They're also machine washable, so you won't have to worry about hand-washing them in your sink or ruining them in the wash. Shop them now in sizes 00 through 16.
Best Bright Linen Shorts
Are you someone who loves color? Then shop this pair of pale pink shorts from Zara. Meant to fit like a pair of men's boxer shorts, they're great if you want to look relaxed on your days off. They're also a little longer in the leg than some of the other options on this list, so you can wear them either lower on your waist or higher up depending on how you're feeling. You can shop the matching oversized shirt, too, to complete the all-over pink ensemble.
Not every pair of pants in your wardrobe have to come in a simple color—prints can be way more fun to play with! This pair of checkered shorts from Rachel Antonoff is proof that longer, Bermuda-style shorts are back. If you're on the petite side and are worried about them making you look short, consider styling shorts like these with a heeled sandal or a pair of neutral-colored or white knee-high boots. Either option will elongate your leg and stop the longer hemline from cutting you off at the knee.
Best Office-Ready Linen Shorts
If you work in the kind of office where (longer) shorts are allowed in the warmer months, consider this pair of linen shorts from Eileen Fisher—they have an 8.5-inch inseam! At once a mix of comfortable and formal, they’ll look great when styled with a white button-down or T-shirt. Plus, if your office gets cold as the afternoon wears on, consider layering a linen blazer or a lightweight summer sweater to complete the look. Shop them now in sizes XXS through XL.
Customer Review: "These shorts are the perfect style for a summer day or evening. I'm 5'5" and they hit just above my knee. The leg is slightly full, which should allow for some air flow on a hot day. I plan to wear them with a tee and trainers or a linen blazer and espadrilles." — Bloomingdale's
Best Tan Linen Shorts
Leave it to one of my favorite swimwear brands to design one of my favorite pairs of linen shorts on the market. This drawstring pair from Monday Swimwear is great because it’s designed to perfectly match with the bikinis available on the site. The crinkled linen finish will do away with unwanted wrinkles, while the smocked waistband means all-day comfort and ease. Available in three colors, this pair works just as well styled over a bikini as it does with a regular t-shirt for a casual daytime ensemble.
Meet The Expert
Zoe ‘Zaz’ Gofman, is a New York and Los Angeles based fashion stylist, wardrobe stylist, personal shopper and creative consultant. She is known for marrying her bold flair with her love for vintage pieces and the classic crispness of French fashion.
Growing up spending her summers in France, Zaz was continually immersed in and inspired by international fashion trends at a young age. She curated and refined her stylistic eye throughout young adulthood by sourcing and sewing textiles, working at local clothing stores, and being hired as a personal shopper in her hometown of New York City.
In addition, her passion for fashion, zaz possess a unique musical talent and went on to college at Tulane University, with the long-term goal of entering the music industry. Graduating from Tulane in 2020, Zaz began to think about ways to merge her creative interests as she sought to lay the foundation for her career path. However, that career path found her. Zaz’s intrepid style and unmatched confidence turned heads when she attended NYFW in September of 2021, catching the eye of big industry names and landing her a job as Shanina Shaik’s wardrobe stylist. since then, Zaz has taken on several additional clients including Adriana Lima, Meredith Duxbury, Elisha Herbert, Charlotte McKinney and more as well as styling for various brand campaigns and contributing her style expertise in articles for InStyle, Harper’s BAZAAR, People, etc. Whether she is styling someone for a night or dressing an entire brand campaign, Zoe is devoted to creating timeless looks that capture not only a moment, but also the people in that moment, and making them feel like they’re the only one in the room. ‘\
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