Does anyone else struggle with finding the perfect denim shorts? They are one of the hardest things to shop for if you ask me! But I’m doing the heavy lifting for you today, comparing fifteen (YUP 15!!) pairs of denim shorts for you! Get ready for the best denim shorts reviewed for fit, style, and comfort!
The Best Denim Shorts Reviewed
To get a good selection of shorts, I ordered from a variety of retailers with varying price points! You’ll find more affordable options from Walmart, Target, and Old Navy, more mid-priced options from American Eagle and Madewell, and a few designer pairs too!
For reference, I’m 5’7 1/2″ with a short torso and very long legs! I typically wear a 28/29 in jeans or a size 8. My bra size is a 36C, and I typically wear a size medium (or 8) top.
If you ever have any question about what size I’m wearing, check the links below each image! I list any recommendations I have for sizing up or down for quick reference. (TTS= true to size!) For full details, I’ll be chatting all about quality, style, and fit in the paragraphs above each photo. Let’s go!
Madewell Denim Shorts
Since Madewell denim is my favorite of all time, of course I had to include a few pairs of their shorts in the mix! Although they do have more more rigid denim options, the two pairs that I own are on the softer, strechier side. While I love me a high cotton count denim, sometimes you just want something lighter and softer, ya know? That’s where these come in!
I bought these right before our Disney trip last year, and I’m so glad I did. For long amounts of sitting or just ultimate comfort all around, having a stretch denim is a nice option! These are high rise with a four inch inseam. They come rolled but do unfold to the full four inches with a raw hem. The denim is lighter weight and the fit is more form-fitting. They fit true to size. I’m in a 29/8.
I also own these same shorts in white. Limited sizing is left but they are on sale for under $40!! They fit true to size.
Abercrombie Denim Shorts
Abercrombie shorts can be one of the hardest to come by! Last year, I was never able to get my hands on a pair of the blue denim shorts in the longer four inch inseam! So this year the moment they were in stock I ordered a pair! If you’ve been wanting to try them and come across them in your size, don’t delay! They rarely stay in stock long.
High Rise Mom Short
With 99% cotton and 1% elastane, these are a true rigid denim with the smallest amount of stretch. Be prepared for them to feel stiff and break in over time. I ordered my true size 8 and found that they fit pretty snug, especially through the waist. Keep in mind, I do have a straighter figure, so curvier figures may find the waist to fit TTS. Overall, I’d suggest sizing up for more comfort.
I wanted to try these because everyone compares them to Agolde denim. Style-wise I will agree. These have a four inch inseam like many of the Agolde shorts I love. They also have similar-looking distressing. But the denim in these is significantly, significantly more stiff. The waistband also felt very inflexible right out of the box. I imagine they’ll soften with wear but I still prefer my Agolde!
I also tried them in black in my previous Abercrombie try on! These are a size larger than the previous pair and fit much more comfortably!
Agolde Denim Shorts
For me, these are the holy grail of all denim shorts. They have the vintage, worn-in look with a high cotton count. But unlike so many less expensive high cotton count options, these are soft and broken-in in the best way. And they still wear in and form to your figure over time. Yes, they are more spendy, but they last for years. When considering cost per wear, they are worth it. See even more options in my Agolde Shorts Review!
These are my newest pair that I just picked up– and they are keepers!! I’ve owned the original Parker short for years but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve worn them less and less since they’re pretty short. These are the perfect solution. You get that same vintage cut with a 10.5″ rise and a 4″ inseam. The fit is relaxed through the hip and thigh and the denim is so soft. They come in several washes, but I love this lighter one. It matches the vintage look and feel perfectly! I find them to fit TTS. Those of you with smaller waists (pear or hourglass) may want to size down one. I’m in a 29.
I also tried this slightly dark mid-blue wash. Same cut, same feel, same fit! Love these too if you’d prefer a darker wash! It also has no distressing except for the raw hem!
These were my very first pair of Agolde denim shorts and what started the obsession! They have the perfect amount of vintage distressing and are 100% cotton. With a 2.5″ inseam, these feel quite a bit shorter on me than the longer version! But I do love the style! For more petite ladies (or those who love a short short), these are for you! (Keep in mind my legs are very long and everything looks shorter on me! 😉) I stayed with my true size in these but wished I had sized up one for a little looser, more relaxed fit. Plus, it would have given me just a little extra length. Scroll down to see the same shorts in a size up!
This black wash pair are the exact same cut but I did size up in these! Since they are a size up, they don’t fit quite as high rise, but they are so comfy! I highly recommend sizing up one!
I bought these shortly after the first Parker pair, and they’ve probably been my most-worn to date. It looks like Agolde is phasing this style out; however, the Parker longer version are so similar to these– and I actually prefer those now! These fit TTS. I sized down one (to a 28) but wished I had stayed with my true size for more of a relaxed fit.
I purchased these last summer and wore them at least once a week all summer long. These are another pair that I highly recommend if you’re looking for a longer inseam option! They have a three inch inseam and a super high 11.5″ rise! Because of the higher rise, these nip in a tiny bit more at the waist. For those with pear or hourglass shapes, these will probably be your best bet! I size up one and love the fit. They come in quite a few wash options!
See more Agolde shorts in my Agolde Shorts Review!
Last month, I placed a huge order for all things Free Assembly, a new sustainable line at Walmart! And I was so impressed with the jeans, I had to try the shorts too!
For my rigid-denim lovers, these are an affordable pair worth checking out! They have a high rise, 4″ inseam, and are made of organic cotton! I also love that the cuff can be unrolled since it’s not sewn, giving you even more length! They come in five washes, including two classic blue denim options. Beware that sizing runs pretty small though! I sized up one to a 10 and these are still pretty stiff and snug. I recommend sizing up at least one. If you like a relaxed fit jean short, size up 2!
American Eagle Denim Shorts
It’s been a few years since I tried American Eagle shorts, but the Tomgirl used to be one of my favorites! I was excited to see AE still made the style and in a high rise, no less! YAY!
If you love a 100% cotton short but hate the rigid feel, these are for you!! They are crazy-soft for a cotton denim short! Plus I love the 3.5″ inseam! The moment I put them on, I instantly remembered why these used to be my go-to! They come in three washes (one with only a raw hem and no distressing if that’s more your style.) I size up one to a 10 and love the relaxed fit. In general I’d say these fit TTS but suggest sizing up if you’re in between sizes.
Of course I had to include some Target shorts! If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t purchased a pair of shorts from Target in years. They tend to not fit me the best, and I’ve found other brands that I much prefer! But I still wanted to try a couple of their latest releases to see how they stacked up!
With a high rise, 3.5″ inseam, and 100% cotton, I was excited to try these! Unfortunately, they are not a good cut for me. They nip in more at the waist, which doesn’t work with my straighter figure. They also come up on the sides, revealing a lot of outer thigh which I wasn’t a huge fan of. I sized up one and could barely get these on. I highly suggest sizing up 1-2, depending on your figure. They also come in blue denim washes, white, and lavender. At only $15, these are super-affordable but I’d much prefer the AE, Walmart, or Old Navy options!
I hate to break it to ya, but these weren’t a win for me either. They were definitely an improvement over the last pair. The denim is lighter weight, soft, and stretchy. They have a high rise, light distressing, and cutoff hem. But they were very form-fitting through the leg almost like a skinny jean cut off into a short. They weren’t horrible by any means, just not at all what I look for in a short. I sized up one.
Old Navy Denim Shorts
Old Navy has really been stepping up their game in the denim department, so I was super-excited to try this year’s shorts selection! Spoiler alert: I was impressed!
If you like a classic rolled denim short, these are a great option. They have a high rise and a 3″ inseam. The construction is 99% cotton with 1% spandex, giving them light stretch. They are a little more substantial feeling and almost hold you in. The cuff is sewn and can’t be unrolled. I went with my true size 8 and found them to be a bit snug. If you like a little more room or are in between sizes, I’d recommend sizing up!
I tend to prefer a cutoff, so these were my favorite of the Old Navy pairs! They also have 99% cotton with 1% spandex, but they are a lighter weight denim than the last pair. With a 3″ inseam, I liked the length. They fit a little slimmer through the thigh and leg but have more structure than the Target pair. I’m in my true size 8 and find them to fit TTS. If you want a more relaxed look like on the model, I recommend sizing up one!
And that’s it! Did you find a pair you love?! My favorites still remain by Agolde, and you can see even more styles reviewed in my Agolde Shorts Review post!