When it got too hot to work from home in sweatpants, many of us turned to an equally comfortable but far less suffocating solution: sweatshorts. Like your favorite cutoffs, sweatshorts should be supercomfortable and make your butt look great. And right now, they’re crazy popular. Nearly every clothing brand you can think of makes a version of the loungewear basic in a wide array of colors and lengths. To find the best sweatshorts for men and women, we talked to a bunch of stylish people about the ones they wear and love as well as a few they’re looking to pick up.
The best men’s sweatshorts
Several people mentioned Todd Snyder x Champion sweatshorts, including stylist Donnell Baldwin and Brian Davis, owner of vintage-clothing store Wooden Sleepers. Davis has them in navy with a seven-inch inseam. “They’re comfy enough to lounge around at home but considered enough for an emergency ice-cream run,” he says.
Baldwin also told us about these more luxe sweat shorts from British menswear brand Sunspel, which is mostly known for its impossibly soft T-shirts worn by the likes of John Mayer. Like the tees, Baldwin says its sweatshorts are supersoft. “Before owning anything from Sunspel, I was like, What’s the big deal? Then I got to test them out and I was like, Oh, never mind. This is something different.’”
Steve “Sweatpants” Irby told us this green pair is his current favorite. “Right now, I think Daily Paper sweatshorts are the best. The cut, the material, and just how clean they are with pretty much any fit easily makes them my favorite pair out,” he says.
Irby also likes this option from Carhartt WIP. “I’m more of a classic New Yorker, so basketball shorts will always be my go-to. But I do own a couple of Carhartt WIP sweatshorts, mainly because they are too cozy to be denied,” he says.
Dustin Winegardner, partner and managing director of sustainable-clothing brand Arvin Goods, has these shorts in two iterations. “I have an older, pre-sustainability version of these that I wear often. Then I got the new and improved version that’s part of Nike’s Move to Zero collection. It’s made from a recycled-poly–organic-cotton blend. They took an already great item and made it better,” he says.
Winegardner’s colleague Harry Fricker also opts for sweatshorts made from sustainable materials. “Outerknown is making strides in the material space for all of its products. I love my Hightide sweatshorts. The deep pockets and terry toweling make them feel pretty much like wearing a beach towel,” he says.
“Before, wearing sweatshorts always made me feel a little schlubby, like I’d chosen to take the day off. But this pair feels a little more put together, like a deliberate fashion choice,” says Strategist associate editor Louis Cheslaw. The shorts and everything else the brand offers are made from a blend of cotton and Japanese paper yarn, which Cheslaw says results in a “crisper, drier, and more breathable texture” than you get with full cotton or cotton-polyester blends.
Matthew Schnipper, the director of VICE digital entertainment and the writer behind the music newsletter Deep Voices, bought these Noah sweatshorts for their “casual yet aggressive” vibe and because they are relaxed but sharply cut with a cool white drawstring.
The best women’s sweatshorts
First-grade teacher Vanessa De Riggs has multiple pairs of these sweatshorts from Everlane. “They remind me of a cool version of gym shorts. Plus, they come in cute colors, are comfy, have pockets, and fit really well,” she says, adding that she likes to roll the waist down one fold to give an even more flattering fit.
“I just bought these babies,” says writer and editor Lori Keong. She likes that they’re beachy and comfy with a really “soothing” texture thanks to their terry-cloth material. And although she doesn’t have any kids, she says Maison Me, retailer Maisonette’s mommy-and-me shop, has some cute, affordable adult-size clothing.
“These shorts kind of remind me of the cheerleader-esque shorts that Molly Gordon’s character in Booksmart would wear,” says Strategist writer Chloe Anello. Yes, they’re shorter and more fitted than most other sweatshorts, but Anello says they’re supercomfortable. “I wear them on superhot days (with lots of sunscreen) because they’re so lightweight. A lot of sustainable brands are really expensive, too, so I love that these are affordable,” she says.
Alternately, Anello wears these thicker sweatshorts from Mate the Label with a sweatshirt when walking her dog on cooler nights. She says they’re very soft and have pockets big enough to fit her phone on walks. “Also I like that you can tighten the waist from the inside so you don’t have the strings hanging down in the front.”
After working from home for a year and a half, Kat Collings, creative director of Who What Wear Collection, has tried on a lot of sweatshorts. “I am big on comfy bottoms, and the Jane shorts from local L.A. brand Rails reign supreme. They are soft as hell, just the right length (plenty of coverage without getting dowdy), and come in a ton of colors,” she says.
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