Calling all boy parents! Why the heck is it impossible to find good fitting shorts for boys? I swear almost every style out there is a literal capri length. Shorts are so much cuter on them and I am sure more comfortable for them when showing a little knee, free the knee! First, I polled you all and then I bought over 25 pairs myself to narrow down the best options out there. I have organized it by athletic, casual and twill shorts and have a few options in each category from low to high price points.
A few key things to note from my research and experience:
-I used my son as a model throughout all of my research. He is 4.5 years old and wears a 4T pant. He is 42 inches tall and a skinny boy.
-I think shorts last much longer than a pant, don't assume every season you have to size up in shorts and get rid of their old sizes. My son outgrew all of his pants this year because they became too short on him, but with shorts we don't have that problem. You will see in some of my recommendations he can still fit in a 2T short!!!
-For consistency, I bought a size 4T in every short I tested. I will note where styles are true to size, but in general I found that the twill/dressy styles ran big. Especially if you are looking for a cute short length, you need to size down.
Before I get into styles, the best brand and one stop shop for good length shorts is Primary, hands down. The brand's entire purpose is to offer quality, genderless and simple essentials in a range of colors. In every short they offer a few lengths and lots of colors. They are at a mid-tier price point, but you can hand them down to any boy or girl sibling. Shop all their shorts here.
So, let's get into it!
(In order from low to high price point)
1. Retro Athletic Cotton Shorts - these adorable shorts are sold in a 2 or 3 pack. They are literally the perfect, cutest length and run TTS not to mention they are affordable breaking down to about $8 a pair! Sizes 12M-16 Yrs available.
2. Adidas Athletic Shorts - ok here is the thing. if you want a true basketball style short all of them are going to run on the longer side. I ordered many brands and found that Adidas was often the shortest of them all by a tad. If you have a skinny boy like my son, the key here is sizing down. My son literally can still fit in the 2T size of these because the waists are so stretchy or the 4T but then they are longer. They run $15 a pair
3. Primary StayCool Running Shorts - dang are these cute!!! A true athletic top notch material and available in 7 colors. They fit true to size and again can be passed down to any sibling, boy or girl. $24.00/pair. Available in sizes 2-14.
Casual or lounge shorts
Looking for comfortable everyday shorts for your son to run around in all summer? This is that category and I have included low and mid tier quality price points that are winners.
1. H&M Cotton Jersey Shorts - for an affordable option these shorts won this category hands down! Specially the cotton jersey option, I also tried just the cotton style and thought the fit was very sloppy. They are sold in a 3 pack or 5 pack in great color options and run true to size and are only $7/pair! Sizes 2-10 available
2. Primary Field Shorts - these are awesome shorts, probably some of my favorite of all that we tried. They are casual, but top notch quality with real pockets and a functional tie. They run TTS, the length is so cute and they come in a range of solids and rainbow stripes for $18-$22.50. Available in sizes 2-14. For a baby, they sell a similar Play Short for only $12 in sizes 3-24M.
3. Primary Track Shorts - another great casual style, with a more defined waistband and again the perfect length, functional pockets and a drawstring. Run TTS in sizes 2-14.
I found this category to be the trickiest to find the perfect length short. Sizing generally ran large in all the styles I bought, so overall I had to size down in most brands, especially the affordable ones to get a good length.
(ranked from low to high price points)
1. Cat & Jack Woven Shorts - these come with a caveat, you have to size down! A 4T was big in the waist and very wide/long in the leg. I am not kidding you when I said my son actually fits in his 2T size of these still. I wouldn't recommend sizing down 2 sizes when you are buying new ones, but definitely size down 1. (for perspective the actual waist only measured .5 inch bigger in a 4T vs 2T, but the length/width of the leg was much larger in the 4T). Sizes 12M-5T available and only $6/pair!
2. JCrew Factory Dock Shorts - I also found these to run slightly big, they hit just above the knee (not quite as short as I like lol, but definitely better than most out there). They are a really great short that can be dressed up or down but are still very comfortable with an elastic waistband and functional tie. My son needed a 3T in these. They come in sizes 2-16 and are often on sale.
3. Primary Chino Midi Short - the perfect length option of them all were no surprise from Primary, a stretch chino midi available in 5 colors. A little more casual vibe with the rounded hem and $29.50/pair. TTS
4. Cadet Shorts - last but not least, when I polled you all for some of the best short shorts, Cadet came up as a top brand recommendation. Everyone made the point to note they are pricey, but the shortest length to show off those cutie legs.