26 Denim Shorts That Are Always Cool, Never Basic


Denim shorts, much like the crop tops or tight dresses of the world, tend to walk that fine line between cool and basic. It’s all too easy to settle for the mass-fashion end of the spectrum when it comes to these types of trends (you know those millions of “meh” options we’re talking about). But if you’re looking to edge toward the side of cool, it’s all about knowing where to shop.

While we all have that pair of cut-off denim shorts that we reach for during too-hot weekends, you won’t regret having an alternative option on hand that’s a little more of a conversation starter. Wouldn’t you rather show up to your weekly park date with your besties and grab all the compliments? Exactly.

Click on to shop some of the best next-level denim shorts, and leave those denim cutoffs castoffs in the back of your drawer in exchange for the cool-girl picks ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

H&M Denim Shorts, $, available at H&M

Free People Romeo Rolled Cut Off Shorts, $, available at Free People

& Other Stories Spark Cut Denim Shorts, $, available at & Other Stories

Hudson Jeans Devon High Waist Cutoff Denim Shorts, $, available at Nordstrom

Reformation Sammie High Rise Relaxed Jean Shorts, $, available at Reformation

Violeta By Mango Medium-Waist Denim Shorts, $, available at Mango

Topshop Lola Distressed Denim Cutoff Mom Shorts, $, available at Nordstrom

Everlane The Way-High Jean Short, $, available at Everlane

COS Slim Denim Shorts, $, available at COS

Oak + Fort Denim Paper Bag Shorts, $, available at Oak + Fort

Levi's 501® Original High Rise Mid-Thigh Shorts, $, available at Levi's

BDG Poppy Denim Drawstring Short, $, available at Urban Outfitters

Agolde Criss Cross High Rise Upsized Short, $, available at Verishop

Madewell High-Rise Mid-Length Denim Shorts, $, available at Madewell

Good American Good '90s Bermuda, $, available at Good American

H&M Denim Bermuda Shorts, $, available at H&M

Levi's 501 Original Short, $, available at Revolve

Denim Forum The Joni Loose Long Short, $, available at Aritzia

Staud Painter High-Rise Denim Shorts, $, available at Matches Fashion

Frame Le Vintage Bermuda Denim Shorts, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Agolde Riley Distressed Organic Denim Shorts, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Dr Denim Plus Nora Sky High Denim Mom Shorts, $, available at ASOS

Rolla's Original Shorts, $, available at Shopbop

Hudson Jeans Lori High Waist Denim Shorts, $, available at Nordstrom

Zara Mom Fit Shorts, $, available at Zara

Ética Skylar Distressed Raw Hem Shorts, $, available at Nordstrom Rack

AE Ne(x)t Level Curvy Denim Mom Shorts, $, available at AE

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