Sweatpants were originally intended for athletic pursuits. Today, those pursuits are mostly achieved from the couch, in search of which channel has the game on — sweatpants are simply the go-to pair of bottoms for many. They’re perfect for chillin’ at home, working from home or heading out to meet friends.
If you want the comfort of your beloved sweatpants without emphasizing the sweat part, especially now that the weather’s heating up, sweat shorts are the logical choice. The basis for a good pair of sweat shorts is a comfortable and durable jersey or terry-cloth fabric. It’s stretchy, has a comfortable drape and is the perfect lounge-friendly material. Whether it’s a pair of no-nonsense heather grey joints or an over-the-top pair with luxury materials, there are a ton to choose from. Instead of wasting your precious minutes poring through every option, we’ve rounded up a series of our favorites.
Additional contribution by Evan Malachosky
Best Overall Sweat Shorts: Todd Snyder x Champion Lightweight Warm Up Shorts
Drawing on vintage sportswear, these shorts are made from garment-dyed French Terry polished off with finished hems, patch pockets and an adjustable waistband. Plus, they were made with the company that invented the sweatshirt, Champion. Literally, they did.
Best Upgrade Sweat Shorts: Les Tien Raw Hem Drawstring Shorts
Sure, you might be hesitant to spend $155 on a pair of sweat shorts you could replicate with sweatpants and scissors. The raw hem, however, isn't shaggy nor sloppy. These heavyweight, 100-percent cotton shorts appear already worn, but that only makes them better once on. Soft, sturdy and that right mix of distressed and designer, get these if you know you're going to get a few seasons out of 'em.
Best Affordable Sweat Shorts: Abercrombie Fleece Shorts
It's OK. Relax. You haven't stumbled into a portal that sent you back to the days of cargo shorts, Hollister shirts and mall dates. But, do listen to me carefully. There are plenty of good options at Abercrombie & Fitch nowadays. They might've axed the designer who dragged them from their grave, but his refinements remain. Get yourself these simple fleece shorts, which, shockingly, don't have a logo anywhere on them. They're soft, sun-faded and appropriately short.
Buck Mason Interloop Sweat Short
Yeah, the brand might specialize in T-shirts, but Buck Mason's Interloop Sweat Shorts prove they've broadened their scope. Cut from a mid-weight cotton French Terry described as "dense," these don't shrink and certainly don't slouch. These are the "Oh, wow, I'm shocked these are sweat shorts!" option.
Los Angeles Apparel Mid-Length Heavy Fleece Shorts
Made in Los Angeles using a sturdy 14-ounce fleece, these come with requisite hand and rear pockets as well as a stretchy elasticated drawstring waist. You can grab ’em in four different colors, too, if this muted navy sweat isn't for you.
Entireworld Sweat Shorts
This pair is a mix between running and sweat shorts, pairing Japanese loop back French terry with details like cut-out side seams and bound hems. They also come with two slash hand pockets a rear pocket and an elasticated drawstring waist.
Outerknown Hightide Sweatshorts
Designed with an eco-conscious blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton, Outerknown’s Hightide Sweatshorts are as durable as they are comfortable. These soft on the inside and out and the zippered rear pocket ensures you won’t lose your wallet.
Faherty Whitewater Sweatshort
Faherty’s Jacquard version of the sweat short is a more formal attempt at the style — if there is such a thing. The textured gray colorway doesn’t read like dingy gym clothes and, unlike most options out there, these can be tailored to your liking through Faherty's paternjhip with Hemster.
Jungmaven Garment-Dyed Hemp and Organic Cotton Jersey Shorts
Jungmaven's Jersey Shorts are cut from loopback hemp and organic cotton-blend jersey dyed a delicate, pretty purple — although one would argue it's probably more like lilac than eggplant. These come thicker throughout and with an oversized drawstring.
Lululemon City Sweat Short
Just because they're comfortable doesn't mean they can't be technical. Such is true with Lululemon's City Sweat Short, smart bottoms made from four-way stretch French Terry fabric cut with a nine-inch inseam. There are your standard slant pockets, plus hidden media and coin ones, too.