The Defining Shorts of Summer 2024, According to GQ Staffers

Looking for more shorts intel? Here’s every pair worth your dollars right now—plus everything else you’ll want to wear this summer.

Around this time every year, the GQ Recommends team convenes in our clandestine subterranean lair (it’s like the Batcave, but with better lighting) to vote on one crucial matter: the official shorts of the summer. Prior summits have anointed Patagonia’s legendary Baggies, Gramicci’s mountain-scaling G shorts, and, just last year, these ultra-preppy pleated joints from Lands’ End. The debate is fierce. Words are said; friendships are renounced; thighs are exposed. But without fail, the process yields a promising new contender for the crown, a smoky flare beamed to desktops around the world with a single message: All hail the king.

This summer is different. Long gone are the days of five-inch-inseam supremacy; a new king, to whom five inches means nothing, has come to power. In 2024, shorts have taken a turn towards the extreme—hems have simultaneously blown past the knee, nearly kissing the ankles, and sneakily crept upwards, not-quite caressing the booty. (We see you, Paul Mescal, and we salute your efforts.) The very notion of a scientifically correct inseam length has been all but obliterated. And our collective shorts-related tsuris doesn’t end there. Washed-out jorts are enjoying their time in the sun, sure, but so are knife-sharp dress shorts. Factor in the sudden ubiquity of sporty, retro-indebted mesh shorts, and we couldn’t possibly crown a true king, no matter how long we deliberated.

So in a historic first, we didn’t. Instead, we devoted this year’s shorts summit to crowning five of them, each different from the other in length, vibe, and silhouette. Think we missed a pair worthy of consideration? Sound off in our inbox—or slide into our DMs—to let us know. The true shorts of summer 2024, it turns out, might just be the friends we make along the way.

Tekla Drawstring Pyjama Shorts


Drawstring Pyjama Shorts

Tekla’s pajama shorts sit at the intersection of a handful of trends: big shorts meets preppy shorts meets boxer shorts. Not only do they ride off the blue striped shirt trend, they also menswear-ify the many “he eepy” memes. Because they’re made of what is essentially a shirting fabric, the material is super lightweight and breezy. If they’re really meant solely for sleepytime, why do they have pockets? —Gerald Ortiz

Todd Snyder 10” Seersucker Bermuda Shorts

Todd Snyder

10″ Relaxed Seersucker Bermuda Short

At a certain point every summer, I take a hard look at my swishy nylon shorts and mesh-lined swim trunks, and think to myself: Is this really the best I can do? What if, I continue thinking, Jeff Bezos is so taken with our Prime Day coverage he invites me to spend a carefree weekend circling the Mediterranean on his mega-yacht? I can’t show up to Ibiza in jorts! That moment of neurotic navel-gazing tends to catalyze a glorious epiphany: When it comes to shorts, we can all do better—by upgrading to a pair that feels as indebted to John-John as it does Harrison Ford in Cannes. The shorts my epiphany conjured this summer look a lot like the ones above: a couple of inches longer than you’re used to, and rendered in every shade of lightly-toasted meringue. —Avidan Grossman

J.Crew x Beams Plus Striped Easy Shorts

Beams Plus

11” Jacquard Striped Easy Short

It feels incomplete to talk about the shorts of summer without first addressing its accompaniments, namely the shoe and sock (length) of summer. For yours truly, the shoe is a loafer (from Vinny’s, to be exact) and the sock is quartered. Both will work quite well with these flowy joints from J.Crew and Beams Plus, which I threw into my cart faster than you can say “Bermuda.” They’re assertive in all the right ways—in length, leg opening, and pattern—and the relaxed drape has been missing from my current options. Put another way, they’re the perfect shorts to usher in my neo-prep uncle era. Invite me to your next BBQ. —Michael Nolledo

Wrangler Rugged Wear Denim Shorts


Rugged Wear Relaxed Fit Short

Sure, you could go through the trouble of digging an old pair of jeans out from your closet, carefully measuring the proper inseam length, and then chopping ’em up with your kitchen scissors. Or you can just plunk down $25 on Amazon and get these roomy, rugged Wrangler joints delivered straight to your door instead. I know what I’ll be doing. —Yang-Yi Goh

Noah x Puma Lacrosse Shorts

Puma x Noah

Lacrosse Shorts

There are plenty of shorts on my (sorry) short list, but for our purposes, I decided to stick with the joints I wear more than any others, like a Spotify Wrapped rubric for summer-ready bottoms. Using those parameters, it’s lacrosse shorts by a mile. I have enough pairs in the rotation that I can literally wear them every day, but the version Noah released in conjunction with Puma is about as good as it gets. They’re made from the best kind of ’90s-flavored mesh, they feature the dueling telltale side stripes, and the deep notches at their hem should never have fallen out of favor in the first place. The only downside, really, is changing out of them and sacrificing that sweet, sweet perforation. Did I play lacrosse? Very poorly. But loving these shorts requires zero skill whatsoever. —Reed Nelson

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