The Ultimate Guide to Mom Shorts (That Aren’t Your Mom’s Shorts)

It’s hot. You’re hot. These mom shorts are hot.

Let’s not mince words—there’s a chance that now that you’re a mom, the shorts you used to rock every single summer aren’t the most comfortable. Oh, don’t get us wrong. We are absolutely not saying you can’t wear that pair you’ve slipped on since you were 19. If you feel good in them, that’s exactly what you should do. What we’re saying is this: if you’re due for a shorts overhaul, we’ve got you (and your rear) covered. Because shorts shopping is right up there with swimsuit shopping; for a lot of us, it’s frustrating, confusing (what is the deal with inseams?), and double all that if you’re shopping for them online.


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So, we’re here to shop with you. Seriously. We know a thing or two about mom shorts and, respectfully, how not to feel too frumpy or too exposed. And, since “frumpy” and “exposed” vary from person to person, we’ve also made sure to include lots of different options. But, let’s first cover a couple of quick shorts stats because, well, they’ll help you get a pretty good idea of how a pair will fit you.

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  • Inseam: the length of the shorts (or pants, but we’re not talking about those today) from crotch to hem 
    • 2″-3.5″ is short
    • 4″-7″ is mid-thigh
    • 7.5″-13″ is long
    • Anything beyond 13″ is approaching capri-length
  • Rise: the distance from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the crotch seam
    • Low rise is 8″ and sits below the navel
    • Mid rise is 9″-11″ and sits at the navel
    • High rise is 10″+
    • 13″+ is a super high rise

Even though those measurements are pretty standard, you’ll want to keep your height, proportions, and personal preference in mind. Those are what matter the most, but these inseam and rise details give you a solid starting point.

And, now that we’ve covered the math, it’s time for the fun part. Let’s shorts shop.

Flat-Front Chino Shorts

Banana Republic

The humble chino short is a classic, and they've never steered us wrong. They look as good at the company picnic as they do running errands, and these from Banana Republic come in 5 neutral colors. At 50% off, we suggest nabbing a couple for your summer wardrobe. Flat-Front Chino Shorts ($25.00)—Buy Here!

Curve Love High Rise Mom Short

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie has come back for us millennials in the best way possible—size inclusive, affordable, and oh-so wearable. These (literal) Mom Shorts are made especially for your curves with a fit that eliminates the dreaded waist gap. Curve Love High Rise Mom Short ($65.00)—Buy Here!

Utility Bermuda Shorts

Kohl's

That's right—Bermuda shorts don't have to come down to the knee (unless you want them to). These are super chic, come in several colors, and are on the shorter side of long (it's a thing). Utility Bermuda Shorts ($16.99)—Buy Here!

High-Rise A-Line Cut-Off Workwear Jean Shorts

Old Navy

Yes, they're cut-offs, and yes, you can wear them, mom. These aren't your 10th grade cut-offs. The A-line is really flattering and make these beauties perfect for a more fitted top. High-Rise A-Line Cut-Off Workwear Jean Shorts ($12.00)—Buy Here!

River High-Waisted Shorts

Insyze

We're falling hard for this "Potter's Clay" hue and the cotton/flax fabrication make these flowy (and non-sticky for sweaty days. You know what we mean.). River High-Waisted Shorts ($30.00)—Buy Here!

Halle High-Rise Relaxed-Fit Shorts

Macy's

The pleats on these darling shorts make them a dressy option for brunch, summer get-togethers, and days when you just want a little extra oomph. Halle High-Rise Relaxed-Fit Shorts ($53.40)—Buy Here!

Cali Solid Rolled-Cuffed Side-Buckle Shorts

Macy's

The hardware on these shorts makes them a fun neutral alternative to classic denim shorts (which we obviously also love, but options are always good). Cali Solid Rolled-Cuffed Side-Buckle Shorts ($79.00)—Buy Here!

Retreat Linen Shorts

Athleta

Ah, linen. The queen of summer fabrics. Pair it with Athleta's comfy-chic resort-style Retreat silhouette, three summery hues, and sizes up to 26, and you have a winner for all body types. Retreat Linen Shorts ($39.00)—Buy Here!

Levi's Women's Mid Length Shorts

Levi's/Amazon

Levi's are classic, and these come in 17 color and print options. You could have a pair for every day of the week (and the week after). Levi's Women's Mid Length Shorts ($19.80+)—Buy Here!

High Waisted 90's Black Raw Hem Jean Shorts

Express

Speaking of vintage vibes, how cute are these raw hem shorts from Express? The distressed black wash makes them undeniably cool, no matter how you wear them—t-shirt, button-down, or tank. High Waisted 90's Black Raw Hem Jean Shorts ($60.00)—Buy Here!

Farallon Shorts

Athleta

Lightweight, stretchy, and really versatile, the Farallon shorts blend breathable cotton and flexible spandex to create your new favorite pair. Farallon Shorts ($39.00)—Buy Here!

Willit Golf Shorts

Don't let the "golf" part throw you; these shorts can be worn almost anywhere. From hiking to housework, the wicking fabric keeps you cool and comfortable and the color options give your closet a ton of choices. Willit Golf Shorts ($34.99)—Buy Here!

Elena High-Rise Relaxed Shorts

Macy's

So these are giving you elementary school flashbacks? Good. That's the style. These vintage shorts are perfect for those trending bodysuits or a solid tank. Elena High-Rise Relaxed Shorts ($89.00)—Buy Here!

Dokotoo Drawstring Shorts

Dokotoo/Amazon

The Dokotoo shorts are seriously popular on Amazon with over 12K reviews. Flowy and soft, they're a comfy and easy pick. Multiple color and print options mean you can mix and match with all your summer tops. Dokotoo Drawstring Shorts ($25.99)—Buy Here!

Trekkie North Bermuda Shorts

Athleta

These classic Bermuda shorts are abrasion-resistant (they aren't prone to snags or tears) and moisture-wicking, plus they add UPF 50+ sun protection. Trekkie North Bermuda Shorts ($69.00)—Buy Here!

Amazon Essentials Mid-Rise Slim-Fit Shorts

Amazon Essentials

If you're looking for an affordable and adorable option, Amazon Essentials has you covered with mid-rise shorts in several colors, plus straight and curvy fits. Amazon Essentials Mid-Rise Slim-Fit Shorts ($19.92—$25.70)—Buy Here!

All the products listed are independently & personally selected by our shopping editors.

If you buy something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation. Prices and availability reflect the time of publication.

All images courtesy of retailers.

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