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By XO Jane/Kathleen Braine
Jun 03, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

I know once it’s a muggy 95 degrees in New York City, I will look back on my shivering spring with envy, but currently, I just can’t wait until I can wear real summer clothes. This is partially — I’ll admit it — because of the fact that I’m totally over all of my cold-weather clothing. I can’t look at all of my black pants anymore without cringing. But either way, I’m getting really excited, you guys.

I’ve talked a lot about how I currently love jeans but that it’s a more recent development in my life. However, for some reason, despite my past reticence toward jeans, I’ve always, always held a burning love for jean shorts (or “jorts,” as they are sometimes dismissively called). I can remember — in my formative “mall years” — I would, without fail, find myself trying on a bunch of jeans that I didn’t like, and then, regardless of the temperature outside, being inexorably drawn by a haunting siren’s call toward the tables of jean shorts.

In recent years, my love for jean shorts has only gotten more intense as the trend towards high- and mid-rise jeans (that are so much more flattering on me it’s not even funny) has translated ever-so-perfectly over to jean shorts. 

I honestly don’t get the hate towards jean shorts. People seem to throw shade at denim shorts in the same way that they throw it at leggings as pants (which I also don’t agree with, but that’s another story), and I don’t see what’s so offensive about a shorter version of the almost universally acceptable jeans. I’ve also never understood the name “jorts” because I always feel like it’s so disdainful, and I can’t comprehend why. On Urban Dictionary (obviously the classiest arbiter of taste and culture), the first definition of jorts warns that they “are perhaps the easiest way to recognize people you will not like.” 

The list of definitions goes on to say that jorts are “hideous attire, usually sported by NASCAR aficionados and men over 40,” that are “embarrassing,” and are “worn mostly by children and douchebags.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement of my favorite piece of denim clothing.

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That being said, it seems like the prevailing definitions of jorts in these instances are highly gendered — almost all of the top Urban Dictionary definitions refer to them as an item of clothing worn by specifically men. A cursory search of a term for specifically women’s short shorts – “Daisy Dukes”  – reveals that these types of denim shorts don’t inspire any of the vitriol reserved for the more masculine jorts (well, minus the sadly predictable amount of misogyny and slut-shaming). 

I’m not sure if, by definition, I wear “jorts” or “Daisy Dukes.” 


I usually wear shorter jean shorts, and I am a woman, but I also find myself becoming very kids-get-off-my-lawn recently about the extremely short shorts they are selling at a lot of my favorite stores. 

Perhaps you partially agree with me and see no reason for the hate lobbed at jean shorts, but you still don’t fully understand why I love them so much. Let me enlighten you: jean shorts can be worn with almost anything, and styled almost ANY way you want. You can wear them with a sweatshirt and sneakers for a fun campfire look, you can pull on cowboy ankle boots and a vest for a country western festival, you can wear flip flops and a bikini top under a gauzy cover up at the beach, and you can even wear Chelsea boots and a white button down for a casual spring dinner party. 

Jean shorts are as versatile as you want them to be.


Because I’m here to spread the gospel of jean shorts, check out some of my favorite brands and looks below. And tell me, are you against jorts on principle? Or do you agree that there is nothing wrong with them and the world is confused?

My Favorite "Classic" Denim Shorts


For me, classic jean shorts are the perfect summer staple, which is an annoying but also totally true turn-of-phrase. I wore jean classic jean shorts constantly in my younger days, and although they aren't always appropriate for many settings other than the beach or the dock, the right pairs are comfortable and casual without being stodgy. 

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My Favorite Longer-Length Denim Shorts


In recent years, I've found myself gravitating more towards jean shorts that are a bit longer in length. I don't go as far as a Bermuda short, but I do like to feel like my inner thighs are covered, at the very least. These longer-length options are flattering but still chill, and I don't feel the need to constantly pull them down while I walk around. 

My Favorite Relaxed Fit Denim Shorts


The relaxed fit jean short is the slouchy, easygoing cousin of the boyfriend jean. I have only recently started including them in my wardrobe, but they are easy to style with form-fitting tops and ankle boots (not-at-all strangely, this is very similar to my go-to boyfriend jean look).

All I know is that no matter what the world seems to think, I love to wear my denim shorts, and no one’s judgment can stop me.