Menswear | August 5, 2020 10:40 am

Channel Your Inner Surfer With These 9 Corduroy Shorts

Trust us, they're not as weird as they sound

Channel Your Inner Surfer With These 9 Corduroy Shorts

The very existence of corduroy shorts is weird. Corduroy is a fabric typically reserved for fall, while shorts are a distinctly summer item of clothing — the fabric seems at odds with the style. But as we enter late summer and slowly begin to prepare for fall, corduroy shorts seem like an ideal choice for the often awkward, in-between weather, with their ability to simultaneously capture the essence of two seasons. They’re the perfect compromise, appealing to both those loathe to give up summer and those eager for fall to begin.

If you remain unconvinced and are left imagining a heavy, burdensome short that constricts rather than allows for movement, it’s worth noting that the original adopters of corduroy shorts were Californian surfers of the 70s. OG brands like Ocean Pacific (pictured below) and Hammies were favored by surfers for their ultra short, ultra high-waisted offerings. Surfers even went so far as to praise them for their comfort and flexibility, so whatever preconceived notions you might have regarding corduroy shorts, consider them debunked.

You could be as carefree and cool as these guys if you only owned a pair of corduroy shorts.
Ocean Pacific

While today’s corduroy shorts have gained some length and considerable room in the leg area, there remains an inherent ’70s-ness to the shorts. Maybe you’ve always fancied yourself a surfer but find yourself in a landlocked state, or maybe you’re just terrified of the ocean. All you need is a pair of corduroy shorts to look (and feel) like you’ve stepped out of a Bruce Brown film. Pair them with a polo or rugby a la the guys (and girl) above to offset the laidback vibes of the shorts with something slightly preppy.

So if you now find yourself slightly less repulsed by the idea of shorts rendered in corduroy, and maybe even a little curious to try them yourself, below are nine pairs for indulging your inner surfer. Hang ten, or whatever.

Banks Journal Big Bear Walkshort

If you really want to stay true to the corduroy short’s origin, these Walkshorts by Banks Journal are pretty close to the real deal. The patch pockets are reminiscent of those found on Hammies or OPs, but they feature a few extra inches of length so you won’t feel totally exposed. Plus, the half-elastic waistline means they’ll be all the more comfortable.

Rhythm Corduroy Jam Short

Sometimes you want the feel and comfort of an athletic short without the look of one. Rhythm’s Corduroy Jam Shorts are ideal for when you want to be comfortable but not too casual — the drawstring waist lends them the feel of your favorite loungewear while the corduroy fabric helps to elevate them.

Noah Cord Drawstring Shorts

For their corduroy, Noah sourced a thin-wale lightweight version from one of the oldest mills in England, making them even more conducive to summer wear. And if you have the chance to buy something in this particular shade of blue, then you better seize the opportunity.

Outerknown Seventyseven Cord Utility Shorts

It’s only natural that the brand from surfer Kelly Slater would have their own iteration of cord shorts, and they’re another pair that pay homage to the shorts of yesteryear. Like Noah, Outerknown sourced a lightweight corduroy for their Seventyseven shorts that’s soft, breathable and made for all-day wear. Besides, we’re willing to bet you don’t have a pair of blush pink (yes, pink) shorts in wardrobe.

Madewell x Free & Easy Corduroy Shorts

Maybe your style leans a little more California skater rather than surfer. If that’s the case, these corduroy shorts from Madewell’s collab with LA based brand Free & Easy capture the same laidback, 70s vibe of their counterparts but would look just as good on the halfpipe as they would at the beach.

Howler Brothers Cornerstone Corduroy Short

Another pair gleaning inspiration from their predecessors, Howler Brothers’ cord shorts are made for wear, meaning the more they’re broken in, the better (and more authentic) they’ll look, while details such as coconut buttons lend them an even beachier look.

Katin Local Corduroy Short

At first glance, one might not notice these shorts are corduroy, but that’s what makes them so appealing. The fabric will appear much richer and almost velvet-like, distinguishing them from yet another pair of black shorts. The 5″ inseam doesn’t hurt either.

Birdwell Cotton-Corduroy Shorts

A navy short is a closet essential, but why should you opt for a boring pair? Add a little bit of variety to your wardrobe with these Birdwell cord shorts, for when you’re feeling fancy.

Goodlife Stretch Corduroy Shorts

We’ll forgive the 7″ inseam on these Goodlife Stretch Corduroy Shorts (at least they still hit above the knee) for this muted sage color and elasticized waistband. They’re the kind of shorts you’ll never want to take off.

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