Menswear | Updated April 7, 2021 10:40 am
Originally Published 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

The 9 Best Corduroy Shorts for Men
Who said corduroy was just for the colder months?
Backcountry, Howler Brothers, Rhythm

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

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 made of 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

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 Cord Jam Short in Incense

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.

Todd Snyder 7" Corduroy Washed Weekend Short in Chili
Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder 7″ Washed Corduroy Weekend Short

If you’re familiar with Todd Snyder’s best-selling Weekend Shorts then you’ll want to check out the designer’s corduroy version of the silhouette. Made from an extra soft, fine wale, they’re versatile in their ability to either be dressed up or down, the corduroy giving off a more polished appearance that’s balanced out by the casualness of the drawstring waist. We’re partial to this Chili colorway, ideal for making a statement this spring and summer.

Outerknown SeventySeven Cord Utility Shorts

Outerknown Seventyseven Cord Utility Shorts

It’s only natural that the brand from surfer Kelly Slater would have their own version of cord shorts, and they’re another pair that pay homage to the shorts of yesteryear. 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 own a pair of baby blue shorts.

Carhartt WIP Flint Corduroy Short in Olive

Carhartt WIP Flint Corduroy Short

Keeping in line with Carharrt’s workwear roots, the brand’s Flint Corduroy Shorts are made from a durable but classic cotton corduroy and feature a utility pocket on one side, with the golden ratio branding at the back.

Howler Brothers Cornerstone Corduroy Shorts

Howler Brothers Cornerstone Corduroy Shorts

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 Shorts

Katin Local Corduroy Shorts

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

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.

Massimo Alba Vela Cotton-Corduroy Shorts in Black
Mr Porter

Massimo Alba Vela Cotton-Corduroy Shorts

Massimo Alba’s shorts offer an elevated take on the style, featuring a fine wale cotton-corduroy crafted in Italy and rendered in a rich, velvety black. While the shorts are still comfortable enough for everyday wear thanks to the roomy silhouette, don’t be afraid to dress them up a bit when the occasion calls for it.

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