The fashion gods had to have been looking out for us when the athleisure trend rose to power. You’re telling me that the hottest wave of IG mirror selfies hinges on STRETCHY clothes? The idea of wearing nothing but leggings, cropped tanks, and sweats, and still qualifying as a fashionable woman (or man) of good taste honestly sounds too good to be true. But I am never one to second guess a gift—and a gift this clearly is.
The latest installation of everyone’s favorite activewear, loungewear, wear-everywhere-wear item is sweat shorts. Yes, like the kind you probably wore to play kickball in high school. The main difference is these haven’t been crumbled in the bottom of your gym locker for an entire year. And frankly, the options are way more stylish. Below, find 19 of our favorite fashion-forward iterations of the style, and prepare yourself for your new summer uniform.
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Best Matching Set
Try to resist the matching set movement all you want, but it’s just a matter of time before you, too, fall for this cool-girl-casual trend.
Best Flattering Length
Reinvent the term “gym class hero” in this classic pair from conscious fashion brand P.E Nation.
Best Terry Cloth
Aqualina Terry Cloth Shorts
Ideal for wearing over a swimsuit or to hot yoga. Sweat alert!
Organic Cotton Bermuda Short
“Who wears short shorts?” Oh, not you? That’s ok, Bermuda-length styles are officially back, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier.
Best Color Options
If you’ve got a specific OOTD ~vision~ in mind, Pangaia has a plethora of shades and tones to help bring your look to life.
Best Classic Black
This H&M pair gets an extra special shout-out as it happens to be a personal favorite. When I snagged these three summers ago, I had no idea how often they’d come in handy. They’re ultra-comfortable and surprisingly flattering. A dog day’s go-to, for sure.
What is it about pockets that instantly makes any garment better?
Terry Short Graffiti Stone
The only thing that would make these flower doodles even cuter is if you were wearing them.
Best Short Shorts
5 Stripe Sweatshort
Sometimes less really is more, like with these retro-inspired micro shorts.
Best Shorts With a Message
Just Be Fucking Kind Sweatshort
Never have I ever expected my sweats to be so well-spoken. Consider the bar raised.
Classic SoftCore Short in Bloom
Here’s ELLE’s official call for more size inclusivity in the athleisure market. Take Ocio, for example. This pair of shorts is offered from XXS to 4XL. More of that, please and thank you.
Classics Block High Women’s Shorts
Colorblocking is one of those trends that seems to stick around season after season, so you might as well get onboard with it.
Best Designer Option
Teddy Patchwork Sweat Shorts
Moschino sweats? Now that’s a low effort, high-impact look.
The Softest Option
Womens 3” Yoga Shorts Elastic Waist Comfy Cotton Jersey Shorts
As stated by one Amazon reviewer, “I was in Las Vegas for 5 days this past week and wore these on a 7.5 mile walk down the strip and NO CHAFFING! I have never found a pair of shorts that were this presentable and comfortable…I immediately ordered 5 more pairs and will probably stock my whole short drawer with these! BUY THEM NOW! YOU’LL REGRET IT IF NOT!” Say no more, Jess B.
Best Subtle Pattern
Sweat Short in Towelling Checkerboard
These understated shorts will remain adorable even if checkerboard prints fall out of style.
Best Funky Print
Step Outside Sweatshort
Because your shorts should be just as fun as you are.
Best Budget Buy
2 Pack Cotton Sports Shorts
Varsity rules, and so does this Amazon two-pack.
Amazon Customer Favorite
Women’s Casual Drawstring Waist Sweat Shorts
Hundreds of five-star reviews + 23 color options + affordable price tag = add to cart.
Pride Tie-Dye Fleece Shorts
This colorful pair is tie-dye done perfectly right.
Meg Donohue Associate Fashion Commerce Editor Meg Donohue is the Associate Fashion Commerce Editor at ELLE.com.
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