While most people typically associate corduroy with crisp autumn leaves, the material serves as a perfect piece to have on hand in the summer when it’s cut into shorts. Long associated with surf culture thanks to their rugged durability, corduroy shorts have more recently become a summertime staple across the board (no pun intended). And it’s pretty easy to see why. After all, how could you possibly go wrong when combining the stylish look of the waled textile with the freedom of movement that shorts have to offer?
There are certain brands in this space that have dictated the popularity of corduroy shorts among surfers and skaters for years, many of which, naturally, hail from the West Coast and manage to channel old-school California surf culture with nothing short of sheer authenticity. But with the style’s ascendency, many more brands have jumped on this summer’s corduroy shorts bandwagon. So in case you’ve been struggling to find the perfect corduroy shorts for sunny beach days, we’ve put together this guide to the 14 best options currently on the market.
Banks Journal Big Bear Walkabout Short
We’re kicking this guide off with the perfect starter option possible. Australian surf style brand Banks Journal’s timeless Big Bear Walkabout Shorts are crafted from plush, durable corduroy and offer the perfect touch of stretch thanks to their cotton/elastane composition. They feature a standard button and zip closure with a 7” inseam, paving the way for breathability when the temperature starts to ramp up.
Katin Cord Local Short
Sturdiness is nothing to scoff at when buying new pants new shorts, so we have to include this durable pair from Katin. The California brand has been doing its thing since the ‘70s, and it’s done it so well that it remains a mainstay in the space. The Local Cord Short is a great choice if you have loads of EDC gear on hand, primarily thanks to its bevy of deep pockets that help secure your small-scale essentials. Additionally, it is available in two different inseam lengths of either 6” or 6.5”.
Mollusk Corduroy Salvador Shorts
When it comes to shoreside necessities, Mollusk Surf Shop has you covered across the board, with the Corduroy Salvador Shorts being one of many pieces to consider. This pair is based on the Cali clothier’s Corduroy Salvador Pants, resulting in the perfect blend of utilitarian function and easy-going coolness thanks to their bevy of pockets and 7” inseam. For added security, they have an elastic back waistband to help keep them above the knee.
Hammies Men’s Short
If you want a daring pair of cord shorts, look no further than this ultra-short option from Hammies. The up-and-coming brand was inspired by the original silhouette from the ’70s produced by the likes of OP and Stubbies, and they’ve faithfully brought the style back for a new generation. To channel that old-school look, this pair boasts a 3” inseam — the shortest you’ll find on this list — and traditional patch pockets, practically serving as a time capsule unto itself.
Levi’s Blue Cotton Shorts
Whether you’re looking for jeans, chinos, or plain-old shorts, you can never go wrong with a pair of bottoms from Levi’s. The heritage brand’s blue cotton corduroy shorts feature an elasticized waistband with a concealed drawstring, allowing you to tailor the fit to your liking. For added functionality, the lounge-ready pair boasts five pockets that will be more than capable of stowing all your gear.
Marine Layer ML x LF Cord Short
This ‘70s-styled pair of shorts comes from an integral brand when it comes to beach attire. When it comes to keeping things traditional, Marine Layer and LF check every box, implementing details like old-school deep patch pockets and vintage-dyed colors for an aged look. They’re crafted from lightweight 16-wale corduroy and extremely comfortable, making them a great choice from both a style and comfort perspective.
J.Crew Wallace & Barnes Corduroy Shorts
It’s hard to go wrong with J.Crew when it comes to something this simple, as the brand knows what it takes to put together quality wardrobe staples. Its corduroy shorts are part of the clothier’s Wallace & Barnes collection, taking inspiration from ‘60s-era performance wear with a fashionable twist. This pair is crafted from plush 16-wale corduroy and then rounded out with an elastic waistband for easy adjustability.
Taylor Stitch The Trail Short
As per usual, we’re in love with this pick from Taylor Stitch. The Trail Short is available in uber-thin golden corduroy, taking major inspiration from retro surf culture and pulling it off to a tee. It is crafted from lightweight organic cotton and comes equipped with a plethora of pocket space, including a pair of buttoned ones for extra security. The vintage-styled bottoms are rounded out with an 8” inseam, so they lean toward the longer side in this category.
Outerknown Seventyseven Cord Utility Shorts
Like everything from Outerknown, these shorts are sustainably-made and built to wear along the sand. The tailored shorts are composed of the label’s proprietary 16-wale Seventyseven corduroy. This signature twist on the textile is crafted from 100% organic cotton, assuring they are perfect for your outfit and even better for the ground you walk on. For added comfort, the shorts are lightweight and breathable, deeming them a perfect choice for the summer — like most pairs you’ll find here.
Birdwell Walk Straight-Leg Cotton Corduroy Shorts
Birdwell is the gold standard for corduroy shorts, and its California roots are to thank for it. The heritage surf brand’s rudimentarily-named Walk shorts are as timeless and comfortable as it gets, cutting right above the knees to provide ideal freedom of movement. The shorts are made from sturdy cotton corduroy and are rounded out with a drawstring waistband for optimum versatility. Lastly, the shorts are produced in three colors, but this light shade of blue is a perfect choice for any outfit this season.
Todd Snyder 7” Washed Corduroy Weekend Short
Considering Todd Snyder’s array of corduroy pants is a great choice in that category, it only makes sense to shine a light on their easier-going iteration. The shorts take inspiration from worn-in, ‘80s-era cord shorts worn by surfers and skaters, ultimately going to show just how versatile the silhouette has become. This option comes available with either a 6” or 7” inseam and is crafted with a touch of spandex for the perfect bit of stretchiness.
Carhartt WIP Flint Corduroy Short
If you’re familiar with Carhartt WIP, then you’ve surely heard of its iconic Single Knee Pant. While it is a great pair of bottoms in its own right, we’ve pinned down an excellent summertime choice that is based around them. The heritage brand’s sublabel crafts a great pair of corduroy shorts with its Flint silhouette which is crafted from smooth 15-wale corduroy and finished off with utilitarian tool pocket detailing that you’d typically find on a pair of heavy-duty carpenter pants.
Saturdays NYC Joby Cord Short
Saturdays NYC does a great job of keeping things effortlessly cool, and its Joby Cord Short is a great example of the brand’s laid-back demeanor. The stylish pair features an adjustable front loop and a variety of different pockets throughout. It also comes equipped with an elastic waistband with an internal adjustable belt, resulting in the perfect fit every time you pull them on.
Battenwear Local Shorts
Whether you’re skating, strolling through the park, or simply sitting at home, Battenwear’s iconic Local Shorts offer all the elements you look for in an average pair of corduroy-crafted shorts. Their mid-thigh length offers the first balance of comfortability and subtleness, ensuring they’ll serve as the coolest pair of shorts for any occasion. The Local Shorts feature a pair of double-stitched patch pockets and an additional zipped pocket to keep all your gear secure, along with a low-key logo on the left leg.
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Still lacking in the summer clothing department? Then take a look at our comprehensive guide to the best summer-style essentials to fill out the rest of your warm-weather wardrobe.