The Best Non-Denim Shorts

I get a lot of requests for non-denim shorts, but good ones are hard to find. I usually opt for white denim or a casual dress in the spring and summer when jean shorts aren’t appropriate, but this year I found a few good pairs of non-denim shorts that I think you should know about!

Spanx 4″ Stretch Twill Shorts

at Spanx.com (M) // at Nordstrom (M) // t-shirt (S) // sandals (8) // sunnies

These shorts come in tons of colors, and they’re a pull-on style with a flat waistband and external front pockets. The fabric is substantial but stretchy and very comfortable.

They have a 4″ inseam, and they also come in a 6″ length, for those who prefer.  These shorts run true to size for the Spanx brand; I’m wearing the medium, which is equivalent to 6-8.

Sanctuary Switchback Rolled Shorts

at Evereve (28) // at Zappos (28) // at Bloomies (28) // tank (S) // sandals (8) // tote // sunnies // necklace // bracelet

These shorts a lightweight twill material with a hint of stretch. They have a 10″ rise and a 4 1/2″ inseam with button tab cuffs, and there is some elastic in the back of the waistband for additional comfort.

Like the Spanx pair above, they also have external patch pockets, and the washed black color is right on trend. These shorts run a little big. I’m in the size 28, and they’re plenty roomy.

WHBM Mid-Rise Pret-A-Play Shorts

shorts (6) // tank (O/S) // sandals c/o (8) // earrings // bracelet

I don’t know why, but all of the non-denim shorts I’ve found seem to play into the utility trend. These are similar to the Sanctuary pair above, but they come in tons of colors, and they don’t have the tab on the cuff.

These also have a zip and button closure at the waist, with a flat front and a 4 1/2″ inseam length. The cuffs are sewn, so they stay in place nicely, and I really like the zipper detail on the pockets.

The fabric is 77% cotton, 18% rayon, 5% spandex, so they’re soft and stretchy, but they hold their shape nicely. They run true to size, or size up if in between. I’m in the 6, but they’re snug. I could use the 8 at the moment.

Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Stretch Twill Shorts

shorts (6) // t-shirt (S) // sandals (8) // sunnies // necklace // bracelet

These are for those of you who like a little more length in their shorts, or if you just want to add some variety to your wardrobe. I usually wear 4″ or 5″ shorts, but this 7′ length is nice for a change, and longer lengths are actually trending right now.

These shorts are stretchy and comfortable, and they have design technology that molds, sculpts and shapes for the best possible appearance. They run true to size, and they come in a bunch of good colors.

I hope this is helpful if you’re looking to expand your summer wardrobe or replace some of your old shorts! For more on selecting short that look best on you, see my post: Dos and Don’ts for Wearing Shorts.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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13 thoughts on “The Best Non-Denim Shorts

  1. You look nice in all of these shorts! Good luck with that tooth! You know that, like you, I hate going to the dentist, and I don’t recover from dental procedures like Larry & most people. I’m still having a few issues from having the crown put on ten days ago. I wish you luck with all of the things you need to accomplish this week.

  2. Love seeing non- denim shorts on your blog. I’m always looking for them. I live in south Florida so it is too hot for denim shorts. I agree you look great in every short.
    Hope you get relieve with your tooth. Have a good day.

  3. I have the Spanx shorts in olive and white, and I like that they’re a little thicker than some twill shorts and provide structure. I also recommend the Monroe chino shorts from Loft, but warning that they run huge! Based on reviews, I ordered size 0. For reference, I’m about 125lbs. Well, they arrived, tried them on and they were swimming on me! So I ordered 00 which I never do and it’s frankly ridiculous how big Loft makes these. That size fits, but they’re still a teensy bit loose. I tried several brands of denim shorts a few months ago and many of them are oversized too with very wide waists that don’t get better when sizing down. Not sure why they’re cut so big lately.

  4. Good luck at the endodontist. That happened to me once – it ended up they missed a nerve. They had to drill a hole through my expensive crown. 🙁

  5. You look great in all in all these shorts.
    What a bummer about your tooth. I use to work for a dentist and you do have symptoms for something with the root. Another sign is hurts to pressure. I hope it’s resolved soon so you don’t have to deal with that on your vacation. Love your new Nordtrom swimsuit you bought. I’m sure you are having fun with styles you didn’t use to be able to wear. Enjoy. Have a good day. Your week sounds busy with work.

  6. I HATE dental issues and have had a few root canals myself. You shouldn’t be feeling anything in that tooth if they did the root canal correctly. Sound like, as someone has already mentioned, they didn’t get all the root. Hopefully they can get it resolved quickly! Love all these short by the way!

  7. I love all these! I especially like that white tank and am thinking it needs a home in my closet, lol! We are getting ready to head down to south Florida the first week of July. My step father in law’s sister has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, so we are all gathering to see her one more time. She and I have planned a beach day, since we both say the beach is our happy place. I really hate that your tooth is giving you trouble again. I really hope they are able to get it fixed up once and for all.

  8. Love these shirts options! I’ve also discovered a new to me style this summer, which is a high rise tailored linen short, looks slightly more dressy than most other non denim shorts. Worth a try!

  9. Have you tried the Spanx shorts in white? I could really use a nice new pair of white shorts, but as with any white shorts, I’m always a little nervous about how sturdy (read: opaque) they’re going to be.

      1. So happy to hear that! I haven’t tried the shorts in white but their white pants are pretty impressive. They have a skin-colored lining. Are the shorts made the same way?

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