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The 9 Best Denim Shorts For Big Thighs

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BANGKOK, THAILAND - MAY 11: Zama wearing denim shorts and v neck shirt with long sleeves Brandy Melv...
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Unlike buying leggings or joggers — where you can ballpark your size and click “add to cart” pretty safely — shopping for jeans and shorts is fraught with unique considerations. Take for example, when a pair fit at your waist, but then feel tight in the hip — and what the hell are you supposed to do if your shorts fit perfectly everywhere but cut into your thighs when you sit or ride up if you move? The best denim shorts for big thighs can end the cycle with high-stretch denim and a little bit of tailoring magic. (No alterations required.)

One of the first things to consider is inseam length. Plus-size style expert and influencer Nikky Frenny weighed in on the matter in an interview with Who What Wear, favoring mid-length shorts as a cut that works well on just about anyone but particularly well on those with thick thighs. That said, you’re certainly not relegated to just one style of denim shorts. If you prefer shorter cuts or want a leg-hugging Bermuda fit, a bit of spandex ensures the shorts will fit better. A good, stretchy denim lets your shorts move with your body, and the higher the percentage of spandex or elastane, the more give the material will have.

To reduce gapping at the waist, look for shorts with a high rise that, by design, taper in and bring your waistline up. Those with bigger thighs will also appreciate small tailoring details that make a big impact on the overall fit, like pleats and side slits: The accents naturally create extra room.

I scoped out the highest-rated pairs of denim shorts on Amazon that hit the criteria above, then checked out the reviews to make sure they were approved by shoppers with self-proclaimed thick thighs. From classic Levi’s to retro high-waisted pairs and even a bike short, these summer-ready denim shorts are great picks in thigh-friendly styles.

1

Some On-Trend Bermuda Shorts With A Relaxed Fit

Cut with room through the hip and thigh, LEE’s denim Bermuda shorts give this trending silhouette extra ease. Made with 98% cotton, with a hint of spandex for stretch, it’s nice, thick denim — even their white jean shorts are creamy and opaque. Their longer, 9.5-inch inseam hits just above the knees. “Long enough to cover most of the thigh but not frumpy looking. They are stretchy too,” a reviewer reported, adding that, “they can be worn casually around the house or at the lake, or wear them with a cute top & Tory Burch sandals and they’re perfect for a summer party.”

  • Available colors: 5
  • Available sizes: 4 — 18

2

These Pleated High-Waisted Shorts With A Retro Vibe

These high-waisted shorts are a cute spin on a classic, with their notched button fly and tailored pleats (which create a little extra room in the seat and thighs). Their soft, elastic denim blend comes from 70% cotton with polyester and a smidge of spandex that promises to be light yet sturdy and wildly comfortable. Wear them to the pool or to a party; they’ll dress up and down easily. “These shorts are so cute,” one shopper gushed. “They have just enough stretch and just enough room in the hips and thighs to be super comfy, not restricting like my standard denim shorts.” If you’re looking for a little bit more of a “mom jean” vibe, try these baggy high-waisted denim shorts — they’re made from 100% cotton and have a sizeable following.

  • Available colors: 4
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large

3

Some Classic Rolled Shorts From A Denim Icon

You don’t need to stick with loose cuts if you have bigger thighs, and you can never go wrong with Levi’s denim. These shorts have a 4.5-inch inseam and plenty of stretch, with a plain rolled hem and universal mid-rise. Their 80% cotton blend includes 2% spandex for a denim fabric that fans raved was soft, stretchy, and surprisingly strong. “I have thick thighs so it’s sometimes hard finding shorts with a good fit, these fit really well and are the perfect length. The stretch helps them to fit around my waist but they’re not tight on my thighs,” a reviewer noted.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: 2 — 24

4

These Plus-Size Denim Shorts With Rave Reviews

Finally, cute, comfortable jean shorts cut with plus-size figures in mind — and with plenty of options to choose from. You can get the Allegrace denim shorts in a cropped 5-inch leg or a longer Bermuda style with options in light and dark indigo rinses, as well as black, so all your warm-weather moods are covered. Although a precise fabric blend isn’t noted, shoppers compared these comfy shorts to a jegging-like material. “I normally avoid shorts because they never seem to fit right. Once I get shorts big enough for my thighs and butt, then they’re way to big for my waist. These actually [hug] my curves just right, they don’t ride up, and the price is right!” one shopper raved.

  • Available colors: 9
  • Available sizes: 12 Plus — 26 Plus

5

These Distressed Denim Shorts With Tiny Side Slits On The Side

Dubbed “a miracle for thick-thighed girls” by one fan, these denim shorts have one of the highest concentrations of spandex on this list at 5%, making for an ultra-stretchy pair. Tiny notches on each thigh give you extra room to move, and the higher waist reduces the likelihood of gapping. “Y’all, I can’t find comfortable shorts to fit my large booty and thighs. These have stretch, really cute design and are completely and totally worth the price. Do yourself a favor — get them,” another shopper gushed. If it’s true love, there are plenty of options within the listing worth stocking up on, including vintage button fly shorts and bright white denim.

  • Available colors: 44
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large

6

A Loose Drawstring Short For Living Your Comfiest Life

With a looser leg paired with an elastic drawstring waist and deep pockets, these utility shorts were made for keeping it casual — and they come in multiple indigo rinses. They have the look of denim but feel considerably more lightweight in a cottony polyester-spandex blend, making a soft alternative on sweltering days and Netflix nights. “Great pair of comfy shorts and good for those with thick thighs. My one con: Hang to dry,” a fan advised. If it’s love at first fit, they come in plenty of other colors and prints, too.

  • Available colors: 36
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large

7

A Dressy Denim Short

With trouser-style pockets and tailored seams, these denim shorts are nice to have for casual days that require a smidge of polish. They’re right in between a Bermuda and a genuinely short pair with tapered 7-inch legs and a notched hem. In 98% cotton with 2% spandex, they’ll be thick yet comfy with plenty of stretch. “I hate shorts, but I love these,” one shopper confessed. “These are cute, and they're not dowdy long, but they're not so short that they ride up between my thighs. They're super comfortable, and are literally the only shorts I will happily wear.” (The brand also makes an intrepid pair of denim shorts with stylized utility pockets if you want a second pair.)

  • Available colors: 19
  • Available sizes: 0 — 20

8

These Black Denim Shorts Amazon Shoppers Are Obsessed With

With more than 7,000 Amazon ratings, these jean shorts are something of a cult favorite. They’re offered in black denim (amongst other washes) with a classic fit that’s thick-thigh-friendly. They’re made from stretch cotton with a high waist and short inseam, plus a spacious cut through the leg on its rolled cuff hem. “The material is soft and the color is exactly as pictured,” a reviewer confirmed, adding, “I have bigger thighs and the cuffs are not tight around them at all making these the comfiest jean shorts I own! The top comes up to an inch above my belly button, so it’s perfect.”

  • Available colors: 22
  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large

9

Some Denim Bike Shorts For An Of-The-Moment Silhouette

For a more assertive style statement, try these knee-length denim shorts that resemble the trendy athleisure bike short. This is another ultra-stretchy pair, with 5% spandex to the cotton denim weave that ensures a comfy bodycon fit from waist to knee-length hem. If you want more distressing than a raw hem, they offer fairly well-distressed jean shorts as well. Looking for fewer frayed edges? Check out their moto shorts. “I have pretty thick thighs and a smaller waist. This fits nicely and doesn't create that gap between fabric and your waist at the top. Super cute and it holds up in the wash,” a shopper praised.

  • Available colors: 10
  • Available sizes: 4 — 16

10

Also Nice: These Cute Denim Short Overalls With Great Stretch

Cutoff overalls are a utilitarian take on the denim short with a definite vibe. Vetinee’s are made from high-stretch cotton with 5% elastane to create a legging-like denim with a looser cut that doesn’t hug close to the legs. If you need extra length, those straps are adjustable, and there are styles with notch hems for an even more thigh-friendly fit. All feature the classic five-pocket denim styling and bib pocket front. “By far my favorite pair,” a fan gushed. “I’ve been through numerous overalls & they were either too short or too tight. I have thick thighs and booty, these fit me amazing! Not too short or tight.”

  • Available colors: 22
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large