Whether you’re working out, lounging, or just enjoying the warm days of summer, a good pair of shorts will get tons of use. The best plus-size shorts come in a variety of materials, ranging from cool distressed denim to soft cotton jersey to crisp linen. Some have features that upgrade comfort, such as a flexible waistband or a relaxed fit, striking the
perfect balance between cute and comfortable.
The style of shorts you choose has a lot to do with your personal priorities. If you’re planning on a casual day, a pair of classic
denim shorts is a versatile, stylish option that can be paired with anything from a tee to a crisp white shirt. Denim that’s blended with elastane, spandex, or polyester has more stretch than 100% cotton denim, resulting in a comfier fit that moves with your body. Meanwhile, if you’re hitting the gym or doing chores at home, a lightweight pair of biker or gym shorts made out of a breathable cotton-spandex blend or moisture-wicking polyester can help keep you comfortable and cool, while giving you lots of room to move. Or, if you want to make a fierce fashion statement, you can sport a faux leather pair with a chic blouse.
You’ll also want to consider the overall fit. High-rise shorts
hug your waist for a curvier fit, but some people might find mid-rise shorts — which hit just above the hips — to be a more comfortable option. As far as length, a shorter hem generally has more casual look, while Bermuda shorts — which feature a longer hem — are easier to dress up.
When the weather permits, nothing feels better than tossing on a pair of breezy shorts and heading outside. Here are my top plus-size short picks, all of which have rave reviews on Amazon.
1 These Classic High-Waisted Shorts In A Range Of Lengths & Styles
Looking for a classic pair of
plus-size high-waisted denim shorts that are versatile, well-made, and above all, comfortable? This pair is a great all-around pick, with a tacked folded hem that won’t come undone as you move. The shorts have a zipper-fly closure, an elastic waistband, and front and back pockets. Not to mention, they come in a variety of washes and lengths — both ripped and unripped — so you can find the pair that suits you best. According to a reviewer: “Fit was absolutely perfect. These are honestly the best quality shorts I have ever purchased. [...] Length is perfect (I’m 5’8” with a long torso) and the legs barely ride up. Material is breathable and stretchy but still holds you in nicely. Highly recommended; you couldn’t find something this well made in a department store.” Available sizes: 12 Plus — 26 Plus color Available s: 11 2 A Breathable Pair Of Linen Shorts With A Drawstring Waist
With a worn-in, brushed look, these easy-breezy
cotton-linen shorts will become an instant wardrobe favorite. The pull-on pants have a thick elastic waistband and a drawstring closure, so they’ll stay comfortably in place. The deep side pockets create the perfect place to stash your phone or keys, and the mid-thigh hem is totally versatile. Plus, they come in unique shades like rust orange, mustard yellow, and army green. According to a reviewer: “Got these to wear on morning walks to hold phone and keys and it works great. They look nice enough that I could definitely wear them out and around if I wanted.” Available sizes: X-Large — 6X-Large Available colors: 8 3 These Budget-Friendly Biker Shorts With Lots Of Stretch
Boasting a 4.5-star overall rating after 18,000 reviews, these
cotton jersey bike shorts are made with 10% spandex, so they’re ultra-stretchy — making them great for yoga sessions, hikes, or lounging around the house. They’re pocketless and constructed with flat-lock seams that prevent rubbing and chafing, and the mid-rise elastic waistband offers comfort and mobility. These plus-size black shorts are also available in classic charcoal heather. According to a reviewer: “The fabric is nice and thick, but still very soft. There is a lot of stretch. I am 5'8" and I can pull them down to above the knees, but if you are wearing them under a sun dress the legs can be cinched up a bit higher and they stay. I bought mine for jammies, I wear them under my nighties that are like long tunics. But I could definitely use them for walking if I wear a long Tshirt. The legs do not roll up and the waist band does not roll up.” Available sizes: X-Large — 5X-Large Available colors: Black, Charcoal Heather 4 These Mid-Rise Denim Shorts With A Slim Fit
Made from a blend of cotton, rayon, polyester, and spandex, these
stretchy shorts from Lee feature a mid-rise waist that’s flexible and comfortable, and they’re perfect for anyone who doesn’t like the feel of a high waist. They have a slim fit throughout, but thanks to the hint of spandex, they’re not constricting. This pair features a rolled hem, zipper fly for easy on and off, and pockets. According to a reviewer: “These shorts are so comfortable! They are slightly shorter than what I typically wear, but not so much so that I feel uncomfortable wearing them out in public. They are true to size (I typically wear a 26, so that's what I ordered, and they're perfect!) and have a good stretch to them so I don't feel confined. Highly recommend, especially for all of my fellow plus size babes out there!” Available sizes: 16 Plus — 26 Plus 2 Available shades: 5 These High-Waisted Chino Shorts That Can Be Dressed Up Or Down
Think of these as the short version of your favorite chino pants. Made from a rayon-nylon blend with 10% spandex, these
plus-size dress shorts are formfitting for a tailored look, but not at all constricting. They’ve got two functional front pockets and a pair of faux back pockets, and an easy pull-on elastic waistband. Crisp and refined, these high-waisted shorts can be dressed up with a blouse and heels or down with a tee and sandals. According to a reviewer: “These shorts fit great. They pull on, no zip, no button. They have a slightly stretchy waistband but it is not like ruched elastic at the waist. They fit great. Can be dressed up or dressed down. The material is good quality. I would definitely recommend.” Available sizes: Small — 4X-Large Available colors: 8 6 A Pull-On Option That’s Super Comfy
If it’s total comfort you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than these
pull-on shorts that fall to the mid-thigh. Made from 100% cotton, they’re completely soft and breathable, and the wide elastic waistband keeps them comfortably in place. While they’re great for running errands, lounging, and working out, you can basically wear these shorts anytime — even to bed. According to a reviewer: “I LOVE these shorts! Extremely comfortable, stretchy fabric... Fit me perfectly. I normally wear denim shorts, have forever, but these have made me re-think my wardrobe! [...] I originally bought these for cleaning, yard work, etc where I might stain up my denim shorts, but after wearing these, I've decided to buy many pairs for everyday shorts!” Available sizes: X-Large — 5X-Large Available colors: 4 7 A Pair of Relaxed Jean Shorts With A Bermuda Length
With a slightly longer length, these
women’s plus-size Bermuda shorts from Lee are a great semi-casual option and a good pick for anyone who prefers more coverage. They’re made from a cotton-polyester blend with just a hint of spandex for added stretchiness, and reviewers were pleased with how surprisingly lightweight the denim is — perfect for warm-weather wear. They have a zipper fly, front pockets, and a pair of back pockets with an embroidered detail. According to a reviewer: “I am VERY pleased. Fit true to size, color great, texture great, thickness/thin-ness of fabric was perfect for Summer. Not too thick! I usually have to wear stretch waisted pants and shorts. Thank you for giving me a zipper and button again that fit perfectly. Do yourself a favor and purchase these.” Available sizes: 18 Plus — 26 Plus 2 Available shades: 8 These Fierce Faux Leather Shorts With A Chic High Waist
Constructed from a stretchy faux material
made from polyester and elastane, these plus-size “leather” shorts have the same cool, edgy vibe as a motorcycle jacket, and they’re a great pick if you’re looking to make a statement. Complete with a zipper fly and zippered pockets, the high-waisted shorts are formfitting without feeling restrictive. They’re versatile, too — just add a pair of tights for cooler weather. According to a reviewer: “These are fabulous. Perfect stretch to make them really comfortable and a great slim fit, but they don’t get stretched out too much with wear. Very happy with them.” Available sizes: X-Small — 3X-Large Available colors and styles: 6 9 A Pair Of Retro Dolphin Shorts In A Variety Of Prints
With the retro look of your favorite summer camp shorts, these
comfy gym shorts are made from a lightweight cotton-spandex fabric. Perfect for working out and lounging, these shorts stay in place thanks to the easy-tie drawstring closure and elastic waistband. Available in solid colors as well as groovy tie-dye and rainbow stripe patterns, each pair features a cool contrasting lining that pulls the look together. According to a reviewer: “These are the very best plus size friendly shorts ever! I have never found more comfortable shorts for an apple shaped body. No riding up, no pressure on my belly and kept me nice and cool. Will order more!” Available sizes: X-Large — 3X-Large Available colors and styles: 8 10 These Short Shorts With A Fun Athletic Vibe
Looking for a little less coverage? These
plus-size short shorts fall to just the upper thigh for a minimalist look and feel. They’re made of polyester fabric with 5% spandex, resulting in a pair that’s both stretchy and sweat-wicking. Throw them on with a sports bra or layer them underneath an oversized tee for a cool, athletic look. According to a reviewer: “These shorts are great, the color is cute, the shorts are super comfy, and the fit is awesome. These shorts are great to work out in or just run a few errands, very simple and comfortable.” Available sizes: X-Large — 3X-Large Available colors and styles: 4 11 A Pair Of Bermuda Shorts With A Cargo Pocket Detail
Let’s get this straight — these are not your typical cargo shorts. Featuring a double-button closure and a slim fit throughout, the
mid-rise pants have a Bermuda-length hem that hits just above the knee. Besides the deep front and back pockets, these shorts also have a faux cargo pocket detail on the sides to complete the look. They come in both black and beige and can be paired with a variety of blouses, tanks, and tees. According to a reviewer: “There is enough give in the fabric and waistband to keeps its shape and stay where you put it. I have a smaller waist and this curves in well without being tight. No gap in the back. Comfortable standing or sitting. I do a lot of gardening and landscaping and this short is exactly what I needed.” Available sizes: 16 Plus — 26 Plus Available colors: Black, Cafe 12 A High-Rise Pair With A Cool, Distressed Look
If you’re seeking a pair of
plus-size jean shorts that are effortlessly cool, check out this distressed pair. They’re made of a stretchy denim material that hugs your hips and thighs, securing at your natural waist with a zipper-fly closure. There are front and back pockets for stashing small essentials. Pair these casual shorts with a cool graphic tee and Doc Martens for a fierce look. According to a reviewer: “I love these shorts! I struggle to find plus size shorts that fit everywhere. Oftentimes the waist is too tight and the legs too big. These fit like a glove [...] and I am a size 22. They’re a great staple for every plus size gals summer wardrobe!!! I love them!” Available sizes: 14 Plus — 26 Plus colors Available : 5 13 These Cotton Bike Shorts That Come In Fun Colors & Patterns
bike shorts are made of a soft cotton-spandex fabric that hugs your body without constricting it. Perfect for errands, workouts, and hanging at home, these shorts are a fan favorite on Amazon, with reviewers reporting that they’re “so comfortable” and “don’t ride up.” Perhaps the hardest part of buying these shorts? Choosing from over 40 colors and patterns. Available in neutrals, bold neon colors, florals, and chic animal prints, you can pick a pair that vibes with your personal style. According to a reviewer: “These are exactly what I was looking for! They are form-fitting and stay up during exercise, but not super-stretchy or tight like spandex. They are very comfy, mostly cotton (so be careful drying), but not see-through (at least not in black. I am about to buy two more pairs in different colors!” Available sizes: X-Large — 7X-Large and styles Available colors : 44 14 This Value Pack Of Shortlettes You Can Wear Under Skirts & Dresses
If you’re looking for something to throw on under a dress or skirt, this
value pack of shortlettes includes two pairs of polyester-spandex shorts that layer discreetly under whatever you’re wearing. With a high waist and a mid-thigh hem, these smooth shorts feel like a second skin — one reviewer wrote, they’re “so light and comfortable it’s like wearing nothing at all.” According to a reviewer: “Truly, honestly, there really are not enough Amazon stars to rate these shortlettes. These are, hand down, the BEST PRODUCT EVER!!! [...] Each day since getting my Undersummers, I've worn skirts and they stay put, are super comfortable and are cool to wear.” Available sizes: 2X-Large Plus — 5X-Large Plus Available colors: Black, Beige
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