Cargo shorts are practical and comfy, but there are some great, fresher-feeling looks to consider for this summer.

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We get it. Cargo shorts are practical. Who doesn’t love pockets?

But there are some great, fresher-feeling looks to consider for this summer. Here are four in-style alternatives to cargo shorts.


We’re not talking Richard Simmons here; we’re talking a 6- to 9-inch inseam that hits just a bit higher above the knee than big, baggy cargos. Shorts at this length looks a little more pulled together and make your legs look longer.

Check out the J.Crew Dock Short in Indigo Striped Irish Linen ($59.50), with a 6-inch inseam and on-trend pinstriping for a look that’s perfectly summer business casual. Irish linen fabric keeps them extra cool.


Looking for something a little more relaxed? A drawstring adds the look of activewear. But to keep it from looking like you’re headed to the gym, opt for a linen blend, which looks polished but is still cool and comfy.

The INC International Concepts Russ Soft Shorts ($25 at Macy’s) are a perfect athleisure piece for Sunday brunch or a relaxed bike ride.

Or add a pop of print to your look with Bridge & Burn’s Stringer Pineapple Shorts ($88 at The Portland line’s linen-cotton shorts feature a graphic pineapple print that’s fun without going overboard.


If you refuse to forgo pockets, try the updated version of the cargo: messenger shorts. These still have oversized pockets and fall below the knee, but have a slimmer cut for more polish. And they have a cool surfer attitude to them that makes them great for summer.

Local company Union Bay’ Penn Cargo Messenger Short (on sale for $25) comes in brown and black, and the legs can be worn down or rolled for a range of looks.


Whether edgy or timeless, printed shorts are a great way to add some fun to a summer look. Just add a T-shirt and you’re making a fashion statement.

For a more subtle look, pick a plaid that mixes similar hues, like on the Bonobos Foundation Linen Short in Blue Grey Glenplaid ($88). The print goes with almost everything and can look preppy or a little punk rock, depending on how you wear it.

For something edgier, try the soft cotton Sol Angeles Wave Print Terry Cutoff Shorts ($128 at Nordstrom), in an African mudcloth print, which has bumped Aztec motifs from the top of the trend heap.