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The 5 Best Denim Shorts for Moms

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Denim shorts are by far the most worn thing in my closet in the warmer months. They’re comfortable to wear all day, go with any top, and look cute with all sorts of shoes. For moms, denim shorts are both cute and comfortable — if you get the right pair.

But, as an almost 40 year old and mom of two, finding denim shorts that are not too short or too tight is challenging. I’m not comfortable wearing “short-shorts” anymore, and SO many of the jean short options on the market are super short and tight (and look like they’re better for a 15 year old than a someone in their late-thirties). So over the past couple of years, I’ve made it my mission to find denim shorts that are cute AND appropriate for my stage of life.

Luckily, over the last two years I’ve had a lot of success with cute AND appropriate jean shorts, and this spring I hit the jackpot on mom-approved denim shorts. In this post I shared my top picks for jean shorts for moms, so if you’re like me and struggle to find jean shorts you truly love, keep reading. This is is for you!

How to find the best denim shorts

Try on a lot. Seriously. I had to try lots of different styles at various price points before finding a pair that felt totally comfortable on me, but it was worth the search. Since jean shorts are a summertime staple, you want to LOVE the pair you’ll be wearing everyday. I did the same thing when it came to white jeans. I tried 15 pairs of white jeans before finding my favorites — it just takes time!

It’s also important to remember that when it comes to a pair of shorts you know you’ll wear a handful of times per week, you have to keep cost per wear in mind. Spending ~$100 on denim shorts may sound crazy at first, but when you break down how many times you wear them, it becomes much more reasonable.

What type of jean shorts are in style 2024?

Welp, one of the major fashion trends in 2024 are SUPER short shorts. Some of them look like denim underwear. But on the other hand, trouser-like shorts like these from J.Crew are also popular, so we’re safer in that area.

What is the most flattering length for jean shorts?

This boils down to what you feel best in, but in general, a high waisted pair with a mid-length that doesn’t show your booty is a good, flattering choice.

Is it better to size up or down in denim shorts?

This will vary from brand to brand, but if I am in-between sizes in denim, I always go up in size for comfort and so that I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself into them. I had a baby in January so I’m also buying my clothes in a size or two up this season for that reason.

Okay, ready to see what I’m loving this summer?

The 5 Best Denim Shorts for Moms

All of these pairs are a bit different in terms of fit, price and how to style them. If you want the most versatile pair, I think #3 is probably best given the style and wash (it works well with loose and fitted tops and can be dressed up or down). But, it’s also the most expensive pair. You could also try pair #1 in a darker wash to accomplish the same goal of versatility but I don’t love the darker wash options in that style. The wash I have is lighter, which lends itself to a more casual look.

Okay, let’s get into the top 5 pairs I’ve tried and love!

1. Abercrombie High Rise Dad Shorts

My #1 pick for jean shorts for moms this year are the Abercrombie High Rise Dad Shorts. These come in multiple washes and styles, but I like the “light wash” with the wide, finished hem best. They feel ultra polished and conservative, but they’re casual and relaxed like a denim short should be. I wear a size 27 in this style and they have a loose (but not baggy) fit around my thigh. They have a 5″ inseam which feels perfect on me as a mom. Not too short, but not long enough that I feel frumpy.

Abercrombie makes all of their denim in two fits: regular and Curve Love. Curve Love is a great option if you have muscular legs and glutes because they have an additional 2 inches through the hip and thigh to help eliminate waist-gap. You can buy the High Rise Dad Shorts in the Curve Love fit here.

Thee look great with all types of tops – loose, fitted, dressier, more casual. And they are only $70!

2. Abercrombie High Rise Loose Shorts

Next on the denim shorts for mom list are the Abercrombie High Rise Loose Shorts. These are a little different from the Dad Shorts because they have a more relaxed, almost vintage feel. They remind me of the jean shorts Kelly Kapowski would wear on Saved By The Bell. The waist is high and the fit is relaxed throughout the entire leg. They have a 6″ inseam, making them super appropriate to wear as a mom. They have a very trendy “baby hem” too, which makes them feel a bit more relaxed compared to the Dad Shorts.

I ordered a size 27 in these and they fit perfectly. You can buy the Curve Love fit of the High Rise Loose Shorts here. These look best with a top that is more fitted to balance the wider leg. These are on sale for 25% off through 5/13.

3. Agolde Parker Long Shorts

My #3 pick is the Parker style from Agolde in the longer length. I bought my first pair two years ago which was a raw-hem, distressed style, and ordered a second pair last year with a finished hem in a darker wash. Both are super similar, the only difference being the distressing and raw hem style.

For two years, this was the pair of shorts I liked best. I was convinced that they were the best-fitting true-denim shorts for moms, but Abercrombie changed my mind this year. I’m still keeping my AGOLDE shorts, but I haven’t reached for them since I got my Abercrombie pairs. And you can’t beat that Abercrombie is significantly cheaper! I do love the wash, however.

The AGOLDE pair as a 4 1/2″ inseam and feels similar to Abercrombie in terms of rigidness. I tend to keep them out of the wash as much as I can since I love how much they loosen out with a few wears, and once you wash and dry them, they tighten back up. I wear my true size 25 in these. I typically HATE a button-fly, but this pair doesn’t bother me.

These look great with all types of tops.

Here are a few snaps in the distressed pair:

4. Madewell Patch-Pocket Denim Shorts

This pair of jean shorts aren’t necessarily a classic denim short style, but if you’re looking for a second pair of jean shorts that have a more tailored look, this is the pair for you. I LOVE them. The Patch-Pocket Denim Shorts has an a-line style that’s incredibly flattering. Since the waist is fitted, it’s slimming in the right places and then the legs are wide in the right places too. If you hate when jean shorts feel stuck to your shorts, you will love this pair.

These run SMALL! I got a size 25 and will need to go up to a 26. These look best with a half tuck (or a fully tucked shirt) to highlight the style of the front pockets.

5. Madewell Perfect Jean Shorts

If you like stretchy denim shorts, then this is the pair for you. While these were my least favorite of all of the shorts above since I prefer a more rigid denim, they’re still a great option for anyone looking for superior comfort. The Perfect Jean Shorts are also a high rise style, but have a much more fitted look. They’re tighter through the leg, which is not my preference, but they have a great long inseam that I do like.

I got my true size 25 and I’d say they fit true to size. The lighter wash is such a nice summer option. These look great with all types of tops, but I tend to prefer something looser since the stretchier fabric tends to hug my body a bit more.

I hope this post helps you find the PERFECT pair of denim shorts for the summer. I know how hard it is to find the right pair, but once you do, you’ll be happy all summer long.

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