Boxer Shorts Will Be Summer's Biggest Trend, According to Gen Z

Not your boyfriend’s underwear

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Boxer Short Trend collage
Paula Boudes for PureWow

Boxer shorts are in, baby…and no, I’m not talking about the lumpy scraps of fabric your boyfriend has shoved in his drawer. After a few years of barely-there sheer underwear donned by celebrities, from Anya Taylor-Joy and Janelle Monáe to Demi Moore and Kelsea Ballerini, a boxer-inspired bottom feels oddly conservative in comparison. The Gen Z girlies like Jessica Luck and Rebeca Oksana deemed the easy, breezy, comfortable cotton bottoms the “It” staple of the summer on social media, and I’m here for it. There’s nothing this sweat-prone writer would like to wear more than something breathable and lightweight on a scorching summer’s day, and you’d be surprised by how put-together you feel in what could easily be mistaken as your man’s underwear.

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boxer short trend monochromatic sets
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Earth to Gen Z, boxer shorts are far from a new discovery. Their popularity dates back to a Levi’s commercial from the ‘80s, which ultimately boosted sales for the new at the time, elastic style, giving the relaxed underwear a competitive, cooler edge over briefs. And if there’s anything we can learn from the ever-shrewd Carrie Bradshaw, it’s that your boyfriend’s spare clothes he forgets at your apartment can be transformed into an unforgettable look…and the same goes for his undergarments, I guess.

A few years ago, I noticed the ‘lax loungewear piece on Matilda Djerf, It-girl, influencer and founder of both Djerf Avenue and Djerf Avenue Beauty. At the time, my brain didn’t automatically associate Djerf Avenue’s elastic waistband cotton shorts with the undies my brother throws on every morning (gross)—no, that’d be weird. Instead, I checked the ensemble with its matching button-up shirt as a refreshing vacation outfit. Heck, I thought of Bananas in Pyjamas before I considered men’s underwear.

boxer short trend street style images, striped boxer shorts
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Flash forward to today, and this trend has taken on a life of its own via TikTok, Instagram and many of the 2023 and 2024 runways, as declared in Vogue last summer. Within the past thirty-or-so minutes of writing this, I couldn’t help but notice influencer Gabriella Gofis's most recent reel as I scrolled through my feed, clocking her—you guessed it—boxer shorts styled as an everyday outfit underneath an oversize blazer. As a fashion shopping editor, it’s my job to stay au currant the latest trends, so as I’m sifting through the street style images from recent fashion shows laden with women wearing boxer shorts every which way, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re just now seeing the beginnings of the boxer short trend.

boxer short trend side-by-side street style images, colored and striped boxer shorts
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If this sounds like music to your ears, then you’ll want to keep in mind a few styling tips before you go jumping into some skivvies. As boxer shorts can err on the side of both pajamas and underwear, it’s important to choose pieces that are polished if you want to elevate them. Matching button-up blouses are always a good idea, as this will create a two-piece ensemble that’s sleek and refined. Similarly, comfortable kitten heels can elevate the laid back look and assure your neighbors that, no, you did not just roll out of bed. Lastly, play up the accessories because a bright handbag or chunky necklace can totally zhoosh things up.

On the flip side, don’t be afraid to lean into a more casual, low-maintenance vibe with a plain white tank top, graphic tee or sweater. Just be sure to tuck in your top and allow that elastic waistband to show, otherwise it may read sloppy to the average Joe. My personal favorite way to style the shorts: with a blazer or trench coat atop for an unlikely when corporate meets couch pairing—so wrong, yet so right.

Here are 11 pairs of boxer shorts to shop and live in this season.

Menswear meets fashion with these cotton boxer shorts from J.Crew. They’re high-waisted with a three-inch inseam (hello, coverage), breezy and have pockets. “I love these,” gushes one J.Crew reviewer. “I wear them around the house but also as a swim coverup in the summer. They’re super lightweight and the band at the top sits high waisted so it’s not too tight.”

If stripes are your thing, then these Soly Hux boxers from Amazon will certainly fit the bill. Casual and crisp, these shorts have an eye-catching letter patch sewn into the front of the elastic waistband, and it comes in nine colors besides this fiery red. Most reviewers say they’re comfortable and lightweight, though some buyers are mixed on the quality of the polyester, noting that it has no stretch and can feel inexpensive (which, to be fair, they are).

Gap has their own rendition of soft, poplin shorts made from 100 percent cotton and available in three lengths (regular, tall and petite). And don’t worry, it has that classic, easy-going fit along the waist and relaxed drape through the hips and thighs. Yes, there are pockets people. Don’t forget to snag the matching button-down to complete the look.

The three small buttons along the front of the shorts are sure to give off these-are-my-boyfriend’s-boxers vibes. Unlike the previous striped pairs, this print is thicker and bolder in nature, which makes them perfect for the girlie who wants to stand out. One buyer who loves the soft cotton material says, “They aren't stiff as I thought they might be, and I wear these as much as possible—around the house or out with a sweatshirt or T-shirt.” Customers find them to run large, so I suggest you maybe size down, especially if you’re in-between sizes.

If you know me, you know I love a SNDYS outfit, and these light blue, striped shorts are no exception. They’re lightweight, have faux back pockets with white piping detailing and have the most darling white patch at the waistband that makes ‘em pop. One buyer says they’re even more flattering in person than they are online, so that tells me they’re a winner.

Known for their gorgeous lingerie, panties, bras and swimwear, Gooseberry’s boxer shorts may almost get hidden amongst the more risqué pieces…almost. This white stunner manages to ooze the same ultra-sexy vibe that you’d find in the brand’s other designs, just with a bit more fabric. They’re designed for lounging, sleeping and beyond, but it’s important to note that despite its thicker material, the white can be slightly see-through. (Nude undies will be your BFF.)

These shorts are made with 100 percent organic cotton and absolutely no harmful chemicals whatsoever. “I love these shorts for the summer,” says Elizabeth R., a MATE the Label reviewer.
“They’re perfect for those warm days when you’ll want to stay cool wherever you are. You can definitely dress these up or down.” After testing out two sizes, she didn’t find too much of a difference in comparison, so I recommend referencing the size chart before you add to cart.

8. Faithfull the Brand Elva Short

Faithfull the Brand

From one of my favorite Australian brands comes the Elva shorts, a high-waisted, relaxed bottom made from certified organic cotton poplin in a hand-printed stripe that’s as blue as the ocean. Naturally, they’re worthy of a little beach vacation moment.

An OG amongst the rest, the Breezy shorts from Djerf Avenue make an excellent choice for first-timers. They’re comfortable, lightweight and oversized so they sit further down the legs and offer a bit more coverage than your average boxer short. I’ll be wearing the blue stripe print on repeat come summer, but I think it’s time I invest in a black pair soon, too.

Quite possibly the closest style to your partner’s boxers, these striped shorts from Hommegirls is so street-girl chic. They’re intended to be roomy, so I recommend styling them with more tailored pieces up top if you decide to wear it beyond the couch. And a tailored-yet-oversize blazer like this Aritzia blazer I’ve owned for years will look so chic with it. Just throw on some chunky socks and loafers for a Emma Chamberlain moment.

Crisp and fresh, I’m loving how polished this white linen boxer short reads. It has a thick elasticated waist band that feels a bit sportier than the rest of the options on this list, actually putting the “boxer” in “boxer short.” Since it’s comprised of a cotton-linen blend, it’s not meant to feel too stretchy, but it will feel lightweight and cooling on.

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Associate Fashion Commerce Editor

Stephanie is a natural savant in the fashion, beauty, and dating & relationships beats. She graduated with a bachelor of arts at the University of San Diego, where she majored...

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