Back in the olden days (we’re talking pre-2019), there was a distinct difference between your workwear, your casual wear and your sleepwear. In this new pandemic world, however, we’re all mixed up, with work blending into errands morphing into a quick Zoom call and then a fast nap—and with the right loungewear, no outfit changes are required. That’s why the fashion gods have brought us lounge shorts.
The 14 Best Lounge Shorts for a Cozy Night In (and Beyond)
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What Are Lounge Shorts?
It’s an elastic (!) definition, but broadly speaking, lounge shorts are stretchy-waisted shorts that are loose enough to sleep comfortably in but substantial enough to wear to the market without feeling like you’re displaying your knickers for the world to see. In short, they’re basically the other fashion innovation of these pandemic times (along with the exercise dress, natch).
They come in various silhouettes, from bouclé knit bike shorts to modern takes on the roomy pull-on cotton gym shorts of yore. To find the right pair for you, check out the best designs for bopping around town or staying indoors—only in style—below.
1. everlane The Terry Cloth Short
The 3.75-inch inseam of these shorts means you can comfortably sit in all different positions while still maintaining your modesty. As an added bonus, the elastic waist means they'll be comfy, too. We’re also loving the sustainable organic cotton and recycled nylon fabric.
2. Toit Volant Lounge Roll-up Short
Based on the fly style of men’s basketball shorts, this long iteration is made of lightweight cotton that will keep you comfy and cool.
3. L’academie Ralph Short
This rayon-poly-nylon fabric of these bottoms flows like a skirt and looks sophisticated when paired with the matching cable-knit top.
4. skims Cozy Knit Short
Want more snuggle with a little less length? This bouclé knit option has up to a 15.5-inch rise (size small/medium), so you’ll be well-covered in cuddly fabric that hugs your curves without looking—or feeling!—too tight.
5. Naked Cashmere Marta Short
These 100 percent recycled cashmere shorts are made with a 12-gauge knit, which means that they are relatively dense for warmth. They also have a minimalist elastic waistband and rolled hem. With boots, this is going to be your fall uniform.
6. Free People Cruising Sweater Short
These all-cotton shorts are high-waisted, won’t chafe your thighs and will look so cute thrown on with a sweatshirt and UGGs to walk the dog come fall.
7. Baleaf 10-inch Bermuda Short
Love the feel of your bike shorts but not amped to spend the whole day in such tight clothes? This pick is a loosened-up version of athleisure that’s long on comfort.
8. Oyun Sleep Short
Made of mostly cotton with just a touch of wool, these shorts are modeled after vintage French bloomers.
9. Free People Layback Short
These are technically beach shorts, but when you wear them 24/7, including as sleepwear, no one will be the wiser.
10. Just My Size Pull-on Short
A comfy outer drawcord lets you adjust the fit on these cotton-poly shorts. With side slits for ventilation and pockets to boot, this design is comfy and utilitarian.
11. paper Project All Day Clean Sweatshort
Appealingly lightweight, this cotton-and-paper fiber blend short is treated with an antimicrobial finish, so odors won’t linger.
12. Zesica Knit Pullover Sweatsuit
You’ll get both a top and a bottom with this lightweight rayon-blend set at a completely no-guilt price. Now, the only issue is which of the 19 colors to choose?
13. Madewell Waffle-knit Pajama Short
A light waffle knit in a cute dot print, what’s not to love? The dolphin hem is sporty and stylish and the buttons add interest. Plus, wearing these shorts with the matching top turns it into a whole look.