Denim Short Review: Which ones I loved and hated

Spring is in the air which means SHORTS!! ok it’s been about a week since it’s been 70 degrees and my spray tan is fading but once it gets warm again I LOVE a great pair of denim shorts. Let’s be honest though not all shorts are created equal AND we are not all looking for the same cut and style.

Through the years I’ve figured out my personal equation of a “good” short, since I’m 5’5 and typically a size 10/12 I like a 4″ inseam. On my legs these are short but not too short. I tend to be thicker in the thighs so I need some room there but still a waistband that is forgiving and not too high rise.

No one likes the dreaded “saggy butt” in jeans or in shorts so they need to have some stretch but won’t stretch out and sag after a full day (or 2) of wear in Texas summers. Here are the shorts I tried out and where I would score them on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the BEST!).

Best denim shorts for size 10/12 from Loft, Amazon and Nordstrom Spring 2020

Madewell Tee (tts, M) | Veja Sneakers (tts)

KUT From the Kloth Gidget Denim Shorts in Consolidated wash (size down, 10) score 9.5

KUT from the Kloth Gidget Denim Shorts mid rise 4" inseam spring 2020

I’m starting with my favorites because if you in the past have loved some of my other picks and you are looking for shorts just stop here buy them and move on with life. These raw hem (yet seamed so it doesn’t unravel) shorts are my ride or die. These have been worn everywhere and also for days without saggy rear.

These are a 4″ inseam with 9″ front rise to they come right below my belly button. The have a 21.5″ leg opening so they are not too tight on my thighs and just a little bit of stretch but these should fit tight when you first get them and then they loosen up. Fit Tips: size down, 10

I also like that you can find these in SEVERAL washes!! Dark, White and Distressed.

Caslon Rolled Denim Boyfriend Shorts (size down, 30) score 9

This pair of shorts I just purchased and y’all they are GOOD! I’m not typically a fan of rolled shorts but had so many readers say that they love this style and I needed to try it!

These are also a 4″ inseam with a 8.5″ rise so a bit shorter on the belly but still comfortable and they don’t feel too low rise. This pair has a bit more thigh room with a 23.5 leg opening. Very similar feel to the KUT shorts in the way that they have just a bit of stretch and it’s good for them to feel a bit tight when you first put on and then they loosen up as you wear them. These lost a point because they only come in one wash. Fit Tips: size down, 10

Daily Ritual Women’s Denim Cutoff Short in Vintage Destructed (true to size, 31/12) score 8.5

Amazon Daily Ritual cutoff short spring 2020

Since many of you LOVE Amazon (me included) I wanted to try several of their “in house” brands to see how they measure up. The first brand I tried was Daily Ritual and since they have 5 washes of the same style I thought they would be a good option. Although I don’t love these as much as my KUT shorts they are very similar.

The Daily Ritual shorts are a shorter inseam at 3 5/8″ and higher rise at 9.5″ so not too high and still have that mid rise feel. They also have a raw hem but it is not seamed so over wear I can see these getting fairly stringy. The color I ordered was vintage destructed which is a pretty close match to the KUT shorts but look nothing like the online picture with some slight distressing. These do not have an exact measurement on the leg opening but holding it up to other pairs it’s about .5″ in smaller in the leg so if you have thinner thighs these are a good pick. Fit Tips: true to size 12/ 31

J.Crew Mercantile 10″ Cutoff Short in Worn Medium Tide Blue Wash (true to size, 31) score 8

J.Crew Mercantile Cutoff Short spring 2020 #amazon #amazonfashion #founditonamazon

These are my pick if you like a higher rise! These J.Crew Mercantile (think J.Crew Factory band) are a shorter inseam than the rest 3″ and a higher rise 10″ but have a good amount of leg room. These also have that seamed edge so they are not going to unravel and give you strings down your legs. Since these (like my top picks) have only 1% spandex they feel like jeans with just a hint of stretch to prevent that mid day butt sag.

Goodthreads Denim Raw Edge Shorts in vintage destructed (true to size, 12/ 31) score 8

amazon good threads denim shorts spring 2020 #founditonamazon #amazonfashion

These are very similar to the Daily Ritual style of shorts (seeing that they are both Amazon owned brands I’m not super surprised). They have a mid-rise 9 5/8″ and 3 5/8 inseam so making them a good comparison. These come in 6 washes and I was looking to see if I cold find a bit lighter pair. I wasn’t 100% fan of this wash but I think that they have promise and liked the look of mid-blue. Fit Tips: tts, 12/31

The Drop Women’s Crenshaw High Rise Relaxed Fit Cutoff Long Short | The Drop Women’s Sasha Vintage Mid-Rise Button Fly Cutoff Denim Short| Amazon Essentials Women’s 4″ Denim Short in Medium Wash score 4.5

Now I’m sure you are wondering why I’ve grouped 3 pairs of shorts and rated them all pretty low. Honestly these 3 pairs had such off sizing I wasn’t even able to take pictures. All three ran extremely small and I was so unimpressed by the fit and feel I didn’t bother to reorder. Fit Tips: runs small order at least one size up

Universal Thread High Rise Distressed Short (true to size, 12) score 7

Target distressed shorts spring 2020

I had MANY people recommend these Target shorts and thought well for the price it’s give them a whirl. In my try-on video I mention that these are a shorter inseam but they are a 4″ like many of the rest. I think they FEEL shorter because of the uneven hem and heavy distressing.

These are though the highest rise of all the shorts I tried at 10.5″ now as I mentioned that’s just not my jam. When I have a short that comes above my belly button I am uncomfortable when I sit down. Also these have an open hole distressing which again is not my favorite especially so far up on my thigh just asking for some squishing out to happen. Fit tips: true to size, 12

LOFT pull-on shorts (true to size, L) score 9

Loft pull on shorts great for spring and summer 2020

Last year I had a similar style in pull-on LOFT shorts in pinstripe and I LOVED them! So this year whenI saw that they were brining back the style but in a denim wash I knew I had to have them. This style has a shorter inseam at 3″ and a higher rise at 10 5/8. Now I will say that I get these on the larger end because I do not want them to be too tight across my rear in that short of an inseam.

Grabbing them in a large allows for me to wear them a bit lower on my hips (so the higher rise is not an issue) and the shorter inseam gets a bit more length. These have a functional drawstring so I can tighten them where they feel most comfortable. These have the highest amount of stretch fabric making them great for buys mom days.


Ok ok now that I have given you MY favorite style of denim shorts I want to mention that I know a few of you are looking for a longer inseam short. Since I don’t always have the time (or money) to order everything I instead rounded up ones from my favorite brands that have the most promise.




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  1. 2.27.20
    Valerie said:

    This came at the perfect time. I’m shopping for shorts to take on spring break right now. Thanks again for another great post!

  2. 2.27.20
    Erica said:

    All your posts are so helpful! Thank you!