Comfy Shorts Reviews & Roundups – Starting Under $18

Summer Outfits Comfy Shorts Reviews and Roundup

I know a lot of you like to plan for summer around this time of year, so today I’m reviewing a bunch of shorts since, let’s be honest, it can take a while to find a great pair of comfy shorts.  Gotta start the search early!

I generally have a hard time with shorts, but in the last few years I’ve found a few pairs of comfy shorts that have been GAME CHANGERS!  Both denim shorts and “soft” shorts.  The ones I own are mostly no longer available, but it opened me up to knowing that comfy shorts DO EXIST!  Today I’m reviewing several shorts that are currently available so that you can fill your closet with comfy shorts too!

Most of these shorts are from Target, with a couple from Nordstrom.  Then, at the bottom I rounded up several more to try.

This review is somewhat limited since I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant and can’t actually button any of these shorts. 😂  I ordered them anyway (instead of just sharing them as a collage) because I wanted to at least be able to review the material, provide measurements for you, and show you how they fit around the legs.


Measurements for Each Pair of Shorts

Most stores don’t list measurements for shorts, but I always find they make shopping for shorts WAY easier.  For today’s pairs, I’ll note the leg opening, overall length, rise, and inseam.  Here’s why I think each of those are important:

  • Inseam – This is the one most of us are familiar with.  It measures how long the seam of the crotch is to the bottom of the leg.  I prefer a 4.5″ or 5″ inseam, unless I’m going for a Bermuda style or something intentionally longer.  Also, sometimes if shorts are looser, like on a pair of soft (not denim) shorts, and I know they’ll sit lower on me, I’m okay with a 3″ inseam as it may act like a 4″ inseam.
  • Leg Opening – Shorts are often too tight around my thighs, and that might be the same for you, or you might have the opposite problem where leg openings are too wide for you.  Either way, knowing the leg opening of the shorts means I don’t waste my time trying shorts that won’t work around my thighs.  I measure around my thighs, estimating how far down my leg the shorts will be based on its inseam length, and compare my leg’s circumference with the width of the shorts’ leg opening.  If the shorts’ leg opening is almost equal to the circumference of my thighs, I won’t bother trying it because I generally want a little bit of space between the shorts and my thighs.  Hope that makes sense!  I’ll list measurements with the shorts laid flat, so multiply it by 2 to estimate the circumference.
  • Rise – I’ll list this too as “high rise” and “mid rise” can vary depending on each pair of jeans.  I find it most helpful to know exactly how many inches the rise is instead.
  • Overall Length – Honestly, I don’t know how/if this is helpful but decided to list it anyway.  😛

While I can’t button any of these and speak to the fit at the waist (they are hanging WIDE open under my shirt 😂, I hope you find these measurements helpful along with my review of the materials.

SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes.


Target Universal Thread Shorts Reviews – All $17.99

Universal Thread has some stretchy shorts at VERY affordable prices.  There *is* still something I prefer about more expensive denim shorts, like Wit & Wisdom or Caslon from Nordstrom.  The denim seems a bit thicker and sturdier and seems to hold shape a tad better.  But I’m totally up for a cheaper pair of comfy shorts, too.  It’s hard to beat stretchy shorts for $17.99!

For sizing, I usually size up in Universal Thread denim shorts.  A couple of years ago before doing FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I wore them in size 10 though I was wearing most other jeans and bottoms in size 6.  After doing FASTer Way, I fit Universal Thread shorts better in size 8, so that’s what I ordered for these.  Unfortunately I have no way of knowing how the waistband fits (sorry again!) but the legs and rear fit as I expected.

This batch has several pairs that are totally worth checking out, especially at this price point!

Target Universal Thread Button Up Denim Shorts Review

Universal Thread High-Rise Short Jean Shorts (Medium Wash)
So cute with the buttons!  These have a good amount of stretch throughout the leg and a bit of stretch in the waistband.  The denim isn’t super duper crazy soft like more expensive pairs, but it IS stretchy, and for $17.99 overall it’s a great pair!

Measurements in size 8:

  • Leg Opening (laid flat): 11.75″
  • Overall Length (top of waistband to bottom): 13.5″
  • Inseam: 4″
  • Rise: 10.5″

Check them out HERE.


Target Universal Thread White Shorts Review

Universal Thread High-Rise Jean Shorts (White)
These are stretchy through out the leg and seat, and have a bit of stretch in the waistband.  The denim is a bit softer than the previous pair.  The tag says they’re “stay-clean” white denim with “specially treated fabric” that “repels moisture and provides stain resistance.”  I have not tested that, but just wanted to mention it for those who are freaked out by wearing white denim so that maybe it makes you more inclined to give them a shot!

Measurements in size 8:

  • Leg Opening (laid flat): 11.75″
  • Overall Length (top of waistband to bottom): 13.75″
  • Inseam: 4″
  • Rise: 10.75″

Check them out HERE.


Target Universal Thread Distressed Jeans Review

Universal Thread High-Rise Distressed Jean Shorts (Medium Wash)
Another pair that’s stretchy through out the leg and seat with a bit of stretch in the waistband.  This pair is the softest of the three so far, which makes it even better that they’re only $17.99!

The leg opening measures narrower than the previous pairs, but it FEELS looser because of the loose, cut off hem.  I wish they were a tad longer though.  Despite a 4″ inseam, they feel quite short.  I love the distressing and ripped hem, plus how comfy they are, though.

Measurements in size 8:

  • Leg Opening (laid flat): 11.5″
  • Overall Length (top of waistband to bottom): 13″
  • Inseam: 4″ but feels shorter than the previous two pairs
  • Rise: 10.5″

Check them out HERE.


Universal Thread High-Rise Distressed Jean Shorts (Dark Wash)
This pair did not arrive in time for this post, but it looks like a great option to try!  I mean, it’s got a 5.0 star rating!


Target Universal Thread Pull On Elastic Waist Shorts Review

Universal Thread High-Rise Pull On Shorts (Black, Olive)
Ohmigosh you guys!  These shorts!  They are 55% linen and 45% rayon, meaning flexible and comfy.  These are $17.99, and while they’re not as soft as more expensive soft shorts I’ve gotten from Nordstrom in the past, for this price, they’re a great buy!  They have pockets and an elastic waistband which is INSANELY forgiving.  They run quite huge.  I’m wearing size XS and was able to stretch it around my 32 week baby bump, which cracked me up!  (Not that I plan to wear it like that–just to illustrate how stretchy it is!)  If that worries you about it starting out too big, FWIW, if I slid it down under my bump, it stayed put there too.

Measurements in size XS:

  • Leg Opening (laid flat): 14″
  • Overall Length (top of waistband to bottom): 14″
  • Inseam: 3″ but since these are a looser fit with the crotch probably hitting lower than your anatomical crotch, these might fit as if the inseam is a little longer than 3″

Measurements in size S:

  • Leg Opening (laid flat): 14.5″
  • Overall Length (top of waistband to bottom): 14.25″
  • Inseam: 3″ but since these are a looser fit with the crotch probably hitting lower than your anatomical crotch, these might fit as if the inseam is a little longer than 3″

Check them out HERE.  I’m keeping size XS.

IF these shrink in the wash, which linen and rayon tend to do, I would use a clothing steamer to expand it.  Steaming relaxes fibers and has helped restore many of my shrunken garments.  I’m assuming an iron does the same, but I only steam clothes since I hate ironing.  Read more about why I like steaming clothes HERE.

There’s a similar pair HERE that hasn’t arrived yet but might also be worth checking out!  It comes in blush pink, rust orange, dark grey, and light olive.



Just a couple pairs to review from Nordstrom today.  These are of course more expensive than the pairs from Target, but like I said, there’s something I generally prefer about them.  They’re either a little thicker, a little more secure, the denim just feels a bit better, or there are other subtle differences.  Anyway, just wanted to share these as more options for comfy shorts!

I also rounded up more shorts from Nordstrom in the widget at the bottom of this post.  They have great reviews and are from brands that my shorts collection is made of.


Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Bermuda Shorts
I bought these last year and LOVE them.  Unfortunately, since they’re from last year, sizing is currently limited, but you should definitely check if yours is available if you’re interested in them.  These shorts are made of a soft denim that is super stretchy.  Plus, they have a strip of elastic sewn into the waistband for a stretchy waistband and ultimate comfort.  You guys know I LOVE Wit & Wisdom jeans for their stretchy waistbands!  (Only W&W’s Ab-Solution line of jeans/shorts/pants has the stretchy waistband, so make sure “Ab-Solution” is in the title.)

I also tend to have a harder time with Bermuda shorts being TOO tapered and widening my hips, but these work for me!  Maybe not great if you have more of a straighter figure, though.

The length + extra comfort with the soft, stretchy denim and elastic waistband make them 👌🏼.  REALLY hoping these come back in stock in all sizes this year.  Check if they have your size HERE.  I wear size 6.

Measurements in size 6:

  • Leg Opening (laid flat): 10.5″ – narrower is fine when the shorts are longer, because that means they probably hit at a narrower part of your thigh
  • Overall Length (top of waistband to bottom): 15.75″
  • Inseam: 7″ cuffed, 9″ uncuffed
  • Rise: 9.5″


Kut From the Kloth Denim Shorts Review

Kut From the Kloth Chloe Rolled Boyfriend Denim
I really like this pair!  These are stretchy (of course!) but are also a tad thicker than the Target pairs, and therefore feel more secure.  I’m usually size 6 or sometimes 4 in KUT jeans, but sized up to 8 in these shorts.  The thighs didn’t fit me well in size 6.  If you are worried about sizing, remember Nordstrom offers free shipping and free return shipping on all orders, so I always buy multiple sizes and send back whatever doesn’t work.

These are currently on sale for 30% off!  Check them out HERE.  I’m trying size 8.

Measurements in size 8:

  • Leg Opening (laid flat): 11″
  • Overall Length (top of waistband to bottom):
  • Inseam: 4.5″ cuffed, 7.5″ uncuffed
  • Rise: 10″

More Shorts to Try

Below are a few more shorts from Nordstrom and JCPenney, in addition to the Target ones I reviewed.  The shorts from Nordstrom are expensive, but they often do have an edge up on cheaper ones in terms of how the material feels.  However, the Target ones are still really great, especially given their price!  I haven’t tried the JCPenney shorts, but I chose a brand that tends to have stretch in their denim or softer types of shorts/pants.

Hope you’re able to find some awesome comfy shorts to wear this summer!

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