You want the best. And heck, you deserve the best. But there's a lot of choice out there, and sometimes the best is hard to find. Fortunately, we know where to find it. Every week, the Esquire editors reveal their favourite brands, from under-the-radar steals to luxury loves, so you can invest in the best clothes, watches and accessories that money can buy.
This week, the best brands for the best shorts as summer starts to burn.
Catherine Hayward, Fashion Director
"In 1973, iconic tennis player Billie Jean King, winner of 39 Grand Slam titles and pioneer of gender equality, took up the challenge from tennis player Bobby Riggs in a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ ‘grudge match. She trounced him. In a dress.
"But this is 2020. The battle is still raging, people. I’m a fourth wave feminist and I want shorts. With pockets. So it is with a happy heart that I can endorse NikeCourt's Flex shorts, with their stretchy waistband and side vents so I can move around quickly and comfortably. And joy of joys, they have pockets which is where I store my tennis balls on court – just like men have been doing for years. And just in case you thought I’d forgotten you, here’s the men’s version, which'll let you store your shuttlecocks, apples and wallet too."
Dan Choppen, Fashion Assistant
"When you notice you're spending most of your time in shorts: that's summer. Officially. We all have a favourite pair, too – worn in, comfy and the perfect length. But shorts are strangely difficult to get right, to find the perfect pair. Freddie Mercury shouldn't share his shorts with Fred Durst, for instance.
"The perfect pair for me are the Patagonia baggies. A packable, light and comfy pair of shorts made from recycled nylon coming in a range of colours. Mooching about on the weekend or on the beach on holiday, they are a versatile, stylish pair of shorts. Their light nylon fabric will also dry quickly in the sun, so can act as swim shorts as a last resort. Shorts made simple."
Finlay Renwick, Deputy Style Editor
"Having been a loyal disciple of the Patagonia Baggies, like Dan, I have decided to move away from one-short myopia and explore new options, fresh pairs, but it’s tricky. Chino shorts are too restrictive. I don’t need a structured waistband when I’m just trying to relax. Elasticated waist shorts with a tailored fit are nice, sure. However, after some trial and error, I think I’ve found the ideal sporty but not too sporty short, and it’s by Lacoste.
"They are part of Le Croc’s collab with the French Open and come with an elasticated, but also slightly tailored waist and fall a couple of inches above the knee. The material is tres, tres bien, a kind of luxury polyester that gives you all the comfort and breathability of a sport short without the shine or crinkling noises when you walk. Also, despite it all being postponed until who knows when, the tennis look is very in this summer. Wearing these I feel like Parisian man about town. Just off to the club for a few hours on the clay and then perhaps an aperitif on the deck."
Murray Clark, Digital Style Editor
"There's that TikTok shorts rule, isn't there? Five inches to an inseam or something? Yeah, well I hate TikTok, and I will not have a 14-year-old that mimes to Doja Cat dictate my clothing. Instead, I'm looking to the founding father of the long, long, looooong short; the sort Tony Hawk paired with white socks and Vans; the sort No Doubt wore back in Anaheim before Gwen Stefani set about her daily cultural appropriation of Japan. I'm talking about Dickies.
"13 inches, knee-scraping and wide enough to stay comfortable in the heat, the classic skatewear silhouette has enjoyed a reprisal from the likes of Dior and Jacquemus, proving that the three-quarter length trend of the early-Noughties could be salvaged upon a second opinion. They're clean, and classic, and crisp. Just like my favourite Vines."
Nick Pope, Deputy Digital Editor
"I have been told by multiple people that I look like a postman when I wear shorts. Now that’s obviously no bad thing (please don't cancel me, Royal Mail), but it’s also not really the summer vibe I’m aiming for. As a result, I have resorted to pastel pinks and patterns. I have opted, friends, for Columbia’s faintly-ridiculous-but-also-incredibly-nice Riptides.
"Now I look like a postman from 1987, which is precisely the wave I'm riding. What’s more, they’re made from recycled nylon that repels water (rum punch) and stains (from the aforementioned rum punch). It’s part of the brand’s nostalgia-drenched Icon collection, which you can check out here. Remember: if it’s good enough for AC Slater, it’s good enough for you."
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