This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which Levi’s shorts are best?

Known around the globe as a classic, all-American brand, Levi’s denim offers all types of shorts. But finding the best pair to suit your needs is a task that needs thought. Levi’s denim is known to stand the test of time, so it really is an investment. The shorts you find may last you several years, and you’ll want to love them. The best are the versatile, comfortable Levi’s Women’s 501 Original Shorts.

What to know before you buy Levi’s shorts


Consider where, when and how you’ll be using your new shorts. If you’re active, a pair of heavy denim shorts may work against you and cause chafing, discomfort and sweat, while flexible, lightweight lounge shorts may give you a better range of motion.

Levi’s offers denim in styles from stretch to sturdy. Consider elements such as weight, style, wash and length when reviewing how you’ll wear it.


Levi’s shorts vary in longevity because of their material and style. You’ll need to decide if trendiness or longevity is more important to you. For example, if you opt for a pair of distressed shorts, they will wear quicker than a pair of hard denim shorts with no distressing or holes. Non-denim shorts such as chinos and lounge shorts also vary in lifespan.

Always be gentle to your shorts when washing them, as a careful touch and quality treatment will extend their lives.  


Think about what the rest of your outfit will look like. Will you be wearing a crop top? A polo shirt? You may even dress your shorts up with heels or do the  opposite and choose a heavy sneaker instead. Explore your style and decide what length will coordinate best with the outfits you generally throw together.

You’ll also have the choice of waist style. High-waisted, low-waisted and mid-rise are just a few of the options, so give them all a try and see what you feel most comfortable in. Levi’s offers not only denim but khaki shorts and even lounge shorts, so if denim isn’t your style, there are still plenty of possibilities.

What to look for in quality Levi’s shorts


Levi’s manufactures 30 types of fabric. While they all are of high quality, they produce varying results. Some, such as Levi’s heavyweight denim, are sturdy, stiff and hold their shape well through several wash cycles. Elastane, used in several other styles, is designed to enhance the clothing’s range of motion and elasticity. Note the material the shorts are made of and decide what that means to you.


Choosing the wash of your shorts is another opportunity to cater to your style. Acid-wash denim is made by adding bleach to the dyeing process, resulting in a tie-dye pattern. Light wash and medium wash are popular, casual denim washes processed to achieve a dusty blue color. The amount of time denim is processed determines the color, light wash taking the longest and dark wash taking the least amount of time.


Not only do your shorts have to suit your style based on their design and look, they also have to fit according to your style. A looser, baggier fit may be exactly what your outfit needs — or you may want high-waisted, tapered shorts. Their rise, length and general fit can turn your outfit around, so get out of your comfort zone and try a few different fits. You never know  where exploring your style will take you.

How much you can expect to spend on Levi’s shorts

Prices of Levi’s shorts vary depending on the type you buy. Lounge shorts, for instance, may cost less than heavy denim shorts. Usually the price of a pair of Levi’s shorts is $19-$59.

Levi’s shorts FAQ

Will my shorts transfer color onto my other clothes and accessories?

A. As is typical in denim and dark-wash clothing, articles with heavy dyes often transfer color onto lighter articles. Take caution when pairing a dark pair of shorts with a light shirt or bag ,because friction against the heavy dyes will cause them to get on your lighter pieces. Always wash darks and lights separately to avoid any further transfer.

Can I distress my own shorts?

A. It is super common and trendy to distress and upcycle shorts. If you ever want to give a new identity to your shorts or if you decide that you prefer a more rugged look, there are several tutorials online to give you inspiration and instruction.

What are the best Levi’s shorts to buy?

Top Levi’s shorts

Levis Womens 501 Original Shorts

Levi’s Women’s 501 Original Shorts

What you need to know: These denim shorts are versatile and great for casual, everyday outfits. 

What you’ll love: They’re high-rise and provide a comfortable fit to walk around in and wear casually. The material is 99% cotton and has 1% elastane, which adds to that comfort, giving the denim some extra stretch and range of motion. 

What you should consider: If you aren’t a fan of high-rise shorts or prefer something with more material and a longer, looser fit, consider a different pair. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Levi’s shorts for the money

Levis Mens Slim Jean Shorts

Levi’s Men’s Slim Jean Shorts

What you need to know: With a much slimmer fit than most shorts, these are perfect for those who want to replicate the comfort of jeans but don’t want any length past the knee.  

What you’ll love: Fitting more like jeans than shorts offers comfort and a tighter fit. These are appropriate for most occasions and feature a cut-off hem and more slim fit. 

What you should consider: If you prefer a looser fit with a little more room to move and maneuver, a cargo style short may be better.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Levis Womens Mid-Length Shorts

Levi’s Women’s Mid-Length Shorts

What you need to know: For those who want denim shorts but prefer a slightly lengthier fit, these are worth checking out.

What you’ll love: The mid-length fit — combined with being made from a combination of cotton, viscose, polyester and elastane — means that these are among Levi’s more elastic and comfortable shorts. The lengthier fit is great for slightly less casual settings where you want to wear denim shorts but don’t want a pair that’s overly short or tight-fitting. 

What you should consider: Aesthetically, a mid-length pair of shorts might not appeal to you. Look for different lengths, or just opt for a different fit.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Isabella Acitelli writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.