Your Search For The Perfect High-Waisted Denim Shorts Ends Here

·8 min read

There are a lot of ways to rock shorts during the summer: short sets; sweat shorts; short shorts. And, after more than a year of staying inside, there's nothing we want more than to liberate our legs from the confines of their matching sweatsuits. While we might be spoiled for choice when it comes to this barely-there clothing category, there's one style that reigns supreme as a seasonal classic: high-waisted denim shorts.

If summer were a garment, high-waisted denim shorts would be IT. But, that doesn't mean they're easy to shop for. With factors like length, material, and the potential for chafing to consider, finding the right (read: most flattering) option isn't as simple as, say, shopping for a long flowy sundress. To help, we tapped the sage advice of internet reviewers to vet a list of top-rated styles. Ahead, shop the high-waisted denim shorts happy cyber shoppers are raving about — from AE to Madewell to H&M and beyond.

Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h2>AE Ne(x)t Level Curvy Super High-Waisted Short</h2><br><em><strong>The Short Shorts</strong></em><br><br>For something soft, stretchy, and short (with a capital S) that still manages to keep its shape, consider this AE pair designed for curves with more room through the hip and thigh. <br><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.5 out of 5 stars; 39 reviews on AE.com<br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: “Wow, I had sworn off shorts for years and years. I tentatively ordered these and they fit *like a glove.* I am built with a small waist, big booty, and huge thighs; I carry most of my weight in my lower half. The stretch is fantastic and my booty looks AMAZING; the fabric and cut are really flattering. The wash, fade, and distressing are stylish without being excessive for an early-30s millennial. Looking forward to wearing these all summer.” — Shetland Pony, AE.com reviewer<br><em><br>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.ae.com/us/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AE.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">AE.com</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>AE Ne(x)t Level</strong> Curvy Super High-Waisted Denim Short Short, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ae.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fp%2Fwomen%2Fhigh-waisted-shorts%2Fcurvy-high-waisted-shorts%2Fae-ne-x-t-level-curvy-super-high-waisted-denim-short-short%2F0546_6626_943%3Fmenu%3Dcat4840004" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AE" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">AE</a>

AE Ne(x)t Level Curvy Super High-Waisted Short


The Short Shorts

For something soft, stretchy, and short (with a capital S) that still manages to keep its shape, consider this AE pair designed for curves with more room through the hip and thigh.

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 39 reviews on AE.com

What They’re Saying: “Wow, I had sworn off shorts for years and years. I tentatively ordered these and they fit *like a glove.* I am built with a small waist, big booty, and huge thighs; I carry most of my weight in my lower half. The stretch is fantastic and my booty looks AMAZING; the fabric and cut are really flattering. The wash, fade, and distressing are stylish without being excessive for an early-30s millennial. Looking forward to wearing these all summer.” — Shetland Pony, AE.com reviewer

Shop AE.com


AE Ne(x)t Level Curvy Super High-Waisted Denim Short Short, $, available at AE
<h2>H&M Mom High Denim Shorts</h2><br><em><strong>The Cool-Moms-Only Shorts</strong></em><strong><br></strong><br>The slightly wider legs on this style that is not too long but also not too short make for an oversized and flexible look that fits and feels good.<br><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.6 out of 5 stars; 12 reviews on hm.com<br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: “Amazing beautiful marvelous will buy in any other color they make! 10/10.” — Anonymous, hm.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www2.hm.com/en_us/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:hm.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">hm.com</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>H&M</strong> Mom High Denim Shorts, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww2.hm.com%2Fen_us%2Fproductpage.0980033002.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:H&M" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">H&M</a>

H&M Mom High Denim Shorts


The Cool-Moms-Only Shorts

The slightly wider legs on this style that is not too long but also not too short make for an oversized and flexible look that fits and feels good.

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 12 reviews on hm.com

What They’re Saying: “Amazing beautiful marvelous will buy in any other color they make! 10/10.” — Anonymous, hm.com reviewer

Shop hm.com

H&M Mom High Denim Shorts, $, available at H&M
<h2>Levi's High Loose Women's Shorts</h2><br><strong><em>The '90s Style </em></strong><br><br>Combine an A-line shape with a planet-friendly TENCEL fabric and a classic vintage silhouette and you've hit the sartorial trifecta for your next summer staple. <strong><em><br></em></strong><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.6 out of 5 stars; 17 reviews on levi.com<br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: “I love these so much. You can tell the fabric is really great quality. Note that they don’t have any kind of stretch though. But that being said, they definitely run a little large but that just makes them even comfier since they have room. I’ve always struggled with having a smaller waist and large thighs so usually shorts are impossible for me to find. These are the best shorts I’ve ever gotten. Perfect room in my thighs while not being too large in the waist. If they do these in more colors I might cry.” — Sarah, levi.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop <a href="https://www.levi.com/US/en_US/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:levi.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>levi.com</strong></a></em><br><br><strong>Levi's</strong> High Loose Women's Shorts, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.levi.com%2FUS%2Fen_US%2Fclothing%2Fwomen%2Fshorts%2Fhigh-loose-womens-shorts%2Fp%2F394510002" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Levi's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Levi's</a>

Levi's High Loose Women's Shorts


The '90s Style

Combine an A-line shape with a planet-friendly TENCEL fabric and a classic vintage silhouette and you've hit the sartorial trifecta for your next summer staple.

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 17 reviews on levi.com

What They’re Saying: “I love these so much. You can tell the fabric is really great quality. Note that they don’t have any kind of stretch though. But that being said, they definitely run a little large but that just makes them even comfier since they have room. I’ve always struggled with having a smaller waist and large thighs so usually shorts are impossible for me to find. These are the best shorts I’ve ever gotten. Perfect room in my thighs while not being too large in the waist. If they do these in more colors I might cry.” — Sarah, levi.com reviewer

Shop levi.com

Levi's High Loose Women's Shorts, $, available at Levi's
<h2>BDG High-Waisted Cheeky Denim Short</h2><br><em><strong>The Going-Out Shorts<br></strong></em><br>A cheeky pair without actually showing any cheek, these 100% cotton shorts hug the body in all the right spots and feature summer-ready party pants. <br><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.5 out of 5 stars; 15 reviews on <em>urbanoutfitters.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: “Super cute. My fav going out shorts, I love them so!! They pair perfectly with anything.” — Sarah, urbanoutfitters.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:urbanoutfitters.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">urbanoutfitters.com</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>BDG</strong> High-Waisted Cheeky Denim Short, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.urbanoutfitters.com%2Fshop%2Fbdg-high-waisted-cheeky-denim-short-faded-denim" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Urban Outffiters" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Urban Outffiters</a>

BDG High-Waisted Cheeky Denim Short


The Going-Out Shorts

A cheeky pair without actually showing any cheek, these 100% cotton shorts hug the body in all the right spots and feature summer-ready party pants.

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 15 reviews on urbanoutfitters.com

What They’re Saying: “Super cute. My fav going out shorts, I love them so!! They pair perfectly with anything.” — Sarah, urbanoutfitters.com reviewer

Shop urbanoutfitters.com

BDG High-Waisted Cheeky Denim Short, $, available at Urban Outffiters
<h2>Good American Curve High Waist Denim Shorts</h2><br><strong><em>The Every Body Shorts</em></strong><br><br>Khloé Kardashian believes that fashion "should be made to fit women, not the other way around" and these <a href="https://www.nordstrom.com/brands/good-american--14480?origin=productBrandLink" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Good American" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Good American</a> shorts prove it's possible. They're made to fit every body from an easy-moving stretch-denim fabric.<br><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4 out of 5 stars; 43 reviews on <em>Nordstrom.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: “I looooove these shorts so much! they are so soft and stretchy but also provide some much-needed structure for us curvy girls. Super comfy!” — Carolina G., Nordstrom.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop</em><strong><em> <a href="https://www.nordstrom.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nordstrom.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nordstrom.com</a></em></strong><br><br><strong>Good American</strong> Curve High Waist Denim Shorts, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Fgood-american-good-curve-high-waist-denim-shorts-regular-plus-size%2F5618770" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nordstrom" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nordstrom</a>

Good American Curve High Waist Denim Shorts


The Every Body Shorts

Khloé Kardashian believes that fashion "should be made to fit women, not the other way around" and these Good American shorts prove it's possible. They're made to fit every body from an easy-moving stretch-denim fabric.

The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 43 reviews on Nordstrom.com

What They’re Saying: “I looooove these shorts so much! they are so soft and stretchy but also provide some much-needed structure for us curvy girls. Super comfy!” — Carolina G., Nordstrom.com reviewer

Shop Nordstrom.com

Good American Curve High Waist Denim Shorts, $, available at Nordstrom
<h2>Eloquii High Waisted Denim Shorts</h2><br><em><strong>The Light-as-a-Feather Pair</strong></em><br><br>These <em>ultra</em>-high waisted shorts have a flattering and relaxed fit that is made even better by what readers agree is a fabulously lightweight fabric. One of them had just a single word to capture it all: "Perfect!" <em><strong><br></strong></em><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.5 out of 4 stars; 13 reviews on <em>Eloquii.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: “Really glad I decided to purchase these on a hunch. The jeans are well made and super flattering. The legs are wider than I imagined, but I pair them with a crop top or bandeau to balance the lookout. They are super flattering and comfy. They didn't ride as well. Would def recommend especially if you are hourglass-shaped.” — Lo, Eloquii.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop<strong><a href="https://www.eloquii.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Eloquii.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> Eloquii.com</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Eloquii</strong> High Waisted Denim Shorts, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eloquii.com%2Fhigh-waisted-denim-shorts%2F1134080.html%3Fdwvar_1134080_colorCode%3D18" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Eloquii" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Eloquii</a>

Eloquii High Waisted Denim Shorts


The Light-as-a-Feather Pair

These ultra-high waisted shorts have a flattering and relaxed fit that is made even better by what readers agree is a fabulously lightweight fabric. One of them had just a single word to capture it all: "Perfect!"

The Hype: 4.5 out of 4 stars; 13 reviews on Eloquii.com

What They’re Saying: “Really glad I decided to purchase these on a hunch. The jeans are well made and super flattering. The legs are wider than I imagined, but I pair them with a crop top or bandeau to balance the lookout. They are super flattering and comfy. They didn't ride as well. Would def recommend especially if you are hourglass-shaped.” — Lo, Eloquii.com reviewer

Shop Eloquii.com

Eloquii High Waisted Denim Shorts, $, available at Eloquii
<h2>Madewell The Curvy Perfect Jean Short</h2><br><strong><em>The No-Brainer</em></strong><br><br>For those with an hourglass shape, the curvy fit of this Madewell style featuring a narrower waist and a little extra room around the hips and thigh region is an obvious choice for your summer outfit lineup. <strong><em><br></em></strong><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.4 out of 5 stars; 47 reviews on <em>Madewell.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: "I generally do not like shorts, I feel like I can never get the right fit! I love the length of these but they aren't too long and grandma like either. The high-waisted stretch is perfect for denim shorts. Highly recommend!<br>I originally sized up and bought a 28, because I generally like my shorts a lil' big but ended up returning for my normal size of 27. I'd stick with your normal size, they are slightly roomy and comfy!" — Jenna7, Madewell.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.madewell.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Madewell.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Madewell.com</a></strong></em><br><br><strong>Madewell</strong> The Curvy Perfect Jean Short, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.madewell.com%2Fthe-curvy-perfect-jean-short-in-baylis-wash-MC651.html%3Fcolor%3DDM4962" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Madewell" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Madewell</a>

Madewell The Curvy Perfect Jean Short


The No-Brainer

For those with an hourglass shape, the curvy fit of this Madewell style featuring a narrower waist and a little extra room around the hips and thigh region is an obvious choice for your summer outfit lineup.

The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars; 47 reviews on Madewell.com

What They’re Saying: "I generally do not like shorts, I feel like I can never get the right fit! I love the length of these but they aren't too long and grandma like either. The high-waisted stretch is perfect for denim shorts. Highly recommend!
I originally sized up and bought a 28, because I generally like my shorts a lil' big but ended up returning for my normal size of 27. I'd stick with your normal size, they are slightly roomy and comfy!" — Jenna7, Madewell.com reviewer

Shop Madewell.com

Madewell The Curvy Perfect Jean Short, $, available at Madewell
<h2>Torrid High-Rise Shortie Short</h2><br><em><strong>The Curve Hugger</strong></em><br><br>High-rising, hip-hugging, soft-feeling shorts that reviewers can't stop raving about because they're so totally comfortable. <em><strong><br></strong></em><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.6 out of 5 stars; 12 reviews on <em>Torrid.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: "These fit like a DREAM! I love how soft they are and they are not too stretchy.<br>The shorts are the perfect length and aren't too revealing. I would give them more stars if I could. Definitely recommend to friends/ family." — Aware, Torrid.com reviewer<br><em><br>Shop <a href="https://www.torrid.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Torrid.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>Torrid.com</strong></a></em><br><br><strong>Torrid</strong> High Rise Shortie Short, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.torrid.com%2Fproduct%2Fhigh-rise-shortie-short---super-soft-medium-wash%2F14783567.html%23q%3Dshort%26start%3D24" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Torrid" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Torrid</a>

Torrid High-Rise Shortie Short


The Curve Hugger

High-rising, hip-hugging, soft-feeling shorts that reviewers can't stop raving about because they're so totally comfortable.

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 12 reviews on Torrid.com

What They’re Saying: "These fit like a DREAM! I love how soft they are and they are not too stretchy.
The shorts are the perfect length and aren't too revealing. I would give them more stars if I could. Definitely recommend to friends/ family." — Aware, Torrid.com reviewer

Shop Torrid.com


Torrid High Rise Shortie Short, $, available at Torrid
<h2>PacSun Amber Denim Mom Shorts</h2><br><strong><em>The All-Day, Every-Day Pair<br></em></strong><br>Casual enough for the beach, cool enough for a night out, these shorts make summer dressing simple — and stylish. <br><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4 out of 5 stars; 66 reviews on <em>Pacsun.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: "The most flattering and well-fitting shorts I've ever had. I have multiple of these for that reason. They are the only shorts that fit my waist and my hips perfect without having to compromise one fit for the other!" — Katie M., PacSun.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop <a href="https://www.pacsun.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:PacSun.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>PacSun.com</strong></a> </em><br><br><strong>PacSun</strong> Amber Denim Mom Shorts, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pacsun.com%2Fpacsun%2Famber-denim-mom-shorts-0829445380291.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:PacSun" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">PacSun</a>

PacSun Amber Denim Mom Shorts


The All-Day, Every-Day Pair

Casual enough for the beach, cool enough for a night out, these shorts make summer dressing simple — and stylish.

The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 66 reviews on Pacsun.com

What They’re Saying: "The most flattering and well-fitting shorts I've ever had. I have multiple of these for that reason. They are the only shorts that fit my waist and my hips perfect without having to compromise one fit for the other!" — Katie M., PacSun.com reviewer

Shop PacSun.com

PacSun Amber Denim Mom Shorts, $, available at PacSun
<h2>We The Free Baggy Tomboy Short</h2><br><strong><em>The Lived-In Look<br></em></strong><br>Nothing says <em>summer</em> like a cool and slouchy pair of denim shorts with a distressed, too-cool-for-school appeal.<br><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>4.6 out of 5 stars; 25 reviews on <em>FreePeople.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: "Nice shorts! These shorts are so cute! I love the slit on the sides. I also love that they are a little baggy and longer." — Jennrenbat, FreePeople.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.freepeople.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:FreePeople.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">FreePeople.com</a></strong></em><br><br><br><strong>We The Free | Free People</strong> Baggy Tomboy Short, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.freepeople.com%2Fshop%2Fbaggy-tomboy-short%2F%3Fcategory%3Ddenim-shorts%26color%3D092" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Free People" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Free People</a>

We The Free Baggy Tomboy Short


The Lived-In Look

Nothing says summer like a cool and slouchy pair of denim shorts with a distressed, too-cool-for-school appeal.

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 25 reviews on FreePeople.com

What They’re Saying: "Nice shorts! These shorts are so cute! I love the slit on the sides. I also love that they are a little baggy and longer." — Jennrenbat, FreePeople.com reviewer

Shop FreePeople.com


We The Free | Free People Baggy Tomboy Short, $, available at Free People
<h2>Nine West Button-Front High-Waisted Denim Shorts</h2><br><strong><em>The 5-out-of-5</em></strong><br><br>What makes for a perfect pair of shorts? According to a slew of happy shoppers, it's the high waist, the perfect fit, and the comfy material. <strong><em><br></em></strong><br><strong>The Hype: </strong>5 out of 5 stars; 25 reviews on <em>Kohls.com</em><br><br><strong>What They’re Saying</strong>: "I'm honestly super picky about shorts and didn't expect much from these but I really like them. They're super comfortable, actually high rise (they sit above my belly button) and they're long enough that my thighs don't stick together while I walk around during the hot summer (so attractive, right?). I got the dark rinse and am highly considering getting more colors." — anjieb, Kohls.com reviewer<br><br><em>Shop <strong><a href="https://www.kohls.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kohls.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kohls.com</a></strong></em><br><br><br><strong>Nine West</strong> Button-Front High-Waisted Denim Shorts, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kohls.com%2Fproduct%2Fprd-4880747%2Fwomens-nine-west-button-front-high-waisted-denim-shorts.jsp%3Fcolor%3DLight%2520Wash%26prdPV%3D1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kohl's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kohl's</a>

Nine West Button-Front High-Waisted Denim Shorts


The 5-out-of-5

What makes for a perfect pair of shorts? According to a slew of happy shoppers, it's the high waist, the perfect fit, and the comfy material.

The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars; 25 reviews on Kohls.com

What They’re Saying: "I'm honestly super picky about shorts and didn't expect much from these but I really like them. They're super comfortable, actually high rise (they sit above my belly button) and they're long enough that my thighs don't stick together while I walk around during the hot summer (so attractive, right?). I got the dark rinse and am highly considering getting more colors." — anjieb, Kohls.com reviewer

Shop Kohls.com


Nine West Button-Front High-Waisted Denim Shorts, $, available at Kohl's

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