Shorts vs. Trousers: What a Man Wears in Summer

Paulina Kulczycki

With the onset of warmer weather, the question arises: when should we swap long trousers for shorts? To make an educated choice, one must first understand the key differences between shorts and trousers, beyond their length obviously. Learning when to wear each can come in pretty handy, as summer sets in. At SANVT, we’ve got the lowdown on what men should wear in summer, detailing the essential attributes of shorts vs. trousers so you can make the right style choice for any occasion and weather.

Unlike women, who have myriad choices – trousers, shorts, bermudas, culottes, jeans, miniskirts, maxiskirts, skorts, dresses, and more – men have it pretty easy. Basically, we have two options in summer: trousers or shorts. Sure, men face a bit of a conundrum when choosing between chinos, cargo pants, jeans, or dress trousers for long pants, and there are also various types of shorts. But, truth be told, most men are quite minimalistic in their wardrobe choices. And when it comes to timeless trousers, nothing beats chinos and jeans – both as long trousers and as shorts. So, in this blog post, we’ll get into the differences between the four most-worn legwear styles for men: chinos vs. chino shorts and jeans vs. jeans shorts.

Shorts vs. Trousers: Key Differences at a Glance

  • Length: Shorts end at knee height or higher, while trousers end at ankle height or lower.
  • Seasonality: Due to their short cut, shorts are mainly for summer, while trousers, depending on the material, are suitable year-round.
  • Occasion: Shorts are generally for casual wear, while trousers can be worn for both casual and office looks.
  • Activity: Shorts, depending on the material, are great for sports, while trousers are better for more relaxed and formal activities.
  • Popular Styles: Both shorts and trousers are most commonly worn as chinos or jeans. 

Shorts vs. Trousers SANVT chinos

Chinos vs. Chino Shorts

Let’s start with the most popular and smartest trouser model of recent decades: chinos. Whether as long trousers or shorts, chinos are incredibly versatile, timeless, and elegant – an absolute staple in men’s fashion. They’re functional, breathable, comfortable, semi-formal, and therefore suitable for all sorts of occasions. What was once a soldier’s uniform is now an essential for the modern man.

Learn more about the history of chinos here.


As long pants, chinos are ideal for business-casual looks. SANVT’s Perfect Chino comes in seven colours, from classic navy to beige and olive green. At SANVT, we believe no other pants are as versatile as chinos. They can be worn casually with a t-shirt and sneakers or in the office with an oxford shirt and dress shoes. Either way, they guarantee a sophisticated style. Our chinos are so popular as long pants that we also offer them as relaxed chinos for leisure and heavy chinos for winter. 

Shorts vs. Trousers SANVT chino shorts

Chino Shorts

Chino shorts are arguably the most elegant shorts available. Despite their short length, they boast a minimalist design that can still be styled elegantly – especially when combined with a polo shirt. SANVT’s Perfect Shorts are the epitome of chino shorts that are casual yet luxurious. Made from medium-weight satin fabric, they are exceptionally breathable and cooling in summer. With an elastic waistband, our chino shorts fit perfectly at the waist and thighs. Cut above the knee, they are incredibly flattering and modern. 

Jeans vs. Jeans Shorts

When discussing popular trousers, jeans cannot be overlooked. No other trousers have so firmly established themselves as a wardrobe essential like jeans since the mid-20th century. Originally designed as workwear, jeans became a symbol of rebellion in the 1950s. Today, denim trousers are a must-have in every wardrobe.

Learn more about the history of jeans here.

Shorts vs. Trousers SANVT jeans


Jeans are the epitome of casual wear. SANVT’s Perfect Jeans are handmade in Portugal from 13.5 oz Italian denim. The open-weave structure adds extra softness and durability. With a straight cut, they offer a modern yet timeless fit. Our jeans are made from 24% post-consumer recycled cotton and 76% Blue Seed organic cotton. Pair them with a white t-shirt and sneakers for a minimalist, casual summer look. However, in high summer or humid vacation spots, the fabric can be a bit too thick and sturdy.

Jeans Shorts

If you don’t want to give up the denim look despite hot weather, jeans shorts are the way to go. For a sustainable choice, we recommend browsing vintage shops for pre-cut Levi’s shorts or cutting a second-hand pair yourself. Jeans shorts are perfect for skating, hiking, playing basketball, or raving at festivals and open-air events. Pair them with a lightweight summer t-shirt, Chucks, and a cap for the perfect summer look.

Shorts vs. Trousers: Conclusion

As you can see, comparing shorts vs. trousers isn’t that straightforward due to the various styles of each. But the most significant differences – aside from the leg length, of course – are style and seasonality. Shorts are almost exclusively for summer and casual wear, while long trousers are more versatile. Depending on whether trousers are chinos or jeans, they can be worn not only for leisure, but also for semi-formal occasions or in the office. But no matter which style you choose, with SANVT’s sustainably and fairly produced legwear, you’ll always wear the pants in the style game.


Photos by Diogo NunesAndrea Iacomini, Anastasios MoirasChris Delmarle

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