My Favorite Denim Shorts

Finding the perfect pair of denim shorts can often be tough.  You don’t want a pair that stretches out and gets baggy, they can’t be too long or too short, the wash is really important too…there are so many variables and it can be hard to get them all right at one time!  Back in 2018 I found my unicorn pair of denim shorts though, and I haven’t looked back.  I wear these jean shorts almost daily during the summer and have them on in the majority of my warm weather daily life Instagram posts.  I will say that I think the shorts have slightly changed since 2018 (I own both pairs).  The wash seems slightly darker now on the 2020 version, the rise is slightly higher, and the fold does not seem to stay-put after washing quite like it did on the 2018 pair.  They’re still fantastic, just slightly different.  For consistency purposes, all of the photos here are of the current 2020 version of the J.Crew Denim Shorts in Merrill Wash.  The J.Crew Denim Shorts in Merrill Wash are my absolute favorite pair of shorts, keep reading below to find out why.  As I publish this they’re on sale for 40% off, so they’re just under $48!

jcrew denim shorts with merrill wash with beach sweater and rattan headband

outfit details:

jean shorts | beach sweater (similar sweater with more in stock) | woven headband (currently unavailable so here is a similar set)

Why the J.Crew Denim Shorts in Merrill Wash are My Favorite Shorts

For sizing reference, the J.Crew denim shorts in Merrill wash run true to size.  I’m 5’5″ and currently just over 130 pounds and wear a size 4 in regular clothing.  I comfortably wear the size 27 in these shorts.  Back before I got pregnant the third time I wore the size 26 in these shorts, but they’re still a bit snug so I got the next larger size for the body I have right now.

jcrew denim shorts with pink and red colorblock swimsuit

outfit details:

denim shorts | colorblock swimsuit (old, similar) | pink water-proof Birkenstock sandals (new style I like even more)

jcrew denim shorts in merrill wash with swimsuit

outfit details:

denim shorts | sunglasses (c/o Mohala Eyewear and code katiev will save you 10%) | sun hat with striped ribbon

1.  They’re the perfect length.  As a 33 year old mom of 3 young kids I don’t want to wear shorts that are crazy short, but I also don’t want shorts that are too long that make me look frumpy.  These denim shorts are 4 inches but cuffed to 3 inches, and for me that’s the perfect length.

2.  They’re not too distressed.  I just can’t pull off a pair of super distressed denim.  This pair of J.Crew denim shorts is made to look like cut-offs, but they’re cuffed and the raw hem never frays any more than it already is.  So they have a bit of a casual look but it’s not over the top.

3.  The rise isn’t too high yet it isn’t too low.  The rise is on the higher side (8 3/4″ rise), but not to the point where you feel like you’re making a statement because they’re so high, if that makes sense.  As the mom of 3 kids in 4 years I love a good high rise (so much more comfortable on the belly than low rise) and these hit right below the belly button which is perfect for a casual pair of denim shorts.

4.  The wash is a perfect middle ground between light and dark.  Light denim tends to look really casual and can be ultra-trendy or edgy, and dark denim tends to feel more formal.  The wash of these shorts is dark but not too dark, and the lighter colored whisking isn’t distracting.

5.  They don’t get baggy if you wear them more than once.  I typically wear my shorts ~10 times before washing them (as long as they aren’t too dirty).  Some denim gets baggy if you wear them a while, but these denim shorts do a great job of maintaining their fit without stretching out.

Have you tried the J.Crew Denim Shorts in Merrill Wash for yourself yet?  So many of y’all have tried these shorts and love them, and hearing your rave reviews always makes me so happy!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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