BEST High-Waisted Denim Shorts: A Comprehensive Review


We’ve made it to one of my top-requested posts of the Spring/Summer season: a full denim shorts review of top brands!

This post is designed for the women (hello, me) who have spent a lifetime of summers in denim shorts that make us feel like we’re a can of popped biscuits, shorts so uncomfortable that we end up just trying not to sit down all summer, and shorts that have ultimately been scrapped for dresses because they’re just too dang much work. Yes, my friends with some thigh, some hip, some booty- this one is for you!

I believe I have FINALLY found the holy grail of denim shorts that are not tight on my thighs or my booty and are crazy comfortable. I kissed a lot of frogs to find them though and I’m sharing every single pair I tried with you HERE! Check out this video to see what every pair looks like on and which ones were my favorites!


  1. AE Mom Shorts

These were the shorts that spurred this whole post and are still one of my top picks AND one of the most affordable options! These fit SO WELL on my thighs and booty, and I am over the moon excited about them! If you click on the photo above, you will see that these also come in several other washes, and I will probably order them all. The fabric is soft and comfortable without being overly stretchy, and I’m wearing my normal size 4.

2. AE Tomgirl Shorts

I got this pair because I have a pair of their Tomgirl jeans that I LOVE so I had high expectations for these, and honestly, was pretty disappointed. I got my normal size 4, and these were crazy tight on my thighs. The denim is a tougher denim so much more uncomfortable than the mom short fit and just overall- not my favorite. I do like the non-distressed and darker wash of these though!

3. Abercrombie Midi Shorts

These were near the top of my favorites list this year. I really like the length of these, and you can roll them up or down if you wanted them a little shorter. They are not too tight on the thighs and the rise is a nice fit. My only beef with these is that they are a pretty tough/stiff denim which makes them more uncomfortable when sitting or walking (especially when it’s crazy blazing hot outside, let’s be real!). I have on the size 4 in these as well, and they come in other washes too.

4. Abercrombie Mini Shorts

I believe I’ve outgrown this fit to be quite honest- haha! I’m nearing 30 and just can’t tolerate any kind of short that shows the bottom of my butt cheek- noooo thank you! So these were not my favorites for that reason. They also fit much tighter than the previous Abercrombie short on my legs and were the same stiff denim material.

5. Levi’s 501 Shorts

Alright, this pair was the one that surprised me the most out of all of them. And not in a good way. I had SO many people recommend this fit to me and have seen them on countless other bloggers for years so I had really high expectations. I was very disappointed in the overall fit. I got my normal size 4, and they were incredibly tight all over. Much worse on my legs/butt (like super uncomfortably tight), but the waist was fairly tight too. I might have liked them more if I would have sized up one, but considering I found so many other pairs that DID fit amazingly in my normal size, I’m not really willing to try the size up in these. If you are interested, I do suggest sizing up one!

6. Topshop Mom Shorts

These also made my list of faves! Not a mom yet but apparently mom shorts are my thing! Haha this is the highest rise of all that I tried on, and they fit super cute! These also come in a black wash that I believe I’ll order as well for a little variety. There was plenty of room in the thigh area on these which you know is a WIN in my book. Based on the online reviews, I did size up to a US 6 in these, and they fit great!

7. Madewell Shorts

This is THE top pick for non-distressed denim! And best quality/longest lasting shorts. They are a little more expensive than the American Eagle ones ($69 vs $49), but I do feel like these will hold up for several years longer than the American Eagle ones probably would. The material is super soft and stretchy, and they fit like a dream. They are really comfortable to sit down in, and I think the length is just perfect. They are also easy to roll up or down if you wanted to vary the length a bit. Worth every single penny!

I hope you enjoyed this review and found it valuable! This may sound silly, but I know how hard it can be to feel comfortable being out and about in the summer months while showing off a lot of your body in an attempt to stay cool so it truly would mean the world to me if I could help you all find a pair of shorts that makes you feel great! Please let me know if you try any of these and what you think of them!

Cody RainsComment