Photo: The Image Direct

Last week, Bella Hadid stepped out ready to play tennis in a midriff-baring prepster look that included a cropped white polo and a pair of sweat shorts. While the polo was certainly a standout, the sweat shorts were the perfect puzzle piece to complete the look. They hit mid-thigh and appeared comfy with an elastic waistband. Ms. Hadid could have very well been lounging at home in them or, well, playing tennis.

Somewhat like Hadid—I say somewhat because I don’t play tennis or have a herd of trailing paparazzi—I’ve become a shorts wearer. As someone who lives in jeans, this is new for me. The indoor-outdoor short is one that is breezy, sturdy, and has an air of polish—a.k.a. not your boyfriend’s ratty boxers. They tap into the current culture of staying at home during heat waves.

In my case, a pair of shorts comes in handy because my room is hot. I am saddled with an air conditioner that is only good for wheezing lukewarm air. In order to beat the heat and comfortably work at home, I slip on shorts in the morning, rotating between a pair of black Nikes and cutoffs sheared from an old pair of Gap sweatpants that are actually kind of chic. If I need to go out for a last-minute errand, I go out in my shorts. My choices are typically neutral, so I really can pair anything with them, like a T-shirt or a tank top. If I am staying in for work, they are also perfect for Zoom meetings, where I only show the waist-up version of my look. In short (ha) they’re perfect for anything I might need to do on a given day and are uncompromisingly comfortable.

There’s a short for every personality too. Nike offers up some pared-back gray terry shorts, while Jaw x Jawshop has swishy shorts in satisfyingly bright hues. And for those who are into that tie-dye trend? KkCo has an incarnation in muddled earthy tones, and L.A.–based label Meals shows a version in a print refreshingly reminiscent of watermelon skin. From simple to funk, inside or outside, you’re covered (at least from the thigh up.)

Here, see the best indoor-and-outdoor shorts to wear this summer.

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