4 alternatives to cargo shorts for men

Factory 9-inch Red Chambray Gramercy Short, $39.50,
Factory 9-inch Red Chambray Gramercy Short, $39.50, Courtesy of J. Crew

We get it. Cargo shorts are practical. Who doesn’t love pockets?

But men need to update their wardrobes over time, too. And even if you love cargo shorts – well, how do we put this gently? The fashion world is over them.

It’s time to donate your big-pocket friends and find a more updated look for the summer.

Here are some in-style alternatives to cargo shorts.

1. Slightly shorter shorts

We’re not talking Richard Simmons, but above-the-knee shorts can look nice. Case in point: These red chambray shorts from J. Crew. Their 9-inch inseam looks a little more pulled together than big, baggy, sloppy cargos. Factory 9-inch Red Chambray Gramercy Short, $39.50,

2. Drawstring shorts

Looking for something a little more relaxed? Try linen-blend shorts in a cool gray. With a drawstring, they’re as comfy as activewear, but they still have pockets, and linen has a sort of classic, breezy summer feel. Dress them up or down. INC International Concepts Russ Soft Shorts, $24.99,

3. Messenger shorts

Still stuck on the cargo vibe? Try the updated version: messenger shorts. These are more form-fitting, less baggy but still have oversized pockets and fall below the knee. They have a distinct surfer attitude to them that makes them great for summer. INC International Concepts Evans Messenger Shorts, $49.50,

4. Plaid shorts

Plaid is timeless. It’s a no-fail fashion choice for men of all ages. For a subtler pattern, pick a gray and black plaid mixture. It goes with almost everything and can look preppy or a little punk rock, depending on how you wear it. Calvin Klein Men’s Vanderson Plaid Shorts, $65,