BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. All products were independently selected by our editors, and the prices were accurate and items in stock at the time of publication.
Even if you weren’t alive in the 1970s (like myself), you probably know what the basketball uniforms used to look like — high socks, Converse, and shirts tucked into those tiny little shorts. They were iconic.
I’ve always preferred that look to the loose-fitting, low-hanging, or cargo shorts that many men wore as I was coming of age. Luckily for me, short shorts for men are coming back in a big way.
Let hoochie daddy szn commence!
What are hoochie daddy shorts?
Hoochie daddy shorts are any short shorts that show off more leg than other types traditionally marketed to men. For some background, hoochie daddy szn is obviously summer.
“It’s just the article of clothing that matches the season, you know?” said Ainsley Landry, the 33-year-old insurance agent whose viral TikTok introduced many to this apparently controversial trend. “It’s hot outside.”
When Landry spoke with BuzzFeed News in June, it was 103 degrees in Texas, so she really doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t be interested in showing more of their knees or legs.
Landry, who goes by Lady L on social media, is pretty thrilled that the style has returned to the spotlight. “We all know those shorts have been around since the ’50s,” she said. “I remember seeing pictures of my dad in them, so I got on [TikTok] and I saw a lot of controversy around the shorts, like what some people thought about them and how guys were wearing them, so I decided one night I wanted to give my little 2 cents.”
The controversy she was referring to surrounds the perceived lack of masculinity some associate with shorter shorts, including the anti-gay attitudes that said lack of masculinity engenders in many people.
Claude George Jr., 27, who is an actor and model in LA, has been a fan of smaller shorts for a while now, maybe even 10 years, but he just started seeing the “hoochie daddy shorts” trend spread over the last two months. “Everybody’s kind of late to the game,” he said. (The audio to his TikTok is from Atlanta-based marketing manager Jasmine Clark’s Instagram story about hoochie daddy shorts, which has been used as the soundtrack for almost 3,500 TikToks.)
In Clark’s video, she jokingly encourages women to catcall men they see in hoochie daddy shorts. And while the majority of the responses were from people who understood that it was meant to be lighthearted and funny, Clark told BuzzFeed News that she also got some heat from, as she described, “those masculine guys saying, ‘I'm not doing that, that's feminine.’”
When her video later went viral on Twitter, she also had some people calling her out for promoting sexual harassment or objectifying men’s bodies. “I’m like yeah, that’s the point! That’s what women go through.” As she says in the video, she’s trying to turn the tables after so many years of women being objectified.
“So those who understand, understand, and like go with the joke and stuff,” Clark said. “And then I hear some guys like, ‘No grown man should be wanting to be called a hoochie daddy,’ and I’m like, it’s a lighthearted, fun comment!”
George, for one, is not offended by their commentary. He’s happy to take the opportunity to show off his thighs and likes that others are appreciating it. He also said that he actually finds shorter shorts more comfortable to work out in.
Any shorts with a 3- to 5-inch inseam could fall into the category of hoochie daddy shorts, according to George.
“Me personally, I like 3 inches above the knee,” said Landry, who also said the only real requirement is to show some thigh. “So anywhere between like a 4- or 5-inch inseam just depending on how tall you are.”
Clark concurred that it has to be more than just sitting above the knee.
“If you just have them above the knee, you're just running errands or anything like that,” she said. “But if you have just a little bit of that thigh meat showing, you being a hoochie and you being fast and I’m gonna snatch you up. I just want you to know, I’m willing to take you to brunch.”
When it comes to other criteria beyond length, Landry is flexible but highly recommends a tighter fit. She also loves colorful hoochies and supports a bold print. “Hoochie daddies are essentially peacocks, so put those feathers on and let’s see you in these shorts,” Landry said. “That’s just the bottom line.”
If you saw Lady L’s video and want to look exactly like that first image of the man in his short red Nike shorts, these are about as close as you’ll get (I don’t think they’re the exact ones he’s wearing, but as far as I can tell those do not exist). Nike is always a reliable retailer if you’re looking for something comfortable, particularly in the activewear category. The 5-inch inseam should allow these to land at an acceptably high place on your thigh, plus there’s a soft brief liner for added support and handy pockets to stash your essentials on the go.
Promising review: “Amazing shorts. Fit is true to size and doesn’t get in the way during your runs. Just enough pockets to keep a couple of cards and keys as well. Highly recommended.” — Fcp1987 via Nike
What else to consider: Depending on your body size, they may not be the tightest, but that’ll allow first-time hoochie daddy shorts wearers to ease in comfortably. Plus, they’re on sale, so they’re kind of a steal for Nike quality.
Best for: beginner hoochie daddies working their way up to looking like that iconic thirst trap in Lady L’s viral video.
You can buy Nike Flex Stride shorts from Nike for around $38.
These are getting closer to my personal style preference, potentially because they remind me of those old-school basketball shorts (although probably a bit longer). The elastic waistband makes them comfortable to lounge in, and the contrasting color logo detailing is also a nice stylistic touch. They have a 5-inch inseam and come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can always size down if you want a bit of a smaller fit.
Promising review: “I could live in these shorts and wish I would’ve purchased the orange color when I bought the other two. Super comfortable, breathable, and can be worn as casual or athletic wear.” —bringmeplants via Urban Outfitters
What else to consider: This style of hoochie shorts is also a bit on the looser side, which I don’t mind, but if you’re looking for a real thigh squeezer, these probably aren’t the ones for you.
Best for: hoochie daddies seeking a looser, more breathable fit for a thigh-slimming effect rather than the tight shorts that Lady L prefers.
You can buy Champion Mesh Shorts from Urban Outfitters for around $50.
This Instagram brand was recommended by Jasmine Clark, so they’re one of the few specifically expert-approved pairs on this list. We love that they’re so affordable and come in a wide variety of solid, basic colors, so almost anyone can make these shorts work for them. They’re slightly longer with a 5.5-inch inseam, but that’ll still look plenty short on a taller man or anyone with thicker thighs.
What else to consider: Single-layer mesh means it’s probably best to wear something underneath so that nothing falls out one of the wider leg openings.
Best for: anyone out there who’s looking for a brunch invitation from Jasmine.
You can buy Superline Wholesale Mesh Shorts from Superline Wholesale for around $15.
Now we’re getting into serious hoochie territory. Not only is lululemon a favorite in the luxury activewear category, but these shorts meet all of Ainsley Landry’s criteria. They come in a bold, bright color and have a 3-inch inseam, which pretty much guarantees that they’ll land well above the knee. They’re ultra lightweight and designed for running, so they’re not only great for working out, but also ideal for peacocking all hoochie daddy szn long.
Promising review: “Bought two pair at markdown a few months ago, and came back for more. Excellent construction and fabric from heaven. I could live in the brief liner, it’s that perfect. You’re going to have to size up to make room for those quads and glutes you’ve worked hard to build.” —JamesRobert via Lululemon
What else to consider: These shorts are a statement piece, and they’re not cheap, so if you’re worried they may not be the best fit, I’d suggest finding a Lululemon store near you and trying them on before buying. Reviewers also recommend sizing up.
Best for: experienced hoochie daddies who aren’t afraid to put those feathers on and show off.
You can buy Lululemon Fast and Free Reflective Shorts from Lululemon for around $78.
I got a pair of Duvin mesh shorts for my brother this past year and he literally lives in them, so these are one of the few pairs of men’s shorts that I can vouch for. While I wouldn’t say he’s a hoochie daddy, he is a scrawny Brooklyn boy who likes to stay hip with the trends, so I trust his style. The inseam also adjusts with the waist size, which is a huge perk in my opinion. I got my brother a medium and he’s around 6 feet (maybe slightly under), and he for sure has around 3 visible inches of thigh. This neutral tie-dye is also a great way to stand out without being too loud.
Promising review: “Comfy, cool, laid back, and the chicks love it.” —be e. via Duvin
What else to consider: These are definitely more lounge shorts or, as one reviewer called them, the “ultimate house shorts.” You can work out in them, but they’re probably better for more laid-back activities.
Best for: hoochie house daddies who like to be comfortable while showing off their legs.
You can buy the Storm Mesh Lounge Short from Duvin for around $60.
Chubbies are the OG men’s short shorts, so they had to get a spot on this list. They make tons of thigh-squeezing bathing suits, but this chino option is great if you want some hoochie daddy shorts that you can dress up a little. Wear these to brunch with a nice top or throw them on for a summer happy hour. They’re made primarily from cotton with a little spandex to stretch for a snug and comfortable fit with a 5.5-inch inseam.
Promising review: “I’m fat. I’m gay. I’m kind of a slüt. These shorts satisfy all of the few very facets of my personality. The only bad thing is that they were a little bit too big when I ordered them according to the sizing chart.
"Since this is the first time I’ve ever had this problem and I would be way too embarrassed to send them back for a smaller size, I bought an overpriced belt and now I feel like the rich gay uncle who always shows up drunk to family functions. 10/10.” —Joshua Malfoy
What else to consider: You can scroll through the photos to see a graphic of what these shorts look like on men of three different heights, which may give you a better idea of how they’ll fit and what size to get.
Best for: any men looking for a slightly more tailored hoochie daddy look.
You can buy Chubbies Men’s Short Shorts from Amazon for around $55.
Some are saying that hoochie daddy shorts are the new gray sweatpants, but if you’re looking for something that’s a happy mix of the two, these are it. They’re classic sweatshorts made from cotton and polyester with thousands of 5-star ratings. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, all of which have a 5.5-inch inseam for a more modest hoochie height.
Promising review: “These shorts are great for everyday wear and to simply throw on for the day. Amazing if you have a little extra thigh meat and you want a little extra room in your shorts. Held shape after being washed and dried. The label on shorts adds that little extra touch.” —Les
What else to consider: These definitely aren’t the most statement-making shorts if you’re looking to make a splash, but they’re comfortable and short enough to keep you on trend.
Best for: hoochie daddies aspiring to Jon Hamm in gray sweatpants vibes.
You can buy MaaMgic Men's Athletic Gym Shorts from Amazon for around $22.
I had to include a terry cloth option because I love it and think it’s one of the best materials for summer. It’s comfortable and basically feels like wrapping yourself in a cozy towel, which is also ideal for sweaty days, so why not wear it all the time? These have a 4.5-inch inseam, which feels like the perfect hoochie short length to me, and they come in some nice subtle yet summery colors.
Promising review: “Bought them for my bf and he loves them!!” —rydog via Urban Outfitters
What else to consider: There’s also a gray option in these shorts if you’re going for the vibe mentioned above, but a French terry version.
Best for: your standard hoochie daddy seeking color and comfort with ideal length.
You can buy Standard Cloth French Terry Foundation Short from Urban Outfitters for around $35.