6 Best Denim Work Shorts for Men [2022]


If you prefer denim work shorts, you have several options made by well-known workwear brands. These shorts offer a wide range of utility pockets and tool loops to increase your effectiveness on the job.

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These are our choices for the best denim work shorts:

  1. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Carpenter Work Shorts (click here to view)
  2. Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Denim Carpenter Shorts (click here to view)
  3. Key Apparel Men’s Enzyme Washed Denim Dungaree Short (click here to view)
  4. Carhartt Men’s Lightweight Denim Utility Work Shorts (click here to view)
  5. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Loose Fit Carpenter Shorts (click here to view)
  6. LEE Men’s Carpenter Jean Shorts (click here to view)

Most denim work shorts will have a classic carpenter design. This includes dual utility pockets on the side of one leg, and a tool loop on the other leg.

Most options will be made with 100% cotton, although some denim shorts have a cotton/poly blend to make them more abrasion and wrinkle resistant.

Some denim work shorts will have a gusset to help improve comfort and range of motion.

In this article let’s take a closer look at the best denim work shorts so you can find a style that works best for you. Let’s also discuss four things to consider when selecting denim shorts.


Best Denim Work Shorts

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Carpenter Short

You are likely familiar with Wrangler, but you may not know that Wrangler has a specific line of apparel dedicated to workwear known as Wrangler Riggs Workwear. And they do offer denim utility work shorts.

Here’s what these Wrangler Riggs Workwear Carpenter Shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Wrangler denim carpenter shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – Built for both utility and maximum comfort, these shorts are made with 100% cotton. These shorts are made with Wrangler Riggs’ “Durashield” denim fabric that is abrasion resistant. Triple-needle stitching in the important areas for reinforcement.
  • Pockets – These shorts have two front scoop pockets, two Cordura®-lined back pockets, an oversized watch pocket, and one right leg cell phone utility pocket.
  • Gusset – These shorts have a crotch gusset that not only provides more space for you to comfortably bend and crouch, the gusset also helps take stress off the seams, which helps the shorts last longer. A 10.5-inch inseam provides sufficient coverage down near the knee.
  • Tool Loops – Yes, these shorts have a hammer loop on the right leg and a utility band on the left leg.

These are my go-to denim work shorts. Here’s what mine look like:

wrangler-riggs-denim-shorts-tool-loop

Here’s a look at the gusseted crotch which adds comfort and freedom of movement:

wrangler-riggs-denim-shorts-gusset

One thing I like about these shorts is they have durable back pockets that are lined with 1000 denier DuPont Cordura:

wrangler-riggs-denim-shorts-pockets

These shorts have the hammer loop on the right leg, but also have a smaller tool loop on the left leg:

wrangler-riggs-denim-shorts-loop

Click here to buy these Wrangler Riggs denim work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Denim Carpenter Shorts

Dickies is well-known for providing dependable workwear for a wide range of jobs. And they do offer denim carpenter shorts.

Here’s what these Dickies shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Dickies denim carpenter shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – Constructed of heavyweight 14-ounce, 100% cotton with triple-stitched seams, this practical utility short is built to stand up to your toughest job. A heavy-duty brass zipper and single button provide a secure closure.
  • Pockets – The classic five-pocket styling of this short also features a dual tool pocket on the right leg. Perfect for keeping everything you need close at hand.
  • Tool Loop – Yes, these shorts have a tool loop on the left leg.
  • Fit – Offering a relaxed fit with extra room throughout the seat and thigh, this short sits slightly below the natural waist. The 9.5-inch inseam hits just above the knee for additional comfort and ease-of-wear.

Click here to buy these Dickies denim shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Carhartt Men’s Lightweight Denim Utility Work Shorts

Carhartt is another trusted name in workwear and they have denim utility shorts that are quite popular. They are lightweight, and allow your legs to breathe a little bit in the summer heat.

Here’s what these Carhartt shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt utility work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – Helping you keep your cool through the hottest days on the job, these Carhartt shorts are made with 11.75-ounce, 100% cotton denim that has been garment-washed for a soft finish. For more summer options, visit our article about the best summer work shorts.
  • Pockets – These shorts have two front pockets, two heavy-hauling reinforced rear pockets, a left-leg ruler pocket and a double-tool utility pocket on the right leg.
  • Tool Loop – Yes, these shorts have a tool loop on the left leg.
  • Fit – These shorts puts a premium on all-day comfort. Sitting at the natural waist, it offers an exceptionally roomy cut that provides a loose fit with generous space throughout the seat and thigh. The 8.5-inch inseam hits above the knee, allowing you plenty of room to move.

Click here to buy these Carhartt denim shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Other Denim Work Shorts to Consider

  • Key Apparel Men’s Enzyme Washed Denim Dungaree Short – Key is another brand known for making dependable workwear. These dungaree shorts us a 12.5-ounce cotton/poly blend. Traditional design with utility pockets on the right leg, tool loop on the left leg. Click here to view these Key work shorts (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Wrangler Authentics Men’s Loose Fit Carpenter Shorts – These Wrangler denim shorts are made with 100% cotton. They have a loose fit and are built to fit at the natural waist line. Classic carpenter design with tool loop and dual utility pockets. Click here to view these Wrangler shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • LEE Men’s Carpenter Jean Shorts – These LEE utility shorts have a lightweight design that is made to resist wrinkles and abrasions. Traditional styling with side utility pockets and a tool loop. These shorts have an 11-inch inseam. Click here to view these LEE work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

4 Things to Consider When Buying Denim Work Shorts

Denim Carpenter Shorts

The most common type of denim work shorts will be denim carpenter shorts. Most carpenter shorts will have dual utility side pockets on one leg, with a tool loop on the other.

There are also a few types of denim cargo shorts on the market if you prefer cargo pockets for work. If you prefer cargo shorts, visit our article about the best denim cargo shorts.

If you are interested in carpenter shorts, visit our article about the best carpenter shorts for work.

Material

Most types of denim shorts will be made with 100% cotton, but we did include two options on our list that use a cotton/poly fabric blend.

Sometimes polyester will be added to the fabric to give it more abrasion and wrinkle resistance. There are also some types of denim shorts that will work in spandex or elastane to give the shorts some stretch.

Our list of workwear shorts does not include any stretch fabric blends. If you like shorts that have some flexibility, visit our article about the best stretch work shorts.

Inseam

You will definitely want to consider the inseam length of your work shorts. Obviously, your height matters, but a 10″ inseam will often hit near the top of the knee.

Our list contains shorts with inseam lengths ranging from 8.5-11 inches. If you prefer long-fitting shorts, the LEE carpenter shorts on our list have an 11-inch inseam.

Most work shorts have a loose, relaxed fit. If you prefer slim, visit our article about the best slim fit work shorts.

Crotch Gusset

A crotch gusset is extra material sewn into the crotch to add comfort and flexibility to your shorts. Not only does it make it more comfortable to crouch, bend, and kneel, it also takes some stress off the crotch, which can help prevent tears and rips.

The Wrangler Riggs shorts on our list have a gusseted crotch if you think this is a feature that you need for your denim work shorts. To read more about gussets, visit our article about the best gusseted shorts for work.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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