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The 12 best high-waisted shorts for women in 2021

Take your shorts to new heights.
Illustration of two pairs of high-waisted shorts and three woman wearing different styles of high-waisted shorts
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images / Cider / Madewell

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High-waisted shorts have been a fashion trend for some time now. This comfortable summer staple come in a variety of washes, colors and patterns to match the vibe of your wardrobe and will still look effortlessly cool. We love pairing high-waisted shorts with a casual tank top or a graphic T-shirt and sandals for a simple hot weather look, but there’s endless ways to make them look good.

The Shop TODAY team has rounded up 12 different high-waisted shorts to fit just about any style you might be looking for, from distressed to colorful beach patterns. The best part? All of our picks are a major steal in the price department.

Must-try high-waisted shorts

1. Wild Fable High-Rise Frayed Hem Jean Shorts

With its super distressed construction and long inseam, these Target shorts are super on trend. The back of the shorts aren’t super short, so there’s no need to worry about burning your backside while sitting on a patio chair at brunch.

2. Universal Thread High-Rise Pull-On Shorts

The 100% cotton high-rise shorts from Target are a breezy summer staple. Available in nine different colors, this pair has an elastic waistband for added comfort and go up to size 4X.

3. Cider Under The Sea Mini Shorts

We love the nautical sea theme of this pair of patterned shorts from Cider. They are a fun seafood green with a white pattern of seashells, anchors and fish. With sizes going up to XL, they are a fun summer short for beach days or walking along the boardwalk.

4. Plaid&Plain Women's High-Waisted Denim Shorts Rolled Blue Jean Shorts

This pair of mom shorts from Amazon is a cheap way to try out the high-waisted trend for yourself. They have a rolled hem and an elastic cinched waistband to show off your figure. The style comes in five different washes to match anything in your closet.

5. Summerweight Utility Belted Pull-On Short

These pull-on high-waisted shorts can be dressed up or dressed down depending on what you pair with them. Available in two chic colors (black and sand), we particularly love the removable belt and low slung pockets on this pair.

6. Cider Rolled Denim Shorts

Classic rolled denim shorts are a wardrobe must. This pair has a bit of distressing without being overdone and has a long inseam to keep you covered up. The back pocket has a fun sunset embroidered design, too.

7. Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Shorts

These patterned high-waisted shorts from Gloria Vanderbilt are chic and comfortable. They come in 17 different patterns and colors, including various denim shades for a more classic look. The front and back pockets are a traditional design, but we love how flat they all lay once these shorts are on.

8. LC Lauren Conrad 3.5" Cutoff High-Waisted Jean Shorts

These adorable jean shorts from Kohl's are a summer must-have. The frayed hem and decorative buttons are cool touches, while its cotton-polyester material is extremely stretchy and forgiving.

9. Extra High-Waisted Sky Hi Button-Fly Cutoff Jean Shorts

Old Navy’s high-waisted mom shorts aren't just trendy — they're also made to give you a huge confidence boost. They're designed with smoothing front pockets and Never-Quit Shape Retention to hug your body in all the right spots.

10. The Perfect Vintage Military Short

These military-style shorts from Madewell gives any outfit a polished edge with its A-line silhouette. According to reviewers, the vintage canvas is durable for long-lasting wear and has "the perfect amount of stretch."

11. Wildfang The Essential Drawstring Short

Bermuda shorts can be flattering, too, as evident by this drawstring pair from Wildfang. Available in three essential colors, they're made with a comfortable cotton twill fabric that'll feel great on your body all day long.

12. Anthropologie Smocked-Waist Shorts

Vibrant jewel tones are a great way to bring a bit of color to your wardrobe and these smocked high-waisted shorts from Anthropologie definitely fit the bill. They run up to size XL and have a dainty lace trim around the hem to effortlessly elevate your appearance.

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