Can Shorts be Tailored? (An Expert’s Answer)

Love them or hate them, shorts are wardrobe essentials for the summer season. They are the only pair of bottoms that keep you cool, by virtue of lack of fabric.

But shorts can often look wonky on most men, especially if they do not fit perfectly.

So, now you must be wondering, what should you do to make yourself look like Ryan Gosling in a pair of shorts.

The answer is tailoring.

Can shorts be tailored?

Shorts can be tailored for a slimmer fit. The rise, waist, as well as length of shorts can be adjusted. Tapering of the leg openings can also be done by most experienced tailors.

Let’s take a deeper dive to explore this topic.

Can Shorts be Altered?

tailored shorts

All types of shorts can be tailored, including denim shorts, cargo shorts, chino shorts, and athletic shorts.

Think about it. Shorts are just pants with leg openings that are extremely short in length. Therefore, any adjustment you can make to a pair of pants can also be made to a pair of shorts.

It doesn’t mean that everything is the same between these two varieties. Tapering the leg openings on a pair of shorts is a lot more difficult than doing the same on a pair of pants.

This is because the smaller size of shorts makes every part interconnected. For slimming the leg, you might need to make adjustments to the inseam, which will further lead to adjustments in the waist and so on.

However, the cost of tailoring is still pretty cheap for most shorts.

Can Athletic Shorts be Tailored?

Athletic shorts (also called basketball shorts) can be tailored. They are usually made from nylon, polyester, or other such synthetic fabrics, and thus require some proper expertise from a seamstress.

While polyester is great for performance-oriented sports, tailoring it requires the use of dedicated needles. These might not be available at every home, and therefore, you may need to go to your nearest seamstress to get the job done.

Most people think that athletic shorts are supposed to be large. While this may be true in the case of basketball shorts, if you are playing any other sport, then it is very important to get your shorts tailored to fit you right. Otherwise, you would be swimming in fabric.

Can Jean Shorts be Tailored?

Jean shorts are the most popular type of shorts for both men and women. They can be tailored, but require the use of special sewing needles that can handle a fabric as thick as denim.

Denim fabric is made after treating cotton. While regular cotton is thin and breathable, denim is more thick and insulating.

Thus, making alterations to a pair of jean shorts requires the use of dedicated equipment. But don’t worry, these sewing needles are pretty cheap and you can find a lot of them on Amazon. Here’s my favorite one.

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Can Chino Shorts be Tailored?

Chino shorts are the most formal kind of shorts out there, and thus are the most suitable candidate for a tailoring job.

The shorter and more summer-friendly version of chino pants, a pair of chino shorts look amazing, provided that they fit you well.

Alterations can be made to make your chino shorts look slimmer overall – this includes adjusting the inseam, taking in the waist, and reducing the length of your chino shorts.

Can Shorts be Tapered?

Shorts can be tapered. The cost of doing so is a bit more because slimming the leg opening on a pair of shorts can often lead to a host of other alterations and adjustments.

First things first, let’s clarify what it means to taper your shorts. Tapering refers to making an alteration on your shorts so that the size of the leg opening keeps decreasing as we come near to the actual opening.

Tapering a pair of shorts is a somewhat complicated process because of the small nature of this garment. The inseam and waist also need to be adjusted in order to make sure the shorts are still wearable after the tapering process.

Therefore, a tailor is going to charge you a bit more for this alteration. Still nothing sky-high, but definitely more than all other adjustments.

Cost of Tailoring a Pair of Shorts

AdjustmentCost of tailoring
Taking in the waist$15
Tapering the legs$35
Slimming the body$15
Changing buttons$2
Shortening the length of the shorts$10
Replacing button with waistband$40
Total cost of tailoring Shorts$117

A pair of shorts can be tailored for anywhere between $2 and $107 depending on the number and type of alterations wanted.

Replacing the button is naturally much cheaper than tapering the shorts. But by far the most expensive alteration on a pair of shorts is related to replacing button closure with elastic closure.

This requires a complete redo of the waist of the garment, and thus costs a lot more than all other alterations.

Final Remarks

Shorts are probably the underrated piece of clothing in a man’s wardrobe. Most men hate how they look, and that is probably because they’ve always seen shorts as large, long, and ill-fitting clothing pieces.

But a good tailor can get rid of all these problems.

In fact, tailoring your shorts is one of the best decisions you can make. Doing so will make your legs look more muscular and attractive, which will give a boost to your confidence.

I hope this article convinced you to spend a few bucks to get your favorite pair of shorts altered.