How The Adidas Sports Shorts Took Over The Fashion Crowd – And Where To Shop Them Now

Time to fold away your denim shorts, once and for all.

Retro athletic shorts feature image

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

With the Euros kicking off this week and the Olympics starting in July, summer 2024 is all about sports - but not just playing it. One item of clothing that we've seen plastered on our Instagram feeds (and every single festival we've attended this year) are retro athletic shorts. Track shorts, but make it fashion, and otherwise coined by the fashion pack as 'blokecore'. But before you fish your dad's old football shorts out the attic and call it a day, let's talk about how to style them.

Inspired by classic British football fashion, the resurgence of sport in fashion is hardly news. Vintage football shirts from the 70s, windbreakers and baggy athletic-style shorts have been having a moment, in part thanks to fashion collaborations such as Wales Bonner x adidas. The crux of this trend? Its versatility.

You can pair the sporty staple with a plain graphic tee and trainers (taking notes from Emrata) just as easily as you can style it with a sleek top, be it a crisp white shirt, or an oversized blazer. Footwear is also a key element when it comes to track shorts; boots or heeled mules say sporty glam, while trainers or flats help you lean into the casual side of the trend.

Em Rata Retro Athletic Shorts
©Getty Images/Gotham

It's not just Emily Ratajowski who has embraced the athletic short trend. Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa have worn the trend for their several off-duty streetwear looks, and there's no sign of the trending waning.

Time to fold away your denim shorts - shop the best retro athletic shorts below.

Shop: The Best Retro Athletic Shorts

Adidas Shorts

The classic Adidas shorts, made from a soft tricot material to keep you comfortable - whether you're wearing them to the gym, or out. For a contrasting look, pair these with a more feminine top, perhaps one with ruching or lace (for a balance, of course). Don't forget to add a trusty pair of Adidas trainers too.

Satin adidas shorts add a little pizzaz to the usual track shorts. They're part of the Originals range, so they have the perfect retro vibe, and we love the dark blue, versatile enough to pair with anything.

Sporty & Rich Striped Grosgrain-Trimmed Jersey ShortsNet-A-Porter

In the classic bright green shade, these Sporty & Rich shorts are made from a soft jersey with grosgrain stripes along the sides to give them that retro feel.

SKIMS Mesh Oversized ShortSKIMS

SKIMS has hopped on the retro athletic shorts trend too. These shorts promise comfort, with two layers of ultra-soft, breathable mesh and they can also be purchased alongside the matching mesh t-shirt.

Lacoste Towelling Shorts With Contrast EdgeASOS
Price: £90 (was £100)

Towelling shorts are a must-have this summer, as they're perfect for slipping on after a dip in the sea. These shorts have contrasting details for what Lacoste calls 'an added dose of sports chic.' Plus, they have a drawstring waist which makes them super easy to slip on and off.

Whistles Colour-Blocked High-Rise Stretch-Shell ShortsSelfridges

The word 'shell' might take you back to the 80s, when shell suits were all the rage. These Whistles shorts are made from a shell-like material, a blend of nylon and elastane, but they're also super on-trend, and super retro looking.

To add a pop of colour into your new sporty-chic wardrobe, these green and white Adidas shorts work well. With the signature three-stripes, these can be paired with a cute baby tee, or a strappy cami top for a more everyday look.

Ganni Stretch Shell ShortsGanni

Keeping up with the trend, GANNI has produced a pair of shell shorts. Featuring an elastic waist, pockets and a green standout 'GANNI' logo, these shorts are ready and waiting to be accessorised with a green linen shirt, crisp white socks and a pair of chunky sandals.

Gucci Striped Shell ShortsThe Outnet
Price: £439 (was £675)

If short shorts aren't for you, Gucci have come out with a pair of Bermuda shorts that still give that vintage vibe. It has two stripes down the side in classic Gucci red and green, and it has a high-rise cut that looks super flattering. Style these shorts with a cropped cami or a retro sports top.

Main image credit: Instagram/@annelauremais @sofiamcoelho @lara_bsmn

Gemma Lavers is a Fashion Writer at Bauer Media, writing for brands like Grazia, heat and Closer. Gemma specialises in all things clothing and enjoys outfit planning (especially for holidays), scrolling social media for the next trend and shopping (probably for a new coat).

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