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20 Different Types of Shorts for Girls (Kids)

Little girl in a white top and denim shorts holding her hat.

Kids should always be comfortably dressed so they can run, climb, explore and play without restrictive clothing getting in the way. But that doesn’t mean that clothing needs to be boring! Our little girls love to look stylish while on their adventures.

There are many types of girls’ shorts available suitable for every type of personality and activity.

Types of Shorts for Girls:

  1. Basic cotton shorts
  2. Dolphin Shorts
  3. Utility Shorts
  4. Cargo Shorts
  5. Denim Shorts
  6. Chino Shorts
  7. Board Shorts
  8. Biker Shorts
  9. Skorts
  10.  Knit Pull-On Shorts
  11.  Romper Shorts
  12.  All Over Shorts
  13.  Paperbag Waist Shorts
  14.  Twill Shorts
  15.  Eyelet Shorts
  16.  Shortalls
  17.  Bermuda Shorts
  18.  Underdress Shorts
  19.  Pocket Shorts
  20.  Rib-knit shorts

With so many fabrics and styles to select from, knowing what would be best can sometimes be confusing. Kids’ clothing often needs to withstand the much harsher treatment than most adult clothes.

Selecting the right shorts for your little girl should keep her looking super cute while making laundry days a breeze for you.

Considerations When Selecting Shorts For Girls

Close-up of girl with her hands on the pockets of her denim shorts.

Girls’ shorts come in many designs and colors, and it is important when selecting shorts for your princess to choose garments that will pass the kid test.

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To support the healthy development of muscles, growing kids are highly active.  Trousers are often in for some rough treatment as they slide, and climb, and scoot about on the seat of their pants.

When selecting shorts for the girls in your life, think about the following aspects while making your choices:

Fabric

Select fabrics that are durable but still soft and allow for a comfortable range of movement. Keep in mind that well-loved shorts find themselves in the laundry basket more frequently than adults’ clothes!

Comfort

Shorts for kids should be easy to put on and take off independently.

This usually means no fiddly buttons or zips that will slow them down when they need to take a quick bathroom stop. When selecting shorts for a girl, ensure that the garment can be pulled up and held comfortably in place by an elastic waistband or easy to close shortall clips.

Purpose

When selecting shorts for a girl, keep in mind when they will be worn. Little girls have busy lives, and shorts will be required for specific activities. There are boardshorts, athletic shorts, denim shorts, biker shorts, and everything in-between.

Style

More formal, longer lengths or even a skort may be perfect for visits to grandparents or school, while less formal everyday shorts are perfect for messy play and exploring at home. There are a huge variety of gorgeous colors and embellishments available in almost every style.

1. Basic Cotton Shorts For Girls

Girls 4-12 Jumping Beans® Ruffled Hem Shortie Shorts
Source: Kohl’s

Every girl needs a few pairs of basic everyday no-fuss shorts. Basic shorts come in many designs and colors, but they should all feature a comfortable elastic waistband and be made from a soft, cool material like cotton.

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Basic shorts are inexpensively priced shorter-length shorts intended for versatile, general use. The functionality of these shorts can be jazzed up with interesting colors or an added frill, like these Ruffled Hem Shortie Shorts from Kohls. They have a drawstring in the waistband, so the shorts can be tightened to fit snuggly.

2. Dolphin Shorts For Girls

Girls 3 Pack Dolphin Shorts Workout and Fashion Solid and Floral Print Size 4

Click image for more info

Activity and style need to meet while our girls are out and about. Our future sports stars can stay comfortable and cool in athletic-style shorts. Dolphin shorts are usually made from soft cotton or breathable nylon, but they differ from basic shorts in design.

Athletic shorts are cut higher in the front to allow for longer, unimpeded strides. Athletic shorts often feature contrasting binding and side slits which gives them a distinctive activewear look. They always have wide, secure elastic waistbands to stay securely in place no matter how much bending and running is happening.

Little girls will love to look like their teen sisters and adults when taking part in athletic activities.  Just 2 Cute offers a range of colorful 3-packs so your young lady can choose which color she wants to wear for each activity. There is also a butterfly pattern option for those who need an extra touch to these usually plain shorts.

3. Utility Shorts For Girls

Twill Utility Shorts for Girls
Source: Old Navy

Kids are curious and love to collect things. Interesting leaves and seeds or valuable notes can all be safely stored close at hand if their shorts have plenty of pockets.

Utility pants can be trendy additions to a girl’s shorts selection and should offer a combination of a comfortable loose fit with a more tailored appearance.

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Utility shorts are a special addition to your little girl’s wardrobe when she is out and about in nature. Old Navy has a gorgeous camo style that your daughter, niece, or godchild will absolutely love. The shorts have all the detailing of adult pants, but the fly is faux, and the elastic is in a stretch band at the back.

The buttons which are located on the front of the pants are also snaps, so she will easily manage to fasten them on her own.

4. Cargo Shorts For Girls

Shaka Wear Kids Cargo Shorts - Relaxed Fit Utility Plaid with Drawstring Elastic Waist Boys Girls Pull-on Pants Outdoor Black KP02_M

Click image for more info

Cargo pants are suitable for a wide range of activities and are made to be strong and durable. These versatile longer length shorts are perfect for school and outdoor play. As the hot summer days become cooler, cargo pants are an excellent transition from short-shorts to longer shorts that can be worn on cooler days.

The relaxed styling of the girl’s style from Shaka Wear has a covered waistband with a drawstring. These cute plaid pants also feature cargo pockets with Velcro enclosures to keep precious items safe during play.

The fabric on these pants is also moisture-wicking, so although it is a longer style than some other shorts, it will remain cool and sweat-free while providing the coverage needed.

5. Denim Shorts For Girls

Girls Distressed Denim Shorts (Kids)
Source: Forever 21

No wardrobe would be complete without a few trusty types of denim, and this includes shorts. Denim is a popular fabric for kid’s pants because it is durable and trendy.

When selecting denim shorts for a young girl, consider her age and how comfortable the pants need to be. Denim shorts frequently have regular zippers and buttons with detailing like distressed accents, which may not be suitable for younger girls.  Her little fingers may get tangled into the fashionably frayed sections.

Girls' Butterfly Jean Shorts - Cat & Jack™ Medium Wash
Source: Target

Forever 21 has a really cute denim shorts style that older girls will love.  If your child is a bit too young for the zipper and frayed trim, then she can look stylish with her older sister in kiddie-friendly jean shorts from Target. These feature a drawstring cord around the waist and rolled hems for flair.

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6. Chino Shorts For Girls

Polo Ralph LaurenLittle Girls 2T-6X Belted Chino Shorts
Source: Dilliards

Chino shorts can be basic for everyday wear or trendy for special occasions. The word ‘chino’ refers to the fabric used, so these shorts are available in various styles. Chino was originally a fabric that was designed to be comfortable and durable for military use.

Kids’ clothing needs to be durable and soft, so chino shorts are perfect for your little girl. If it is just a basic everyday style you need, Target has everyday chino shorts for girls with a cute rolled hem. These shorts have an elasticized waist, so they are easy to pull on and off.

For the fashion-conscious diva, there are belted Polo Ralph Lauren chino style shorts available from Dillards. These navy shorts feature a contrasting candy-striped belt that will definitely make your little lady stand out from the crowd. These may not be perfect for everyday rough and tumble play but would be perfect for attending birthday parties or special outings.

7. Board Shorts For Girls

Sandy Shores Boardshort, Quick Drying, Sun Protection, Tropic Water Toucanical Tonal, Small

Click image for more info

Summertime is water playtime, and every girl needs a pair of quick-drying board shorts in her collection. Because board shorts are intended for outdoor use, they should always offer some measure of UV protection.

Board shorts are usually colorful, shorter-length shorts that often feature tropical designs. Bright and cheerful pants for lazy days of summer fun. The fabric should be quick-drying and draw moisture away from the skin so that your little girl can stay comfortable no matter how many times she runs through the backyard sprinkler!

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Columbia Store has a range of board shorts for girls that are stretchy and comfortable. They are also quick drying and offer UPF 50 sun protection.

8. Biker Shorts For Girls

High-Waisted PowerSoft Side-Tie Biker Shorts for Girls
Source: Old Navy

Biker shorts are tight, elastic shorts that are skintight and light. Cyclists originally used the design to reduce wind resistance and prevent chaffing. These shorts are perfect for young girls because they allow complete freedom of movement and look super trendy.

Biker shorts are perfect for wearing on their own with a baggy T-shirt for a casual look or under short skirts or dresses. These lightweight girl’s shorts are superbly comfortable and don’t have any zippers or buttons, so they are easy to pull on.

When selecting biker shorts for a young girl, choose a high waistband style, so the shorts feel slinky and snug across the hips. And this simple style does not have to be boring. Old Navy has a cute range of girl’s biker shorts in their activewear collection. They feature knotted side-ties and are made from moisture-wicking fabric.

9. Skorts For Girls

Girls 4-6 Lands' End Knit Skort
Source: Kohl’s

Skorts are a fabulous option for any young girl who loves the look of a skirt but needs the versatility of shorts to go about their day-to-day activities. Skorts truly are the best of both worlds. A skort is basically a pair of shorts with a covering, sometimes just in front, to look like a shirt.

For many years skorts have been associated with lady’s tennis and school uniform attire, but they have become increasingly popular because they are so practical and pretty. Classic design skorts usually feature a straight cut piece of fabric that covers the front of the garment. They often have simple decorative button detailing like this one from Kohls.

Girls 4-14 Carter's Floral Skort
Source: Kohl’s

Some designs look exactly like pretty skirts, and only the wearer would ever know that it is a pair of shorts. Easy to pull on and pretty. Skorts are a great option for young girls.

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10. Knit Pull-On Shorts For Girls

Hurley Girls High-Waisted Shorts, Tie-Dye, M

Click image for more info

Knit pull-on shorts are a super soft and comfortable option. The fabric used for knit garments is a polyester mix, which gives a relaxed, lightweight jersey-type feel. Hurley Store has a gorgeous tie-tied design that has retro appeal – of course; your little girl will just love the pretty swirly colors!

Knit shorts have a comforting, drapey feel that is perfect for long car trips or relaxing. There are no uncomfortable seams, so they can be worn comfortably for long periods. The terry cloth fabric and elastic waistband of this design make it the perfect lazy weekend shorts.

11. Romper Shorts For Girls

Girls' Printed Sleeveless Knit Romper - Cat & Jack™
Source: Target

Romper-style shorts, like this one from Target, are a summer staple. These all-in-one outfits are perfect for play dates and parties. The fabric is stretchy and soft so that the shorts can be pulled on easily.

No waistband makes rompers the option of a super comfortable short without any tightness around the middle.  The only drawback of romper design shorts is getting them on and off. Kids must be able to pull them on, and they must be user-friendly enough for them to take bathroom breaks quickly and not get stuck inside the suit.

Make sure to choose lightweight, soft fabric for a super-cute short set that is sure to become a favorite outfit.

12. All Over Shorts For Girls

DRY TEMPO ALL OVER PRINT SHORTS 1
Source: Rookie USA

If you have an athletic little lady looking for something that reflects her love for sports and wants to look stylish at the same time, then an All-Over design may be just the thing. Unlike a skort, it is not intended to look like a skirt. This design features two types of shorts that are fitted together.

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All-over shorts, also known as 2-in-1 shorts, have a tight-fitting elastic biker short inside with a loose-fitting classic athletic style of shorts over the top. The outfit is tied together with an elastic toggle belt. Nike quality and contemporary style are a winner for kids’ shorts.

The inside and the outside shorts are complementary colors, so the outfit looks like it has been specially coordinated and is ultra-stylish.

13. Paperbag Waist Shorts For Girls

Jordache Girls Paperbag Waist Shorts, Sizes 4-18 & Plus
Source: Walmart

Paperbag waist shorts feature wide flair pants legs that ruffle up around the waist, reminiscent of a scrunched-up paper bag. These high-waisted shorts are cute and trendy when paired up with a plain colored tank top or T-shirt.

Jordache Paperbag Waist shorts are made from comfortable stretch denim and are available in four fashionable acid-wash colors. They have a rolled cuff and plenty of pockets for storing precious items. The waistband has a drawstring just below the ruffles to keep the pants securely in place.

14. Twill Shorts For Girls

Twill is a highly durable fabric. Kids shorts often need to be tough to withstand slides, bikes, and rough and tumble play, and this fabric will definitely withstand even the most adventurous girl’s activities.

Twill shorts for girls are available in many colors and designs. Dreamstar has a collection of short-length and longer-length twill shorts for girls. This design is better suited to older kids who can comfortably manage the zipper and button closure.

15. Eyelet Shorts For Girls

Hope & Henry Girls Rose Eyelet Pleat Short, Kids
Source: Target

Eyelet material is the ultimate princess fabric. These shorts are ideal for girls who love feeling pretty and feminine. These shorts should always be fully lined but are available in various designs.

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Hope & Henry has gorgeous rose pink girl’s shorts made from soft organic cotton. These whimsical shorts have an adjustable waistband with a zipper and button on the side so that they fit perfectly. 

While eyelet fabric may not be a good choice for messy outdoor play, these shorts are sure to delight your little girl and will be eagerly selected for special outings.

16. Shortalls For Girls

Black-Wash Frayed-Hem Jean Shortalls for Girls
Source: Old Navy

This classic casual shorts style is loose fitting and can be worn over a long or short-sleeved shirt. Because there is no fitted waistband, the outfit allows freedom of movement.

Shoulder straps provide a perfect fit, and they may be able to last more than one season if they can be extended as your child grows.

Shortalls can be made from any durable fabric, but denim is most commonly used. Old Navy has a versatile black denim shortall that can be teamed up with different color undershirts. The frayed hems give it a fresh take on a classic style, and the bib-patch pocket across the front is a cute detail that is sure to be practical for the wearer. 

17. Bermuda Shorts For Girls

Calvin Klein Girls' Bermuda Denim Shorts, Super Soft Stretch Fabric, Functional Pockets, Zipper Closure & Pull-On Styles, S21 Authentic Pull On, S7

Click image for more info

Bermuda shorts are longer shorts that end just above the knee. They are not as baggy as Cargo shorts which are a similar length. Bermuda shorts can be highly structured formal shorts typically worn by older girls or casual pull-on shorts.

These shorts, also known as dress shorts, often feature a turned-up hem. Bermuda shorts are versatile longer shorts that can be worn confidently to school on warmer days or to the park on weekends. Calvin Klein has cute denim Bermuda shorts with frayed hem detailing, available in pull-on or zipper closure styles.

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18. Underdress Shorts For Girls

Popular Girl's Playground Under Dress Shorts - 2 pack
Source: Walmart

Everyday playground underdress shorts are perfect for keeping your young girl confident and active no matter what outfit she has selected for the day. Underdress shorts are stretchy, soft, and breathable and fit seamlessly under skirts, dresses, or uniforms. They can also be worn on their own for active sports activities.

Underdress shorts are short-length shorts that are easy to pull on and fit flat under other clothes. The garments are made from soft polyester and spandex to be super stretchy. Walmart has two packs of these handy girl’s shorts available in basic black and grey.

Underdress shorts are basic must-have items in any girls’ shorts collection.

19. Pocket Shorts For Girls

Vintage Printed Pocket Shorts for Girls
Source: Old Navy

Old Navy has a range of cute, soft-washed fleece shorts that feature two large side pockets for out and about young girls.  These super-soft terry cloth shorts feature an elasticized waistband and interior drawstring, making them easy to pull on, and the soft fabric won’t chafe against the waist.

Pocket shorts are ideal for relaxed lazy summer days filled with lemonade and sunshine. The relaxed fit allows freedom of leg movement, so curling up with a favorite book is a cinch in these soft shorts.

20. Rib-knit Shorts For Girls

Rib-Knit Long Bike Shorts for Girls
Source: ShopStyle

If your girl is not ready to let go of summer as the seasons change, rib-knit shorts may be just the thing to keep her warm and still allow her to wear shorts for a little while longer. They resemble and fit like biker-style shorts but are much longer, softer, and warmer than their cool summertime relatives.

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Rib-knit shorts are made from spandex and rayon. Feature an elasticized waistband and are an easy pull-on style. Old Navy has seven basic colors available, so these versatile girls’ shorts can match existing outfits.

Conclusion

While all shorts are short-length pants, there is huge variation in their designs. Some girl’s shorts feature elasticized waistbands that are easy to pull on, while others have zippers and button closures. When selecting shorts for young girls it is important to keep practicality, style, and comfort in mind.

Many types of shorts are available for girls to choose from that will keep them comfortably active while still feeling like princesses.

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