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Why Boxer Shorts Are Everywhere This Summer

The “no pants” look has been trending on runways, red carpets and city streets for a couple of years now, with Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber among those who have stepped out in briefs and tightie-whities. But this summer, a new innerwear-as-outerwear trend has taken over: boxer shorts for all.

Celebrities have given their stamp of approval to this trend, too. Zendaya channeled courtside cool in a breezy blue Elisabetta Franchi button-up and striped boxer shorts set during her head-turning “Challengers” press tour, and earlier this month, Irish actor Paul Mescal made a front-row appearance at the Gucci men’s show in Milan in the leg-baring look.

Where did it start? With Miuccia Prada, who else? For Miu Miu spring 2022, she sent out sent ultra-cropped and shrunken preppy clothing down the runway, including low-rise, pleated micro miniskirts — styled over silky pastel boxer shorts.

The collection had a wide impact. You simply couldn’t scroll social media without seeing a model or influencer wearing it (including Hailey Bieber, who fronted the campaign); or peer inside a bodega window without seeing the likes of Nicole Kidman and Paloma Elsesser fronting a magazine cover in it.

Hailey Bieber for Miu Miu Spring 2022 Campaign

Hailey Bieber for Miu Miu.

Tyrone Lebon/Courtesy of Miu Miu

As seasons followed, Miu Miu debuted new takes on the innerwear look — for fall 2022 (silky undergarments peeking through sheer skirts and HotPants); for spring 2023 (ribbed knit boxer shorts layered under sheer skirts); for fall 2023 (knit boxer and bra twinsets worn over tights, or completely embellished in crystals), and finally, for spring 2024 as a sportif take on swimming trunks.

Moda Operandi’s director of buying, ready-to-wear, Marc Rofsky agreed that the trend originated from Miu Miu’s logo briefs and bloomers beneath low waisted skits and shorts two years ago.

“Styles we still can’t keep in stock,” he told WWD. “Which then evolved to the ‘borrowed from the boys’ boxer shorts we see trending today. We sell them both as layering pieces, exposing the waistband, and as stand-alone items today.”

Other brands got in on the action, and boxers have become stand-ins for shorts in luxury collections (Julie de Libran Couture and Bottega Veneta’s fall 2023 lines, to name two) as well as contemporary and mass market labels Donni, J.Crew and Skims.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart at Chanel and Charles Finch Pre Oscar Dinner in Los Angeles.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

“The boxer shorts really took off for us in terms of selling last year in high summer deliveries and continued through this past resort and current summer seasons. We saw an immediate response to The Row’s white cashmere cotton boxer shorts and matching button-down shirt set last year, which sparked a frenzy. From there the trend extended to brands like Yaitte and The Frankie Shop, with instant sellouts on colored and striped versions of the trend,” Rofsky said.

Homme Girls, Des Phemmes, Leset, Sporty & Rich and The Frankie Shop are also go-to brands on Moda Operandi.

The trend looks to have legs from coast to coast. In Los Angeles, Canadian YouTuber Dru MacDonald is developing a collection of romantic and frilly boxers called Snows Pond. Meanwhile, in New York, Coach’s Stuart Vevers’ peppered plaid boxer shorts into his resort 2025 collection and mixed them with playful party tops; lofty novelty knits and chunky jackets.

Street style at Paris Fashion Week Men’s Spring 2025

Street style at Paris Fashion Week Men’s spring 2025.

Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“It’s about the ease, coziness and comfort, and I see that strongly in the current generation, that shifts away from formality,” he told WWD of the fashionable Gen Z crowd he’s inspired by on the New York City streets.

Another influence on the style’s newfound popularity could well be the warming climate — breezy, lightweight shorts do sound nice on these 90-degree-plus days, as does the prospect of switching from pandemic-era Zoom top with sweats or pajama pants into an equally comfortable crisp cotton matching top and boxer set for 9 to 5 garb.

“There’s a certain laissez faire trending in fashion right now. Like tights as pants. It feels very youthful and care-free in a kind of Edie Sedgwick way, but more 2024. I think the boxers as shorts are the same feeling. It’s summer, we’re hot and they are weightless — there’s something both intimate and uncomplicated about just wearing your boxers out of the house,” New York designer Daniella Kallmeyer told WWD.

Kallmeyer, who introduced boxer briefs into her namesake label for Pride, proposes styling the tighter fit, cheeky styles beneath low-slung jeans — a nod to the revival of low-rise pants with classic Calvins peeking out. Or try them under Kallmeyer’s Rio dress or Allegra trousers in mesh, “like a boyshort,” she suggests.

Kallmeyer boxer briefs.

Kallmeyer boxer briefs.

Courtesy of Kallmeyer

“I’ve always been fascinated by staples that are universal and feel equally culturally permanent and relevant. We wanted to create our own nod to that iconic queer-coded styling. There’s sex appeal that’s about intimacy and confidence that isn’t about masculine or feminine necessarily and that felt like a cheeky thing to introduce into our historically more buttoned-up brand,” she said.  

Boxers as pants offer versatility to dress up or down, as seen via Zendaya’s twinset look, paired with Louboutin pumps, for the “Challengers” tour; Kristen Stewart’s flirty Chanel sheer blouse, bralette and boxer shorts ensemble at Chanel and Charles Finch’s Pre-Oscars Dinner, or styled with elevated menswear tailoring, as seen on the streets at Paris Fashion Week men’s spring 2025.

“When styled with a matching oversized button-down shirt, boxer short sets have taken off as an easy and effortless vacation or summer in the city look,” Rofsky said.

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