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The Best Budget-Friendly Denim Shorts

June 27, 2022


Team LIY

Year after year, summer after summer, we seem to be reaching for the same pairs of shorts to wear again and again! Some of us are Old Navy girls at heart, some are loyal to Target, and the majority of us are pretty darn faithful to both. 😉 Old Navy and Target both carry a huge selection of shorts with a variety of inseams and sizing options at prices we can totally get down with! So which store has the better shorts, you ask? The LIY Team and Ambassadors decided to find out for ourselves! We each ordered several styles of denim shorts from Target and Old Navy and we’re sharing our favorite pairs below in a Shorts Showdown: Target vs. Old Navy. Here are our results!

Erin’s Shorts

My Favorite is: Old Navy

Old Navy High Waisted Straight Ripped Shorts [true to size, wearing in 4] // Target High-Rise Curvy Midi Jean Shorts [size up one, wearing in 6]

In full transparency, I don’t think I’d order either pair of these shorts. While I am typically an Old Navy shorts girl when it comes between the two, I wasn’t overly impressed with the specific pairs that I purchased, both from Target & Old Navy. Maybe I’m becoming too much of a jean shorts snob, but both pairs felt a little stiff and quite tight through the thighs [that could be due to too many High Noons ;)]. All in all, I’d still vote for Old Navy! Ps. All budget aside, these are the shorts I can’t stop wearing this summer!

Lauren’s Shorts

My Favorite Is:  Old Navy

Old Navy Mid Rise Boyfriend Ripped Jean Shorts  [TTS, wearing 10] // Target Curvy Vintage Midi Shorts

Okay so here’s the thing, I loved these Old Navy shorts out of the package – the fit, the look, the length, all of it. The Target pair took a bit more work. The Old Navy pair has a boyfriend fit which is great for my size 8-10 pear shape. The Target pair squeezed a bit tighter in the stomach area, and I didn’t love the length unless I rolled them! So I’m debating using my fabric glue and glueing these Target bad boys so they stay rolled! But overall, the winner is the Old Navy pair, through and through!

Claire’s Shorts

My Favorite Is: Old Navy

Target Shorts (TTS, wearing 10 but could do 8) // Old Navy Boyfriend Shorts (size up one, wearing 10) // Bodysuit

I tried several styles of shorts at both Target and Old Navy, and out of about 8 shorts I tried on, Old Navy was consistently my favorite! I really liked both of these pairs, but the Target pair was just slightly too large in the crotch area. When I sized down, they were a little too tight in the waist! I think they would be super cute on the right person, just not for me! The Old Navy pair didn’t squeeze my thighs like rolled-hem shorts usually do, so that was an automatic win for me!

Katy’s Shorts

My Favorite Is: Old Navy

Target Wild Fable Mom Jean Shorts [true to size] // Old Navy Mid Rise Light Wash Jean Shorts [size down one] // Tee [size down if in between] // Sandals [size down .5] 

Now, I am in a bit of a weird spot shopping for jean shorts currently in my second trimester of pregnancy – so feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt 🤣 Shorts that I may choose normally based on style are out the window a bit as I am looking more for stretch and comfort to get my through the Summer, but HEY they can be cute too right?! This pair from Old Navy run BIG so definitely size down, but they have so much stretch and are extremely comfortable. That is ultimately why they ended up being my favorite! I loved the style of this pair from Target, but they just didn’t have the comfort I was looking for and feel like a true denim material. No stretch is not cutting it for me currently!

LIY Ambassador Heather

My Favorite Is: Target

Old Navy High Waisted Button Fly Cut Off Jean Shorts [sized up 1, wearing 6] // Target High Rise Vintage Midi Jeans Shorts [sized up 1, wearing 6] // Tank [TTS, wearing Small] // Sandals [TTS, wearing 10] 

I chose this pair from Old Navy for the high waist and 5 inch inseam. I typically size up 1 size in shorts, but wish I had sized up 2 sizes in these for room in my legs! The material is stretchy and I like the button fly, but I don’t love how they fit in my legs. These from Target are a winner for me! I love a button fly and I’m happy with the 4 inch inseam on my 6 foot frame. These are already in my summer jean short rotation!

LIY Ambassador Debbie

My Favorite Is: Old Navy

Old Navy High Rise A Line Cut Off Shorts [true to size] // Target Universal Thread High Rise Midi Jean Short [size down one] // Top [true to size]  // Similar Wedges

Debbie here comparing two pairs of shorts. I really like the length of the Target shorts but they’re not as high waisted as I would like. The Old Navy pair come just above my belly button but the Target shorts fall just slightly below. Although the length of the Old Navy shorts are a little shorter than I prefer I still think they’re my favorite pick. Both are very stretchy and comfortable though.

LIY Ambassador Allison

My Favorite Is: Target

Target Mid Rip Stretch Denim Shorts [true to size, wearing 8] // Old Navy High Waisted Button Fly Straight Ripped Cut Offs [sized up one, wearing 10] 

I tried 2 different pairs of Jean shorts; one from target and one from old navy. The Target shorts were my winners for these reasons: they were super soft and didn’t suction cup to my thighs. The only downfall I found was that they weren’t long enough for my 34” inseam legs. The shorts from Old Navy, ran VERY small. I sized up to a 10, and I felt like I was squeezing into them. I liked the button fly detail and the length, but the material had no give, and was beyond snug!

Shop the Shorts

Target Shorts:

Old Navy Shorts:

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