I’ve been keen on Patagonia’s Stand-Up Shorts since I was 12, when I bought my first pair in Salt Lake City during a climbing trip. I still have that pair, much abused and much loved. God knows how a pair that I bought when I was 12 is now too big for me – some kind of waist shrink and a better sense of properly-fitting clothes, I guess.
It’s the giant rear pockets that make the short. Quite a few other companies copied the double-layer seat/giant pocket (Gramicci, Columbia, etc), but nobody pulled it off like Patagonia. Some earlier versions didn’t bring the pocket all the way into the waistband, giving kind of a lederhosen look:
The Stand-Up shorts are still available for men. Women are, unfortunately, subject to the moodiness of Patagonia’s production schedule – it seems as though women have access to Stand-Up shorts every three or four years. I’m happy enough with the current offering, especially since they offer multiple inseam lengths (I’m fond of the 5″ inseam). But I’d really like to explore some archival versions of the short, when they used canvas that was so stiff that the shorts actually stood up by themselves, or when Patagonia sourced workman’s corduroy from the UK. For now, I’ll comfort myself with view-only Stand-Up shorts from Backpacker Magazine in 1981. Men’s were in 11oz canvas (they’re now in 8oz) :
I’m also liking Kelty’s Trail Short, in a cotton/poly blend, also from 1981. You might try LL Bean’s recent take on the front-pocket cargo short.