Swim trunks/briefs/shorts force you to make a statement about yourself. After all, this is the closest you can get to nakedness in public, and there are swimsuits that can fit just about any level of modesty—or lack thereof. Some prefer the coverage and comfort afforded by a nice pair of board shorts, others take swim season as an opportunity to show the world how good they (think they) look in their underwear. Below, we have curated a selection of 10 bottoms that are fit to suit just about every whim or desire.
More on the following page.
Outlier – Three-Way Short
Do we give Outlier a lot of attention? Yup. Do they give us good reason to do so? Absolutely. Their Three-Way Shorts are just another example of pitch-perfect pragmatism. The idea of a pair of shorts that look good enough to wear just about anywhere—even with a dress shirt—but are ready to dive into any body of water is too alluring to sleep on. Plus, they dry lickety-split, so you can dress, dive and repeat.
Onia – Calder Trunk
These shorter khaki trunks draw us in because we like the idea of some sunburnt expat wearing them on a remote Indonesian beach. We would like to be that expat for a while—sipping rum, sanding an old boat, courting native girls … owning.
Olasul – Geo Blue 5″
A kaleidoscopic explosion of southwestern blankets, these shorter shorts will grab attention, no doubt. That is good, though, as they exude a weird sophistication. You expect such raucousness form a longer, baggier, board short, but from a demure little pair like this it practically bathes you in confidence.
Stussy – Tiger Print Swim Shorts
Fine line-walking in these. Put them on and you might be tempted to do body shots off of co-eds. Keep yourself in check, however, and this manic tiger print could create quite the dichotomy as you balance the madness with a civilized approach to your day at the beach. Maybe that means reading some Nietzsche on your blanket.
Ralph Lauren – Traveler Swimshort
When it comes to classic styling, Ralph Lauren brings it. These shorts are evidence of that. Good length and a pattern that feels both contemporary and of an era bygone by about 80 years. Classic.
Lightning Bolt – Board Shorts
Made in the U.S.A. by a venerable surf brand, these shorts drip legitimacy. That is not to say wearing them will protect you in a locals-only territorial dispute, but they might get you a few knowing nods as you saunter across the sand.
Marc Jacobs – Two Tone Technical Short
There’s a nice throwback vibe to the elasticized waistband on these powdery shorts from Marc Jacobs. The pocket detail is pleasing as well. Nothing mind blowing, just a solid pair of high-end desireables.
American Apparel – Nylon Tricot Men’s Swim Brief
You might find that you need a streak of exhibitionism to be truly comfortable in these. If the light catches them right, someone could easily do a vein count, but that is sort of the point. You are wearing these and you do not give a toss who sees something they are only seeing because they cannot stop looking. Plenty of brands make suits cut like this, but it seemed appropriate to give American Apparel—masters of the subtle creep-out—preference.
Wintercheck Factory – Dual Use Shorts
Aaaaand back to something more practical. Like the Outlier trunks above, these double as daily-wear shorts (hence the removable mesh liner). Not just any shorts, either. These have the wide elastic waistband and large metal buttons of old-school coach’s shorts. Whistle not included.
Orlebar Brown – Third Eye Swim Trunks
Ideal for peyote pool parties (they still have those, right?), we are having trouble taking our eyes off of these surrealist trunks from Orlebar Brown. It is probably just because they are staring at us, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder all-around, son.