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30 Best Swim Shorts For Men [2016 Edition]


Summer’s arrival looks like lazy days on the beach, dipping in and out of the surf, before sprawling salty and exhausted under the warmth of a January sun. Your basic t-shirt style might be strong and your understanding of summer holiday suave is on point. But, have updated your beach shorts lately?

What’s worse that getting caught with your pants down? Wearing pants that are oh so 2014. Which is why we’ve taken up the (tough) task of the selecting the best 30 board shorts for 2015. From a range of brands, one is sure to fit your selective sense of style and fluctuating budget.

Click through the slideshow for this season’s best: in colour, fit and print. Then read on: what can you expect from board shorts this season?

Focus On Fit



This season is all about the tailored short. And getting wet and sandy is no exception to the trend. Cut slim and a few inches above the knee, the idea here is to recreate a Paul Newman, vintage trunk aesthete – snug and colourful for the summer. Or a short that looks south-of-France-esque, crafted from cotton and a touch Chino-inspired, perfect for beach bar nights.

Like trousers, beach shorts need to be the perfect fit; not too loose not to tight – especially around the package. Don’t wear them to high on the waist, nor too low so they sag, ghetto-style. The fastening mechanism will either button snap (with an adjustable side tab on the waist) or drawstring. The latter gives the most flexibility in the fit, with the former offering the best fit. With buttons, however, getting the size right is everything.



Ranging from mid-thigh styles to generously sized board shorts, relaxed shorts are much less formal than their tailored counterparts. Much the same rules of fit apply, but you’ll have a better range of movement through the thigh.

Lastly? Length. Consider the size of your thighs; unless chiselled legs are your forte, opt for more coverage – than less. Physical height will determine how ‘short’ the shorts should be too. As a general rule, keep the hem between just above the knee and mid-thigh length, deciding on a length that suits your beach style – and confidence.

Colour Be Cool


Swimwear comes hyper, block-colours and earthy neutral tones this summer season. Now that you’ve selected the fit, pick a colour that flows with current pieces you own – colour matching your wardrobe.

You’ll be sporting beach shorts solo too (and showing a lot of flesh) which is why complementing your skin tone is vital. Darker complexions or the well-tanned lads look to coloured brights such as primary yellow, electric blue, lime green, neon red and any kind of pastel. Oh, and fluoro – for the ravers among you.

Paler gents need muted colours to anchor there fairness, opting for mustard yellow, burgundy, black, forest green and burned orange.

Patterns On Point


Print and patterns are beach shorts’ biggest style statement this season. Geometric, big dots and stripes, and tie-dye or tripped-out prints are clear print trends across both affordable and luxury brands. For the comical at heart, novelty prints such as fruits, machinery and animals are an easy way to punch some child-like fun into your togs.

For a sophisticated print, look to minimal dots and classic Breton stripes. Or digital photographic prints largely pioneered by high end brands.

Full On Fabric


Most relaxed short styles will come in mesh-lined nylon or polyester for a swishy look and feel. Pockets or not, some emulate cool gym shorts or running gear and are best for active beach goers. Others will be made of comfy cotton-linens and organic for the Japanophile – not the best for swimming but essential beach-walk-to-bar attire.

Tailored styles are typically cotton/poly blends or some technical fabric – great for most beach activities. Above all else – if you’re swimming, get a pair that are quick-dry. Your chillax time in and our of the water is far too short to be changing bottoms constantly or waiting on wet shorts to dry.

Final Word

Whether you’re set for a local Bondi dip or you’re jetting-off to the Caribbean, the beach short market is awash with a pair of swim trunks to suit every taste and destination. The goal is to know your purpose: water-bound or simply lazing by the beach (or bar).

Then, take some time to consider fit (based off your body type), as well as the colour and what it looks like to embrace bold prints this season. Swimwear is meant to be fun. But, if you’re awkward and bashful in your new found trunks, no-one – including your embarrassed-self – will be laughing.

So strike a balance between comfort and style. And you and your beach shorts will get along – swimmingly.

Click through the slideshow for 25 cool beach shorts for men. What are your favourite swim short brands and beach short styles for summer?


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16 Dec, 2015

Benjamin Fitzgerald

Style Contributor