The Playbook For The Modern Man

17 Best Men’s Swimwear & Swim Shorts Brands For Your Next Vacation

Kick off summer in style. But please: no cargo pants…

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 2018. Which is why we’ve taken up the (tough) task of the selecting the best board shorts for 2019. 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?

Frescobol Carioca

A lively Brazilian brand, Frescobol Carioca are all about showcasing the cool way of life. To that end they have crafted a swim short range inspired by the beach-to-club spirit of Rio de Janeiro. Sourcing refined fabrics, the linen-focussed range is punctuated with eye-catching prints and designed with practicality in mind.

Frescobol Carioca Classic Swim Short $300


With bright and sunny St Tropex origins, Vilebrequin cut their cloth with marine motifs (and chic, playful designs). The epitome of “classic,” Vilebrequin make men’s swimwear staples in true luxury style.

Vilebrequin Classic Solid Swim Short $180

Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown is a British, smart men’s swimwear brand for those looking for a classy niche product. Orlebar Brown’s latest collection epitomises the phrase “timeless classic.” From photogenic prints to more understated colour schemes, this designer swimwear is well worth a gander.

Orlebar Brown Bulldog Swim Short $450

Saturdays NYC

A New York based clothing and lifestyle brand, Saturdays NYC make surf-ready board shorts, paying homage to its Bondi roots in a functional, stylish package.

Saturdays Surf Grant BoardShort $85


Onia is a New-York based clothing company that fashions subtle swimwear that never goes out of style. In other words: it’s time to burn your baggy, 3/4 leg billabong threads. For a sophisticated clean cut look, elastic paneling and superfine mesh lining, you can’t go past Onia’s Elastic Calder range.

ONIA Elastic Swim Shorts $130


Sunspel is the epitome of British Heritage and timeless style. And for a look that could have stepped off a plane fresh from the Amalfi Coast, Sunspel’s nylon-tailored swim short range is hard to go past. This particular pair is a re-creation of the iconic trunks worn by Sean Connery in Thunderball—the love child of bumbling British research and matte riviera chic.

Sunspel Men’s Technical Nylon Tailored Swim Short in Sky £105 / $150


Venroy exemplifies the leisure centric Bondi-lifestyle. Fittingly, Venroy’s board short designs range from flamboyant prints and intricate patterns to understated block colours, suitable for surfers and latte sippers alike.

Venroy Basic Swim Shorts $80

Thom Browne

At the vanguard of New York’s fashion scene, designer Thom Browne, is famed for his tailoring with an edge. His swim wear range espouses a preppy aesthetic with a twist. A must have for men with cash to burn and a reputation to maintain…

Thom Brown Short Stripe Swim Short $600


Valentino are an artisanal Italian luxury brand who make creative, top draw swim wear. As quick drying as they are classy, this range of swim wear will take you from the sand to the club—and back again.

Valentino Camo Swim Shorts $600

Deus Ex Machina

A motorcycle brand with a coastal twist, Deus Ex Machina is an Aussie offering that makes board shorts that bridge the gap between an inner city winter and suburban summer fun.

Deus Ex Machina Swim Shorts $80

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a British fashion designer who has taken it upon himself to master the art of combining tradition and modernity. Along these lines, his swim short range re-affirms this focus, providing you with a product that sits between high fashion and formalwear, while taking reference from both.

Paul Smith Print Swim Shorts $180

Club Monaco

With their HQ in New York, founding store in Toronto and name-sake from Europe, Club Monaco is a truly international fashion label. Their swimwear is no exception, staying true to the brand’s timeless aesthetic with a timely summer range of swim shorts for the suave, worldly gentleman’s bathing needs.

Club Monaco Arlen Shorts $89


Masculinity meets elegance in Missoni. Typically Italian, Missoni have deliciously intertwined the descriptors “exuberant” and “classy” with their latest range. Check it out if you want prints that will draw the summer crowds’ eyes away from the ice-cream in your hand, and towards your hard earned glutes…

Missoni Zigzac Shorts $500


If in doubt, Gucc it out. Gucci has quickly become one of the hottest brands on the planet. Gucci’s over the top luxury design may not be everyone’s taste but their swimwear is more refined for that next European holiday.

Gucci Printed Swim Shorts $550


Iconic Californian 70’s surf brand with an Italian twist, Sundek has undergone a 2018/2019 facelift. With everything from camo prints to stripes and fishbones, Sundek is arguably the king of elastic waisted shorts.

Sundek Camo Swim Shorts $69


Awesomely American, Thorsun is a swim wear line from the city that never sleeps, created by designer George Sotelo, with the discerning and spontaneous modern traveler in mind. As such these shorts have an exceptional focus on tailoring with vibrant, Meso-American and Modernist-referencing prints, as well as classic solids, as eye-catching as they are polished.

Thorsun Print Swim Shorts $300

Boardies Apparel

Boardies Apparel is a lifestyle brand celebrating a world of creativity, travel and good times. This year they have created an epic range of swim shorts to match, and have quickly become known for their carefully constructed in-house fabrics, and playful designs. It also goes without saying they are super quick-drying, soft and made to avoid chafing.

Boardies Cactus Board Shorts $125

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