If you’re reading this then we suspect that summer will be arriving soon (or has already arrived) wherever you live and you want to know how you can make yourself look better on the beach if that summer body just didn’t quite happen this year.
You don’t need a six-pack to attract attention on the sand (besides, dad bods are still very much in) as a perfectly styled pair of men’s swim shorts can work wonders for you and will have other beachgoers subtly checking you out from behind their sunglasses. We’re not talking about boardshorts here, but rather more tailored options that will be able to comfortably transition from seaside or poolside and straight to the hotel bar without looking out of place.
We’re also not talking about having you look like Daniel Craig in that Bond scene, as we’re really not fans of the tight trunks look. That shouldn’t be possible, however, as there are a plethora of brands out there, all of whom have extensive swimwear ranges designed to have you looking cool while you cool off.
We’ve scoured our way through the beachwear ranges currently on offer and picked out what we consider to be the coolest men’s swim shorts to buy right now.
Price: From $145
If there’s one brand you can trust when it comes to stylish and capable men’s swimwear, it’s Outerknown. The brand is the brainchild of world champion surfer Kelly Slater, who spends plenty of time in the water. Alongside a healthy board short selection, Outerknown also offers a comprehensive collection of men’s swim shorts in a range of natural colours, so you can wear them all day long.
Price: From $68
Bonfires on the beach, first light surf sessions, windows down on a weekend road trip. These laid-back, no-shoes days are what inspire Wellen. Originally born in Southern California, honed during San Francisco’s Indian summers, and tested on our travels to Montauk, Bali, Santa Barbara, and beyond, Wellen partners with responsible factories around the world to craft soft, sustainable essentials for sun and swell. Their lined men’s swim shorts are the ducks nuts.
Price: From $55
While you’re likely to see Hugo Boss around the pools of Spanish all-inclusive resorts, they are, in fact, a great addition to any summer wardrobe. Available in a range of lengths, colours, prints and fabrics, Hugo Boss men’s swim shorts are every bit as premium as their heritage name would suggest.
Price: From $79
Bonobos have a plethora of swim trunks & swimwear that all feature a comfortable elastic waist & drawstring. Available in three different leg lengths, and a wide range of playful colours & prints, Bonobos’ awesome swimwear is available all-year round.
Price: From $130
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.
Price: From $78
Canadian yoga and activewear king Lululemon also has its flexible limbs in swimwear. Their men’s swim shorts are offered in a variety of lengths, but colours are kept simple, letting the stretchy, water-repellent fabric do all the talking.
Price: From $180
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.
Price: From $95
This premium British menswear brand is for gents who appreciate clean lines, sharp fits and summer colours (with a few quirky patterns thrown in). Reiss’ men’s swim shorts are perfect for all-day wear, taking you from pool to (beach) bar with no qualms whatsoever.
Price: From $95
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.
Price: From $275
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.
Price: From $68
Claiming to offer the world’s most comfortable & sustainable beach wear is US label Fair Harbor. The materials used for all their men’s swim shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and chief to their comfort levels is a boxer brief liner in place of the traditional mesh. This makes Fair Harbor swim shorts suitable for wearing as regular activewear-style shorts throughout the day, but ones with a water-repellent layer so you can take a dip in the pool or the ocean whenever you fancy.
Price: From $154
With bright and sunny St Tropez 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.
Price: From $70
What do you get when you combine the eclectic lifestyle in Tokyo and the chilled vibes of Byron Bay? Banks Journal. Founded by guys from both iconic destinations, Banks Journal’s swimwear collection has sustainability, comfort and impeccable fit at heart. Designed to be comfortable to wear all day long, Banks Journal’s men’s swim shorts durable, have integrated pockets and offer plenty of stretch.
Price: From $70
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 men’s swim shorts for the suave, worldly gentleman’s bathing needs.
Price: From $100
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.
Price: From $135
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.
Price: From $610
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…
Price: From $143
Although they are made by a high quality Sydney designer, Mocha Salt men’s swim shorts are cut from high quality Spanish microfibre polyester, so that they last, and soften with use. Light in the water and quick to dry, this designer swim short maker could give most surf brands a run for their money.
Price: From $85
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.
Price: From $94
Being solely a swimwear brand, French label Atalaye is able to dedicate considerable time to sourcing the very best fabrics for the purpose of swimming and bathing. Those fabrics are locally made and sourced in Portugal, where the company’s shorts are also bade. Quick-drying, antibacterial and anti-UV properties and chlorine-resistant are just a few of the boxes that Atalaye’s swim shorts tick. Cut short yet undeniably comfortable, Atalaye’s men’s swim shorts can be worn for any adventure in the water.
Price: From $137
Another swimwear-dedicated brand is Thorson. Catering to both men and women, Thorsun is all about a great fit and a number of style influences, including Modernist, Meso-American, simple solid colours and those that are more vibrant. The vast collection means everyone will be satisfied, and with all pairs offering a 6-inch inseam, they’re cut to the perfect length.
Price: From $85
An Australian brand that makes a fine collection of men’s swimwear. Their bold designs are perfect for holidays or just cruising around all Summer. Their range of patterns and colours is huge so you’re bound to find something there.
Construction of their shorts is fairly simple. Elastic waist and drawstring. Length is on the shorter side too. They also make a range of kids’ swim shorts, so there’s a change the little ones can match Dad.