Fashion

The best men’s swim shorts (and briefs) for any man

Summer's here and it's time to upgrade your swim gear. Whether you're headed to the pool on home turf or planning to jet off to some sun-drenched beach abroad, a seriously stylish pair of swim shorts is essential. And if you're the kind of man who has worn the same swimmers for years (or the sort who totally forgets about getting a new pair until he's at the airport), now is the time to do your research into the new trends and which ones will look best on you.

Here we break down the big swimwear trends, as well as the best men’s swim shorts that represent each...

Side stripes

As with trousers, this season stripe details are trending hard on swim shorts. Generally, you'll find them on swimmers that are mid-thigh-length or higher, and also on those with more tailored cuts, riffing on the classic surf shorts worn by men in the Sixties.

Best for: Shorter men with a sturdier thigh. The side stripe will elongate your legs and make your hips appear slimmer, while the mid-thigh-length will cut across your leg at its most muscular point, emphasising the definition there.

Big branding

Another trend that's spilled over from "dry land" menswear is bold, brash branding. This summer you'll find famous fashion houses spattering their shorts with slogans, graphics and logos. Whether you're more into high-fashion houses such as Burberry, Valentino and Versace or sports brands such as Adidas and Ellesse, you can choose to support any style-scene team you wish on the beach this season.

Best for: Guys who know where their loyalty lies and aren't afraid of something a bit bolder. For a longer length, these work best on taller men so the short still stays above the knee.

Short and sporty

Whether you're the kind of man who idolises the Seventies or one who simply wants people to know they never miss leg day, the good news for you is that retro, running-style shorts are big this summer. Generally, they'll have throwback contrast piping and an elasticated drawstring waist, but there are plenty of options out there for guys who prefer a graphic print too (as seen with the Prada pair below in the gallery). Yes, they're short – we'd go so far as to say super short, in fact – but that's the whole point. And worn with pool slides and a white T-shirt they look seriously cool by the pool.

Best for: Men who don't miss a gym session, even on holiday. The short length will show off your sculpted thighs at their finest, and the best thing is you can wear them straight from your workout to the pool – just make sure to get in a shower before diving in, OK?

Low-thigh

Maybe it's the big skate revival in menswear over the past few years, but board shorts are making a comeback. However, banish all thoughts of those baggy, calf-skimming models you last remember seeing in the early noughties – this summer's are tailored far closer to the body and, crucially, don't drop below the knee. Go for a pair in a solid colour and you'll find they're also superbly versatile when worn with a white T-shirt, Vans and gym socks away from the surf.

Best for: Slim guys with slim thighs. The added material here will add subtle volume to the upper half of your legs and make them appear that bit more muscular.

Or... keep it brief

It's not just about shorts this season. Budgie smugglers, Speedos, swim briefs – whatever you like to call them, trunks are reappearing in greater numbers on designer rails right now. And contrary to what you might think, you don't have to have less than ten per cent to pull these off. Generally, if you have shoulders wider than your hips (and a tan), you'll look great in a pair. Keep it tight.

Best for: Men with the confidence to go for it.

And now for some of the best men's swim shorts from short shorts to trunks. Happy shopping

1/9

Prada

Who doesn’t love a poolside stripe? These swim shorts from Prada bring the longstanding nautical stripe swimwear trend into 2019, with sporty detailing, a fresh colour palette and a super short cut. £510. At farfetch.com

2/9

Gucci

Go retro with these runner-style Gucci trunks that harken back to the swimwear style of the Seventies. Pair with a killer tan and a slick pair of sunglasses for a classic summer look. £400. At mrporter.com

3/9

Dries Van Noten

Tap into the tie-dye trend with these psychedelic swim shorts from Dries Van Noten. We recommend you complete the look with one of the brand’s matching shirts or T-shirt. After all, if you’re going to wear tie-dye, you might as well make a statement. £215. At mrporter.com

4/9

Orlebar Brown

Short shorts? Tick. Side stripes? Double tick. Retro and refined, these sporty trunks get a yes from us. £95. orlerbarbrown.com

5/9

Speedo

When it comes to briefs, you really can’t go wrong with the classics from Speedo. A swimmer’s kit staple they offer both freedom of movement and a secure fit. Plus, they’re 100 per cent chlorine resistant. Win-win. £16. speedo.com

6/9

Billionaire

You can’t go wrong with these classic candy-stripe patterned swim shorts this summer. Plus, thanks to their pockets they’ll take you from beach to bar with ease. £370. billionaire.com

7/9

Prada

Yes, they’re short. Super short, in fact. But worn with a plain white tee and slides you’ll be the coolest guy by the pool. £790. At farfetch.com

8/9

Bottega Veneta

Nothing says summer like a Hawaiian print, and new for Spring/Summer 2019 these Bottega Veneta swim shorts put an understated yet stylish spin on the print. £335. bottegaveneta.com

9/9

Dolce & Gabbana

Bring out your rebellious side this summer with these graffiti-print shorts from Dolce & Gabbana. You won’t regret it. £335. At matchesfashion.com

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