Here’s the truth: tanned thighs save lives. That said, any swim trunks running past a 5-inch inseam simply aren’t the best men’s swim trunks anymore. The best short swim trunks have become a staple of male swimwear in the past few years because, let’s face it, man thighs are officially sexy. Might as well show ’em off, right?
Chances are, the most out-of-style item you have in your closet is a pair of swim trunks. Swim trunks are one of those pieces of clothing you buy once and it lasts for quite a long time. Considering how fast fashion cycles are these days, something you may have purchased five years ago might as well have been bought two decades ago instead.
Nowadays, your swim trunks should have more in common with your actual shorts, both in terms of how they function and how they look. Brooklyn-based Ralph Lauren swimwear designer Rachel Lee tells us, “men’s casual shorts have been translating to swim trends for years, and because fashion cycles in a ‘what goes around comes around’ notion, it’s no shock the short swimwear trend picked up again right where it left off in the 70s.” That said, reaching for a shorter inseam is the most 2022 way to wear swimwear. After all, sky’s out, thighs out.
We’re here to help you find the best set of short swim trunks to get you ready for this summer. From bright colors to bold patterns, here are our eight favorites.
1. Fair Harbor Bungalow Trunk
Half the fun of swim trunks is to spring for a pair in bright colors or bold patterns. These trunks from Fair Harbor fulfill both, providing a stonewash oceanic blue hue with a diagonal pink stripe across. The Bungalows have a vintage aesthetic to them that will make you feel like you’re playing volleyball on the beach in an 80s music video. Complete with a 4-way stretch for constant movement (or relaxation, if that’s your beach vibe) and some of the quickest-drying material we’ve ever seen, the Bungalow Trunks are hard to beat.
2. Bather Solid Pine Swim Trunks
Bather’s classic swim trunk fits everything you’re looking for in a classic swim trunk; quick-drying nylon makes it so you’re not sitting in soggy shorts when you’re done in the water, pockets make it so you can go from the water to the bar without skipping a beat. The 5.5-inch inseam is the perfect length to show some summertime leg. A drawstring waist makes adjusting them a cinch, while the mesh lining is supportive without being uncomfortable. There are few perfect pieces of clothing, but these come pretty close.
3. Chubbies Neon Lights 4″ Stretch Swim Shorts
Millions of dudes across the globe rely on Chubbies each and every summer for the shortest of short swim shorts. This is the brand that essentially reclaimed the short swim short style, making them hard to ignore when heading to the beach this summer. These short swim shorts are quick-drying and supremely comfortable, capable of being one of the only pairs of shorts you’ll need throughout the brutal summer heat. Plus, almost every pair available for purchase at Chubbies is eclectic as it gets. All eyes on you. Try a pair and thank us later.
4. Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks
British outfit Orlebar Brown’s Setter Swim Trunks are nice and short for those who really want to show some thigh, but we love them for all their small little design details. The adjustable tabs on the side function similarly to that of tuxedo pants, making it easy to dial in the perfect fit for you while providing an overall polished look. The button fly and pockets help the trunks to really function as shorts, while the fabric dries lighting fast, making the Setter a pair of shorts you can wear all day.
5. ASOS DESIGN Swim Shorts
All eyes are on ASOS when we’re shopping for good-looking and affordable short swim shorts for men. You’ll almost always fall in love with a pair in your size under the $20 mark every time you search swim shorts on ASOS, which is exactly what’s happening to us right now with these bright raspberry summer must-haves. These uber short shorts have that classic elastic drawstring for an easy fit with side pockets for keeping your phone close by at the backyard BBQ.
6. Lululemon Channel Cross Swim Short
BEST FOR ACTIVITIES
If you’re the kind of person that can’t get their behind out of the water the entire time you’re at the beach, you need Lululemon’s Channel Cross Swim Shorts. These 5-inch inseams are short enough to pull off a modern fashion statement with everything you need for fully-submerged conditions. As expected, the material is entirely water-resistant with additional resistance to abrasions. The mesh used underneath is breathable and made with a four-way stretch for ultimate movement. Plus, these puppies use 100% recycled polyester. You can’t lose
7. SAXX Oh Buoy Swim Shorts
One thing a lot of dudes in 2022 hate about swim shorts? The liner. We don’t know about you, but nine times out of ten, you’ll find us on our living room floors cutting the liner out of our swim trunks before the next pool party. Thankfully, that’s not the case with SAXX. The Oh Buoy swim trunks are created with the coziest liner of all time, featuring SAXX’s classic BallPark Pouch so your package is gently cradled, Flat Out Seam reverse stitching for softness and 3D support around your whole body.
8. Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks
As our world seemingly dies around us, it’s probably best to consider our dying planet when shopping for, well, just about anything. That’s why Bonobos created the Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks. These trunks use 85% recycled polyester and hold a modern look with that classic 5-inch inseam. Each pair has a UPF rating of 50+ to keep you safe from the sun and are complete with both pockets and a key catch.
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