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The Best Men’s Swim Trunks to Wear for Summer 2021

Best Swimming Trunks

As stay-at-home orders are being lifted across the country, lounging on a pool float with a cheap beer in hand may soon be a reality. Whether you’re taking a quick dip in the backyard, planning a full-on beach day with friends, or simply making the most of Summer Fridays, you’ll need a swimsuit that can keep up with your summer plans.

If you haven’t donated or thrown out the faded board shorts you’ve been wearing since high school, it’s time. We’re here to help you upgrade to swim gear that’s elevated and functional without breaking the bank. Express your “hot-guy-summer” with swim trunks you can look and feel good in.

Quality shorts should have maximum coverage (hello, shrinkage), moisture-wicking fabrics, and performance functionality for water sports. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best styles of both board shorts and swim trunks for summer with price point, fit, and — of course — style in mind. But first, a couple of rules …

How to Buy Swimsuits for Men

Check the Length

The first thing people notice about a swimsuit is the length, which is indeed the most important factor — and not just for your tan lines. The golden rule is to find a swimsuit that hits two inches above the knee so it’s long enough to cover the goods, but short enough to elongate the legs, no matter how tall you are. Feel free to go even shorter if you dare to show off extra skin, but anything longer than the knee we can’t get behind.

Wear Prints with Caution

Swim trunks are a place to have a little more fun with your wardrobe in terms of bright colors and fun prints. We’re all for sartorial expression here, but it’s easy to go overboard with prints that could look childish or fratty. When seeking the right print, opt for more artsy patterns and colors and stay away from anything with the emoji appeal. Vintage-inspired patterns work really well here. It’s also important to think about your closet. Does the swimsuit seamlessly blend in with your wardrobe? This can be a statement piece, but it should be versatile and work with what you consistently wear.

The Best Swimsuits for Men

Body Glove 17″ Galapagos Swim Short

Body Glove 17″ Galapagos Swim Short

Body Glove is an iconic California surf brand that remains a family-oriented operation, even after 67 years. The band was a pioneer in marrying functional gear for water sports with style. Today, the company is continuing to do just that. This vintage-inspired print features an elastic waistband with a tie-front that’s flattering for guys of all shapes and sizes.

Patagonia 16″ Stretch Wavefarer Volley Shorts

Men's Stretch Wavefarer® Volley Shorts - 16

These shorts have a cult following for a reason … okay many reasons. Patagonia continues to tirelessly fight for the environment against climate change (so you’re putting your money toward a good cause), while also creating practical gear for the outdoor adventurer. These roomy swim trunks are perfect for any activity-filled beach day. Watch out, because they are also trend-proof. The fashion crowd is after this Dad-ish summer uniform.

Outerknown 19″ Apex Trunks

Outerknown 19" Apex Trunks

This swimsuit was developed and tested by surf champ Kelly Slater. Available in 20 prints and colors, some say it is the most high-performance swimsuit to ever exist. A few product highlights include stitch-free seams that eliminate chafe, laser cut details for weightless drainage and ventilation, and a back pocket that compresses the suit to save space on packing.  Did we mention they are made from 4-way-stretch recycled polyester?

Desigual Fish Swimsuit

Desigual Fish Swimsuit

Desigual is a contemporary clothing line out of Barcelona that stands for love, positivity, and authenticity. These fishy swim shorts evoke just that. The unique print will help you stand out in the crowd, and is perfect for the bold, vibrant guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously. Slip on a plain white tee with huaraches and a fedora and you’ll have what we like to call in the fashion industry, a “lewk.”

Onia Charles 7″ Swim Trunks

Onia Charles 7″ Swim Trunks

Luxury resort brand Onia makes the most versatile swim trunks on this list. You can wear them as passing shorts, making them perfect for all your beach-to-the-bar days. They are everything you’ll need this summer, especially if you seek quality craftsmanship in a technical quick-drying fabric that is extremely sleek in style. If you’re looking to impress, we recommend these.

Sol Angeles 5.5″ Blue Botanics Swim Short

Sol Angeles 5.5″ Blue Botanics Swim Short

As you can probably infer from the name, Sol Angeles is a Los Angeles-born-and-bred clothing brand that creates arguably the most comfortable California style weekend wear. These botanical swim shorts are no different. It’s a vacation-ready fit to brighten your day, complete with three pockets and a drawstring.

Le Club Bel Air Shorts

Le Club Bel Air Shorts

Miami-born swimwear brand, Le Club, creates quirky printed trunks we can stand behind. Many styles even come in kids sizing so you can match the little one in your life. The best thing about Le Club is its accessible price point. Right now, the brand is having a sale with many styles under $40. We recommended jumping on this 80s-inspired double-striped vacation swimsuit.

Saturdays NYC Kei Boardshort

Kei Boardshort Black

If you’re going for plain black swim trunks (we see you New Yorkers), the fit must be near perfect. Otherwise they’ll look like you’re wearing basketball shorts to the pool party. Enter these versatile board shorts by Saturdays NYC makes that you’ll want to live in as temps near triple digits. Extremely lightweight in single-layered nylon, these trunks are not recommended for rigorous activity, but perfect for casual swims and poolside lounging.

Faherty Beacon Trunk

Beacon Trunk

Faherty is another family-run business that was born in the water from East Coast surf culture. The brand merges active beach style with durable sustainable materials. Made from recycled fabrics, these board shorts are designed to stay put, even in gnarly waters. They have just enough stretch for mobility but not enough to flash the beach.

Mack Weldon Swim Trunk

Mack Weldon Swim Trunk

Mack Weldon is a great go-to resource for smart, stylish, and efficient shopping. These swim trunks are a perfect example of a sophisticated print you can count on having in your closet for seasons ahead. The back-zip pocket adds a modern element while the printed drawstring is practical and nostalgic.

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