Summer 2017 is in full swing, and if you haven’t taken your summer vacation yet then you’re sure to be thinking about that holiday essential that every stylish man needs to pack into his suitcase: the perfect pair of swim shorts.

The right swim shorts will be well fitting, flatter your body shape, and include just enough interesting details to attract attention for all the right reasons. No pressure, but choosing the right swim shorts is likely to be the most important decision you make all summer!

Here are some of the best swim short rules to follow for 2017 that will guarantee you’re the most stylish man on the beach, at the pool, or anywhere else you choose to wear your swim shorts this summer:

Who Likes Short Shorts?

Knee skimming board shorts are out, and have been replaced by much skimpier swimwear this season. Leave your baggy shorts at home and instead invest in a thigh baring pair with a much slimmer, more tailored fit.

How tight you go depends on your own confidence, but the tight vintage-style shorts that were very much out of vogue just a couple of years ago are now one of the most popular styles on the beach! Think Daniel Craig as James Bond emerging from the water, and you’d be on the right track.

If you choose a tight pair then look for a high stretch material with an elastic waistband, to ensure that your shorts stay in place all day. If you prefer a slightly looser style then look for shorts with a subtle internally adjustable waist band: this will maintain a smooth, clean line whilst still enabling you to ensure you have a snug fit.

For true retro styling, you could also look for styles with button fastenings, either to the hips or to the front of the waistband. It is important to note though that retro styles such as these are not well suited to guys that regularly avoid the gym! This is a swim short that takes real commitment to pull off with style.

Don’t Be Afraid of Colour and Pattern 

If you’ve been skipping work outs then its true that black or navy blue swim shorts are the most body-flattering colours available. However, if you’ve been hitting the gym and want to show off the fruits of your labor whilst also demonstrating your fashion credentials then coloured or subtly patterned swim shorts are a great choice.

Subtle patterns are more fashion-forward than their bold brash cousins: look for faded paisley rather than a vibrant floral print, and thin broken stripes rather than thick solid ones.

Here are some of our favorite subtly patterned shorts for this summer, from 2017’s hottest brands:


If pattern turns you off then block colour can look just as cool: sky blue (like this pair worn by David Gandy) is perfect for the beach, whilst other on trend block colours include sage green, lavender, and vibrant retro-inspired shades of mustard yellow. Avoid wearing red shorts unless you have a strong desire to look like an extra from Baywatch!

Pick a Transition Piece

It’s essential that your swim shorts flatter your physique and look great when you’re wearing them in the water. However it’s also important to ensure that your shorts look good when they’re worn with a T shirt, so that you can easily transition them from beach to beach side bar without loosing your style credentials.

Trunks that look good with a T shirt are slightly longer line, with a longer inseam to lengthen your look, although they should still fall to the mid thigh. The key here is to achieve a balance between the shape of your tee and your shorts: if you prefer a looser short, for example pick a tighter tee. Note that Mark Wahlberg has chosen to coordinate his shorts with his tee, giving a sense of fashion-forward style to an otherwise non-descript outfit.

When picking a transition piece that will work for every vacation occasion, you should also consider what you will be wearing on your feet! Sliders have a sporty aesthetic that looks great with drawstring shorts whilst thong sandals are more classic, and would pair well with your retro-inspired shorter varieties.

Think Practically

Although they are, obviously, an important piece of fashion-kit for any summer vacation, in reality swim shorts are also a practical piece of clothing with an important role to fullfill. When choosing swim shorts, therefore, it’s important to think about what you will be doing in them.

Are you looking for shorts you can wade into the sea in, and have a splash about the pool once in a while? You can choose from almost any fashion short on the market. If you’re looking for a short you can actually swim in though you will want something tighter, and made from a more specialist performance fabric.

No one knows the importance of choosing the right swimming trunks more than Olympic diving champion Tom Daley, so it is interesting to note that even on the beach he chooses to opt for trunks that are close fitting and short, giving him better ergonomics as he glides through the water.

Consider Your Body Coverage

Another important but practical tip is to think about how much of your body you will need to cover; this will depend on what you’re doing and how long you will be out in the sun.

If you’re enjoying a day of water sports or surfing then you may well be wiser to choose the superior UV protection offered by a full body wet suit. You can also buy wet suit style tops to pair with your favorite swim shorts for something a little less sporty whilst still keeping you out of the sun.

Noone knows this better than water sports enthusiast Justin Bieber, who regularly chooses to wear long and fully protective swimwear when on the beach. Although these styles don’t flash as much flesh, they still enable you to show off your toned physique and, most importantly, dramatically minimize your skin cancer risk: one of the coolest things anyone can do on the beach!

Don’t Overlook the Classics

Finally, if you’re looking for a swim short that you can buy now and wear for season after season then there’s nothing wrong with investing in the classics. The classic swim short has a relaxed fit (without being baggy) and sits at the mid thigh. A draw string waist is a great way to ensure a good fit, and lends the short a sporty aesthetic.

Black and navy blue remain the most popular colour choices for a classic swim short. But when looking for classic colours, we love a more vibrant blue short. These perfectly straddle the gap between looking timeless and injecting some interest and style into your look.

You can still wear them season after season, but they’re much more likely to turn heads. Here are some of our favorite blue shorts you can invest in today and wear for year after year:

Conclusion

It would be impossible to fully enjoy a summer vacation without packing a pair of swim trunks, so this is one piece of essential kit it’s important to choose wisely. Whether you’re looking for practical shorts you can swim in, or stylish shorts you can pose in whilst sunbathing on the sand, the modern rules for male swimwear are clear.

There is a swim short designed for every man, and the right short to suit your body type and activity level is out there: all you have to do is look! Pick your swim shorts wisely, and you’ll be turning heads all summer long.


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