31 Swim Trunks That Look Great Inside, Outside, and Poolside

Look, we get it: The best men’s swim trunks might not be exactly top of mind at the moment. Temperatures are just barely on the upswing, you’re positively bursting with excitement to bust out that new spring jacket, and the harrowing chill of winter is an all-too-recent memory. But even if you’re not doing all that much swimming right now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself to a new swimsuit, necessarily. Fact is, these days, the very best men’s swim trunks are designed to double as the very best shorts, period. (And make no mistake about it, shorts weather is imminent.) 

From the fit to the fabric to the details, the right pair of swim trunks should pair seamlessly with the rest of your wardrobe, and won’t look a hair out of place whether you’re hanging out at home, heading out for a jog, or hitting the bodega down the street. And if the opportunity comes to take a dip in your buddy’s sun-drenched pool, or spend the weekend at a beach house in the not-so-distant future? You’ll already be perfectly dressed and ready to go. So with all that in mind, here are 31 of the absolute finest multi-purpose, next-generation, and yes, all-around best men’s swim trunks to buy right now.

The Best Swim Trunks, Period

Bather indigo “Ne-Maki” shibori swim trunks

Here’s everything we want from our trunks in 2022: a comfortable, above-the-knee fit that shows off just the right amount of thigh; plenty of pockets, because duh; and a sturdy fabric that performs well in the water, dries quickly out of it, and won’t raise any eyebrows if you’re wearing it more than a few miles from the beach. (A silky-soft mesh lining doesn’t hurt, either.) The signature model from Bather, a tiny independent label out of Toronto, hits all of those marks and then some. They’re the ideal inseam and silhouette for just about every body type, and will hold up like a champ through beach days, workouts, weekend hangs, and heavy wash cycles. Oh, yeah, and they also come in dozens of solid colors and wild patterns—from plain-jane navy and white to trippy florals—so it’s damn near impossible not to find one that works for you. In our humble opinion, the best of the bunch is this abstract tie-dye number, which will take your warm weather fits from good to Damn, this guy knows what he’s doing.

The Best Elevated Swim Trunks

Orlebar Brown “Bulldog” mid-length jacquard swim shorts

It’s tough to establish a new gold standard in menswear, to rejig something familiar so perfectly it becomes the baseline by which all future versions are judged. A.P.C. did it with their aptly-named New Standard jeans, bringing stiff selvedge denim to a whole new generation. Common Projects managed it, too, with the Achilles Low—their luxed-up, Italian-made take on a classic white tennis shoe. And just over a decade ago, Orlebar Brown pulled that same trick off for swimwear with the Bulldog. They’re as precisely tailored as suit trousers—with fetching buckled side tabs to keep ‘em extra snug in the waves—with the same convenient pockets and zip fly as any regular bottoms, all cut from lightweight, quick-dry nylon that won’t fade dramatically over time. Add that up, and you get a pair of trunks so definitive and intuitive it’s hard to believe no one had ever thought to make them that way prior.

The Best Affordable Swim Trunks

Patagonia Baggies 5″ shorts

If any one pair was responsible for launching the swimwear-as-shorts movement, it’d be Patagonia Baggies. For close to 40 years now, they’ve been the signature warm weather bottoms of hardcore mountaineers, deep sea fishers, camper van lifers, dedicated Deadheads, and backyard-grilling dads the world over. More recently—as the fashion world has gravitated toward practical, outdoorsy gear—they’ve also been adopted as the summer uniform for a certain strain of stylish young fella. It’s easy to see the appeal across all those demographics: they’re tough but lightweight, laidback but presentable, affordable as hell, trend-proof in fit and form and function. And, because they’re made by Patagonia, you can rest assured knowing you’re supporting a company that’s almost always on the right side of history.

The Best Yacht-Lolling Swim Trunks

Frescobol Carioca “Copacabana” atlantico-print swim shorts

Brazil’s Frescobol Carioca specializes in a sub-genre we like to call “extremely-rich-guy resortwear.” There’s just something about their signature prints that feels tailor-made for a flawlessly overtanned Most Interesting Man-type stepping off a private chopper onto the helipad of his 200-foot megayacht in St. Tropez. You’ll probably never have that guy’s lifestyle, but you can at least have his bathing suit. These ones, in particular, will look as killer by the pool with a polo as they will dressed up for dinner with a sport coat and loafers.

The Best Painterly Swim Trunks

Marané “Cintas” brushstroke-print shell swim shorts

Ever sipped an ice cold negroni on the tranquil shores of Lake Como? Us neither. But just looking at these lush, watercolor, Call Me By Your Name-length trunks from Marané make us feel like we have. If your idea of a perfect vacation hews closer to “reading on a dock in a linen shirt” than “performing aerial jumps on water-skis,” these might be the trunks for you.

The Best Old School Swim Trunks

Birdwell Beach Britches nylon board shorts

Way back in 1961, Carrie Birdwell Mann started sewing heavyweight nylon shorts for surfing—”beach britches,” as she called them, the very first of their kind—from her living room in Southern California. Six decades later, her original two-ply, triple-stitched design is still as handsome, practical, and impossible to wear out as ever. If you’re after some serious throwback, hang-ten, shaka-hand energy, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair of drawstring waist boardies than these.

25 More Trunks We Love

Speedo “Redondo” printed swim trunk

A tad more coverage than your average Speedo.

Bonobos throwback swim trunks

Add a little retro swagger to your summer reportoire.

Vilebrequin micro macro “Rondes Tortues” trunks

When your trunks match the drapes—as in the literal drapes hanging in your grandma’s living room.

Adidas classic 3-stripes swim shorts

Team Three Stripes, stand up…and then hold the position, so we can admire the way these nostalgia-drenched shorts flatter your thighs.

Stone Island econyl nylon swim trunks

Thanks to a subtle iridescent finish, Stone Island’s swimwear will help you retain that telltale summer glow all season long.

Atalaye “Baleak” mid-length printed recycled swim shorts

It’s like your philosophy professor always said: some things are best considered in the abstract.

Onia “Charles” swim shorts

Florals so vivid you can practically smell ’em.

Solid & Striped classic printed swim shorts

Solid & Striped’s trippy trunks are, funnily enough, neither solid nor striped—and all the more deserving of a spot in your shorts drawer because of it.

Saturdays NYC “Timothy” floral print swim shorts

A little bit pop art, a little bit vaporwave, a whole lotta cool.

Everlane renew swim shorts

Sleek, streamlined, and easily paired with everything else in your warm-weather rotation.

Polo Ralph Lauren traveler classic swim trunks

The reigning king of unabashedly sunny Americana at his summery best.

True Tribe “Neat Steve” Iridescent leopard-jacquard econyl swim shorts

True Tribe’s silky swim shorts took home top honors in this year’s Fitness Awards. Turns out, they look even better with a hint of leopard print.

Commas classic swim shorts

No matter where you are, nothing screams “lounging poolside with a frozen cocktail the size of a small sandcastle” like bold coral stripes.

Lululemon pool shorts

Your favorite workout shorts, now in swim trunk form.

Double Rainbouu flame night swim shorts

Bro, are your thighs insured? Because they’re on fire.

Mami Wata “Tofu” swim shorts

Mami Wata’s patterned swimsuits takes their design cues from African surf culture, with the Made in Africa tag to prove it.

Nautica classic logo tri-block series swim trunks

‘Merica, baby.

Nike volley short swim trunk

Solid Nike shorts: never not a great look.

Outerknown “Apex” trunks by Kelly Slater

If you’re a serious surfer, Kelly Slater’s signature trunks are like the Air Jordans of performance board shorts.

Lacoste colorblock taffeta board short

Sunny, preppy, throwback goodness.

Vuori “Banks” 5″ shorts

Quick-drying, recycled polyester shorts in the perfect 5-inch inseam.

Fourlaps “Bolt” 7″ shorts

Good for running errands, running in and out of the pool, and running, period.

Columbia PFG backcast III water short

Multipurpose shorts made for all kinds of warm weather activities.

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