For a long time swimming shorts were a pre-holiday afterthought. A rush purchase at the airport or on the high street the day before a week of sun, sea and seafood buffets. Now, though, the swimming short has been elevated to a considered and essential item, with designers creating tailored and technical versions of men’s swimwear that work just as well at the beach club as they do wallowing in the hotel pool. Bright and luxurious Resortwear by the likes of Orlebar Brown, Vilebrequin and Frescobol Carioca is, much like the perfect pair of summer shoes and of sunglasses, key to a holiday wardrobe.
So whether you’re front and centre at Soho House Mykonos or dusting off the paddling pool, these are the best pairs of swim shorts for every summer eventuality.
Vilebrequin x Massimo Vitali
Part of a collaboration with famed Italian photographer Massimo Vitali, these mid-length shorts come with an elastic waist and an all-over print of a happy summer’s afternoon taken from the rooftop of le villa Noailles, one of the Riviera’s most iconic vantage points.
Print Swim Shorts, £230, vilebrequin.com
Cut from a comfortable and lightweight nylon yarn in a fun shade of turquoise, these shorts by Arket are smart, functional and affordable.
Turquoise Swim Shorts, £35, arket.com
CDLP x Cuixmala
A partnership with Mexican eco resort Cuixmala, the orange and hot pink two-tone shade of these short nylon shorts is inspired by the colours found at the hotel. Buy them and feel like Señor Pina Colada.
Two-Tone Short-Length Econyl Swim Shorts, £135, mrporter.com
Cut to show off a bit of thigh, OG’s Roman shorts are designed for a structured, tailored fit, meaning you’ll still look smart as you emerge from the deep end.
Roman Short-Length Swim Shorts, £135, mrporter.com
OB’s most noted style, the Bulldog, gets decked out in a decadent vintage floral print for this summer holiday season.
Bright Gold Eden Print Mid-Length Swim Shorts, £225, orlebarbrown.com
Founded in Biarritz, a sun, sea and surf haven, Atalaye makes shorts for the beach and a faire une promenade afterwards Maybe a spot of a lunch, a digestif and back to the pool?
Fregate Short-Length Swim Shorts, £80, mrporter.com
Smart and a bit… sexy? These shorts by Tom Ford will make you the talk of the Chateau Marmont pool. You do have a membership, don’t you?
Slim-Fit Short-Length Leopard-Print Swim Shorts, £350, mrporter.com
The stripe seen across the globe, Sir Paul’s aesthetic calling card works particularly well on a nice, classic pair of summer swim shorts.
Multi Stripe Classic Swim Short, £99, endclothing.com
Made from recycled nylon (conscious) and with a short-ish length, AMI keeps things clean and simple with their heart logo swim shorts.
Recycled-Nylon Swim Shorts, £135, matchesfashion.com
Polo Ralph Lauren
The Polo bear takes a trip to the island with Ralph’s swimwear take on a Hawaiian paradise print.
Traveller Swim Short, £89, endclothing.com
Born on the beaches of Rio, Frescobol Carioca knows a thing or two about making swimming shorts that are smart, stylish and vibrant. This year the collection is inspired by the mosaics on the walkway bordering Brazil’s Ipanema beach.
Tile-Print Tailored Swim Shorts, £160, matchesfashion.com
Made from a quick-drying and super comfortable seersucker, Saturdays NYC’s shorts will work just as well for a hot weekend away from a body of water as they will at the beach.
Striped Seersucker Swim Shorts, £110, mrporter.com
Gucci isn’t all baroque maximalism, these simple-but-boujee navy shorts with subtle logo demonstrating the house’s range. There’s a green and red accent, just so you know who you’re dealing with of course.
Striped-Trim Relaxed-Fit Swim Shorts £480, selfridges.com
Made from a sturdy and comfortable shell, Mr P.s range of swim shorts come in all sorts of colours and have a versatile fit. Just don’t get sunburnt in them.
Mid-Length Swim Shorts, £65, mrporter.com
With a relaxed fit and a naive floral print, The Kooples swim shorts are just the right amount of laidback summer and Paris cool.
Floral-Print Relaxed-Fit Swim Shorts £135, selfridges.com
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