15 Best Short Swim Trunks for 2023 – Insider

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In the last few years, the trend among the best swim trunks has leaned towards shorter inseams that provide a bit more coverage than swim briefs. For this guide on the best men’s short swim trunks, we’ve made a 5-inch inseam the cut-off point, but we’ve included a few that are shorter for those who don’t mind showing even more legs. Winter is a great time to shop swimwear while many brands are clearing out their summer inventory, so pulling the trigger ahead of time will help you save on a pair to wear for next season or any upcoming vacations.
There are some great reasons to embrace the short swim trunks trend other than to be in style. A shorter inseam gives the illusion of added height. You can also show off your hard work in the gym (if you haven’t been skipping leg day), and they give you greater mobility in the water. Shorter swim trunks won’t weigh you down when wet, and will sag less than longer trunks or board shorts when you get out of the water. 
The British brand Reiss combines great craftsmanship with an uncluttered aesthetic. The Beach Swim Trunks’ simple design harkens back to the brand’s beginnings in the early 1970s, with their short inseam that’s similar to old-school running shorts. The length allows for more flexibility so you can easily do laps and still look like a million bucks poolside. 
Reiss makes these swim trunks primarily from nylon, which is less stretchy than some of the other suits in this guide, but still provides ease of movement in and out of the water. The fabric is soft, abrasion resistant, offers good UV protection, and is long-wearing.
Chubbies was one of the first brands to embrace shorter inseams more than a decade ago in direct response to the longer, baggier shorts and swim trunks than in fashion. The brand offers swim trunks in both 4-inch and 5.5-inch inseams (and does a 7-inch as well).
Chubbies makes its Classic Swim Trunks from a polyester-spandex fabric that dries quickly, has a lot of stretch, and a soft hand feel. Inside, there’s a mesh basket liner. The version in a 4-inch inseam hits about mid-thigh and gives you a lot of freedom to move when you’re splashing around in the water or relaxing après swim. 
While you probably associate Lululemon with top-notch workout gear, the brand also makes superb swimming trunks that come in a 5-inch inseam. The brand designed the Pool Short for swimming rather than just for aesthetics. They have wide leg openings, features that help drain off water, and even an extra-grippy drawstring. Lululemon crafts these trunks from recycled polyester and Elastane fabric that is soft, stretchy, but still tough, and is more environmentally friendly than other options. The Pool Shorts have a built-in breathable mesh fabric liner and an elastic waistband for all-day comfort. 
While they built the Pool Short for swimming, the brand hasn’t forgotten that you still want to look good when you come out of the water. These swim trunks come in various colorways, from off white to Molten Flash, a painterly purple and black.
OAS is a Swedish resort wear brand with designs inspired by Barcelonian summers. They offer everything you’d need to put together a vacation-ready outfit, with terry cloth robes, sunhats, breezy button downs, and espadrilles. Their short swim trunks come in festive colors and prints that have a fun European flair.  
This lightweight mesh-lined pair falls above the knee and is made with a quick drying, matte finished material. You can keep your belongings in any of its four pockets, though the hidden interior zippered pocket is best for safekeeping valuables.
Todd Snyder is one of our favorite brands for its unsurpassed unpretentious elegance, from the fine fabrics straight to the finished product. The brand calls its take on the classic pull-on board short the Montauk and offers a version with a 5-inch inseam. It’s a relaxed but still refined cut that looks as good on land as it does at sea. 
But if you do take a dip, the Montauk has you covered with a recycled nylon and spandex shell that dries quickly and a self-draining back pocket. The trunks come in 10 colorways, with the eye-catching Maze Print being a standout. 
For more than a decade, Faherty, a New York brand with a West Coast vibe, has been making the kind of clothes you want to live in. They look as good as they feel and are built to last. The brand designs its hybrid shorts, AKA the All Day Shorts version 2.0, to go anywhere and do anything, from swimming to a casual evening out. The recycled poly-cotton, eco-friendly fabric dries quickly for the beach or pool. The relaxed but tailored, chino-like style is perfect for the rest of your day. They have a 5-inch inseam, are unlined, and come in five solid colors. 
Birdwell Beach Britches is a storied American surf brand that makes its swim trunks at the company’s factory in Santa Ana, California. Their swim trunks are crafted with Hoffman California Fabrics, owned by Walter Hoffman, a surfing and fabric pioneer who’s been in the business for over 70 years.
You can’t get any more classic than its 310 Boardshorts. They’re closest in design to the brand’s original pair first sewn by the brand’s matriarch. Made with the signature SurfNyl material with a durability that rivals boat sails, these are built to keep up with a surfer’s lifestyle. The traditional board short gets a modern update in Birdies’ 310s shorter length, complete with reinforced triple stitched seams and a triple lace closure for extra security.
The French luxury swimwear brand Vilebrequin began life more than 50 years ago in St.Tropez, and continues to produce some of the best men’s swim trunks around. The company’s Short and Fitted Swim Trunks are sleek and sexy, but are built to give you total freedom of movement in the water, from the stretchy 100% recycled polyester fabric to the lack of any pockets. Yes, unlike many other selections in this guide, these are more streamlined and don’t feature any side or back pockets. The material is light and dries quickly, has a soft, seamless mesh liner, and comes in 14 vibrant solid colors. You can even personalize your trunks for an additional fee.
Hollister sells good quality clothes at a reasonable price point, and their Seersucker Guard Swim Trunks are no exception. They feature a 5-inch inseam hitting about mid-thigh in a polyester-Elastane fabric that dries fast and lets you move freely. The Seersucker Guard Swim Trunks have a classic retro feel that’s relaxed without being baggy. The trunks come with a soft mesh liner to keep you comfortable in and out of the water and two side pockets. Hollister offers these trunks in a wide range of colors and at a price that may mean getting more than just one.
Dandy Del Mar first came on our radar when the brand was featured on the hit Max show “The White Lotus.” The brand’s vintage-inspired color palette is reminiscent of California in the ’70s. 
Despite the leisurely look about them, the Stirata shorts are designed for performance. The four-way stretch material wicks moisture and is constructed in an athletic fit. Down to the details, Dandy Del Mar inputs its distinct retro style with antique brass eyelets and striped side seams.
Onia is a New York-based luxury swimwear label that combines a clean aesthetic, impeccable craftsmanship, and an easy wearing feel. The Charles Swim Trunks are sophisticated without being fussy. And while they have a minimalist silhouette, Onia offers you a vast range of colorways that include some wilder prints that are perfect for summer-time fun. A favorite is the Garden Green, an elevated take on a traditional Hawaiian floral design.
Onia crafts the Charles Swim Trunks from a flexible nylon spandex that dries quickly. Inside, there’s a soft mesh lining. While these swim trunks look handsome, they’re also rugged with reinforced side pockets and a fabric that’s super durable.
The Milan-based swimwear brand Ripa Ripa is what happens when you mix laid-back ’60s Italian style, old-world tailoring, and a modern design sensibility. The Classic Swim Shorts have clean lines, rugged good looks, and a cool retro feel, from the colorways to the unbleached cotton drawstring. Ripa Ripa makes the trunks from a brushed nylon that looks and feels like cotton but dries much faster and is longer wearing. The interior has a fine mesh lining to keep you comfortable both in and out of the water. The suit comes in a straight fit, so the company suggests sizing up. Ripa Ripa even gives you a linen bag to store the suit. Even better, they make these swim trunks in Italy. Bravissimo!
If you’re looking for a good pair of short swim trunks but don’t want to plunk down a ton of cash, Brisira offers a version with a 5-inch inseam that has a lot of the same features as more expensive brands and comes in at under $35. These swim shorts have a soft boxer-brief-style liner, a large interior pocket and zippered side pockets. The suit comes in extended sizing and a wide range of colorways. The company makes its swim shorts from a flexible polyester spandex fabric that’s lightweight, fast drying, and durable. It may not have the longevity of more expensive brands, but it’s a great suit for what you get for the price.
Orlebar Brown, the British luxury swimwear brand, may have perfected men’s swim trunks with the Riviera Setter shorts. They describe them as “a short you can swim in” that’s patterned after traditional tailored pants. And like a good pair of pants, these swim shorts are designed to fit your body to a T. They have rear darts — small folds in the material that help give the shorts their shape — and adjustable metal side fasteners for the perfect fit. The swim trunks have a net lining to keep everything in place and are made in Europe from a quick-drying nylon. These swim trunks had a star turn in 2012 when Daniel Craig, as James Bond, wore them poolside in “Skyfall.” We can’t guarantee you’ll look like Bond in these, but they are super stylish and will definitely get you compliments.
While Nike is obviously best known for its footwear, the company also makes exceptional swimwear, among other products. The Swim Volley Short is thoughtfully designed and performance driven as you’d expect from the brand, but that doesn’t mean they forgot the fun. These 5-inch inseam swim trunks come in three bright, tie dye-style designs with names like Action Grape and Blue Lightning. 
The specs include a flexible built-in boxer brief type liner and stretch waistband for all-day comfort; mesh pockets that quickly drain away water; and a fast-drying poly-spandex fabric outer. There’s also a zippered back pocket and welt side pockets (meaning they have an extra piece of material sewn on that frame the pocket opening) that give these shorts a more finished, refined look. You’ll look good and feel good whether you’re poolside, ocean side, or at a dockside eatery (paired with a polo and slides).
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