Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Swimsuits to Buy Now

Editor’s note: For even more seasonal online shopping picks, head this way.

Here to help you pick out your ideal pair of summer swimwear. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Here to help you pick out your ideal pair of summer swimwear. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

From time to time, nailing the right seasonal style can feel a bit overwhelming. After all, searching for and building off style upgrades isn’t easy. That extends to the little details (as your humble writer so often mentions), and that includes even times when you might feel a bit off-duty. In the case of hot summer weather, that means your swimsuit. Like a slim T-shirt or a nice pair of shorts, it’s a place that you shouldn’t slack off. Luckily, swimwear has come under the spotlight a lot in recent years, thanks to stylish guys like James Bond himself rocking designer swim trunks (007 body not included). However, my fellow #menswear fan, you don’t have to go that fancy — or that expensive — to get yourself set with essential beach gear. There are swim trunks that strike the right vibe between casual and classy, and a lot of them look more like tailored shorts than in years past. For days when you might hop on a boat and then hop off for a round (or two, or three) at the dockside bar, that’s critical. Pick up a top men’s swimsuit below, and chime in over at The Style Guide’s Facebook page if you’ve got other picks I missed. Surf’s up!

#1. JackThreads The Swim Trunk — $39

A solid offering from a consistently great brand, at a great price.

A solid offering from a consistently great brand, at a great price.

If quality, affordability and style are what you seek, JackThreads has you covered. From its innovative new TryOuts program to the fact that it stocks a plethora of style essentials — from a spring field coat to the stylish swim trunks seen here, they consistently get a lot of things right. These are cut slimmer than normal and should hit about mid-thigh for most of us fellas, which provides a nice, tailored look. The Dress Blues color is versatile enough that these look more like shorts than anything else — see the intro paragraph for how versatile that makes ’em.

#2. Bonobos Surfside Board Short in Blue Chambray — $88

A longer inseam for us taller guys, plus a sharp blue chambray color.

A longer inseam for us taller guys, plus a sharp blue chambray color.

Our second pick here is quite the bump up in price, but definitely worth the investment. In fact, investing in a pair of swim trunks cut in a tailored fit is about the best thing you can do if you want to push yourself to upgrade the rest of your outfit. That is to say, good-bye ratty tank top, hello crisp white polo (as seen in this style suggestion). The nice thing about these trunks is that they’re cut with a 9-inch inseam; while that might be too long for some of us, that’ll hit the spot for others. Bonobos also stocks a wide range of other swimwear options, from board shorts to trunks in a range of lengths, so there’s something for everyone.

#3. Sunspel Swim Short in Navy — $210

Recreated based off the swim shorts worn by Sean Connery as James Bond, and as sharp as you would expect.

Recreated based off the swim shorts worn by Sean Connery as James Bond, and as sharp as you would expect.

Ahh, yes. Here we are — a premium swim short that gives you a crisp, tailored look, yet doesn’t break the bank (compared to the Orlebar Brown trunks sported by Daniel Craig’s Bond). It’s fitting, then, that Sunspel was commissioned in 2011 to do up their own recreation of Sean Connery’s swim trunks as James Bond. The result is a sharp, lean and tailored pair of swim shorts with a nifty front button pocket and a super-clean waist (not a drawstring in sight — not that drawstrings are bad). The cost of these Sunspel Swim Shorts will set you back as much as the Bonobos pair above, so why not dive in?

#4. Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk — $88

Vintage print inspiration makes these fun and functional.

Vintage print inspiration makes these fun and functional.

Man, $88 sure is a popular price when it comes to swim trunks, right? For those of us who prefer a little more color and pattern in our trunks (yet won’t compromise on fit), here comes the Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk, playing off a cool, vintage-inspired print that wouldn’t look out of place alongside a vintage ballcap. The 7-inch inseam is a solid length that again lends them a tailored look. Everything from a slim navy polo to a short-sleeve Oxford is going to look just right when matched with these swim trunks — nautical gear should be a bit fun, after all. Just don’t forget stylish sunglasses to top it all off.

#5. Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk — $138 

Designer style meets swimwear with these Zachary Prell swim trunks.

Designer style meets swimwear with these Zachary Prell swim trunks.

If you prefer a more premium, minimal take on swimwear, the Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk is the pair for you. Italian fabric means these trunks cost more, but look all the better for it. They’ll again hit above the knee, giving you a bit more coverage if you’re taller. The teal blue color is totally spring and summer-appropriate, and makes them a bit more eye-catching and continental than other swim trunks out there. With a just-right length and versatile color (rock ’em with a white polo to start), they’ll be a reliable workhorse for plenty of trips to the beach.

While it can seem daunting at first to carry over great style principles from on land to in the water, it can definitely be done if you know where to start and you know what you’re looking for. Keep in mind classic, reliable brands like J. Crew for solid swimwear, and make sure you know your fit; not too long, not too short (ideally). If you follow the adage that great style is an investment, take your time picking out the right pair, and then wear them again and again with versatile style staples. Let me know what you pick out over on Twitter or catch my summer beach game over on Instagram.

Thanks for reading, and stay stylish!

-Beau

 

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Style Guide Spring Break: A weekend in Florida

Editor’s note: For more tips on what to pack for warm weather, head here.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend -- exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend — exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Any time I get the chance to step away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, I’ll gladly take it — even if only for a few days. Being able to go somewhere sunny and warm to visit my family, like Florida, makes traveling that much better. It’s certainly a welcome adjustment from having to bundle up for both NYC winters and trips back to Michigan, both of which I’ve grown accustomed to over the years — this is a change of pace that I’ll gladly take! This past weekend was a special one, as I headed back down to Fort Myers for my dad’s birthday. It’s a tradition that’s worked out the past few years, as it seems a lot goes on at once — we get the chance to root on our alma mater, Michigan State, in the Big Ten Tournament, we get the chance to celebrate my dad’s birthday and most importantly, we get the chance to catch up and relax in the lovely weather. It’s a win-win-win (in the words of Michael Scott!).

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

Prepping for the trip was luckily pretty straightforward — even compared to my last visit to Florida at Christmas, the weather had already jumped into the 80s as I hopped on a quick  flight from NYC to Fort Myers last Thursday. With some time in my fairly casual office beforehand, I knew I’d need to be ready to both hop on the plane and then step into some nice, sunny weather. So transitional style was key, and lightweight staples like my Richer Poorer pocket tee , slim tan Banana Republic chinos and my new Dr. Martens Baynes Chukka Sneakers did the trick. The sneakers in particular have the style of a high-top, the surprisingly lightweight construction of a low-cut sneaker, and the ability to be slipped on and off at the airport with ease — I’d definitely look for a pair like that for your next trip. My United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle worked perfectly to carry the rest of my gear, which included easygoing style staples like a Grayers slub polo and a well-fitting, comfortable Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey,  ideal for relaxing by the pool.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Of course, as with any trip involving sand and sun, I was happy I packed some trusty everyday carry gear — including my reliable, stylish (and yes, pricey) Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses — thanks again, Santa! As the weather warms up and you look to hit the road, know that plenty of easy-to-shop brands — particularly the folks at Warby Parker — are crafting wearable, stylish sunglasses for far less (good news, for sure). I brought along my trusty MVMT Watches silver-and-brown leather watch, a sturdy Invicta stainless steel dive watch and a more casual Stuhrling Original rubber-strap watch to round out my watch game. An Owen & Fred brass money clip and Issara leather card case helped me keep my essentials in check. If you want to travel lighter, know that a trusty stainless steel dive watch can certainly suffice for everything from rugged wear on the beach to dressier dinners — but if you’re a fan of watches like me, it might be handy to bring along a few choices.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island -- the delicious Bennett's Fresh Roast! Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island — the delicious Maple Bacon Donut from Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

So I had plenty of stylish gear for our activities, including a nice birthday celebration for my dad on Thursday night at Trader’s, home of some excellent seafood — I’d recommend it, and it was nice to break out some khaki shorts again for the evening, finally! As I arrived just in time for happy hour, that was a welcome change of pace from NYC, too. My dad and I were also able to celebrate his actual birthday on Friday with a few stops at some of our favorite spots on nearby Sanibel Island, including the legendary Bennett’s Fresh Roast — the Maple Bacon Donut is a must-have, and it was a nice snack on the beach. We were able to hop just down the road to nearby Captiva for a delicious lunch at The Green Flash; don’t skip the chance to try the Barbeque Bacon Shrimp — it’s truly the best of both worlds!

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

We were able to spend the rest of the day exploring some of Sanibel’s lovely beaches — for getting to and from the donut shop, lunch and the beach, I picked out a versatile short-sleeve JACHS NY chambray shirt, my ever-reliable Pistol Lake sweatshorts and some brand-new, comfortable sneakers from the surf experts at Reef. Later in the afternoon and in an awesome, truly chance meeting, we bumped into my former State News colleague and fellow MSU alum Sam Radecki and her family on Blind Pass Beach as we sipped some afternoon beverages (read: Heineken). The world’s a small place, huh? (Oh, and Go Green!). It was great to catch up, and it was also exciting to be able to kick off a weekend of great basketball among our fellow fans at Timber’s  on Friday night — it’s the place to go for sports and seafood on Sanibel.

Saturday gave my dad and  a respite from the sun (style tip: sunscreen helps), and explore more of historic downtown Fort Myers. Between antique shops, craft brewpubs and a lovely waterfront area, there’s a little something for everyone. It was particularly neat to check out the old, Fort Myers Civic Center — it seems like a prime spot waiting to be developed into a great location. And if you’re a fan of craft beer (like yours truly), The Lodge is a definite top spot to visit — from the pour-your-own beer taps to the excellent barbeque, it’s tons of fun. Picking out gear to wear for the day was a cinch thanks to the excellent weather — always nice! I threw on a slim short-sleeve Banana Republic gingham shirt (similar option here) and khaki shorts, two nice offerings from a brand that always does casual basics well. Staying out of the sun was made even easier with my favorite hat, a vintage-inspired Goorin Brothers ballcap. If you’re looking to upgrade your hat rotation, reaching for a throwback style is always a nice bet.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Saturday night gave me the opportunity to catch another great MSU win with my family at Point Ybel Brewing Company, and  I also had the chance to catch with my grandparents (who just moved down the street from my parents’ house, as it were).  And Sunday proved the perfect day to cap off the trip — after relaxing by the pool with some of the casual gear you see above, my dad and I swung by Bennett’s Fresh Roast again (it’s a must-visit!). In the spirit of moving quickly, we also made some time to stop by the World of Beer and meet another college pal (hey there, Matt Sheehan) to catch the start of the Big Ten Championship Game for our MSU Spartans. If ever you find yourself near a World of Beer location, stop in — the beer selection is extensive and the food was perfect for the occasion. Again, Go Green!

No matter how brief trips to this area of Florida can be, they always seem to get better — it’s relaxing, the weather is absurdly beautiful and it seems like there are more and more great friends and great times to be found everywhere. With so many Spartans around and with some new favorite spots in our rotation to visit, I’m definitely looking forward to coming back. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop me a line on Twitter! For now, it’s back to work in NYC. Look for more great content on The Style Guide later this week — we’ve got your St. Patrick’s Day style suggestion covered, along with stylish gear to wear for the NCAA Tournament. It’ll be fun!

Until tomorrow — stay stylish,

-Beau

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Sand & sun, Part 2: Celebrating Christmas in Florida

Editor’s note: Click this link for more posts on how to travel in style.

Exploring J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge near my parents' home in Fort Myers, Fla.

Exploring the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge near my parents’ home in Fort Myers, Fla.

In the midst of planning ahead for 2016 on both the work and blogging fronts, I was really grateful and glad to be able to get to Florida for a bright and sunny Christmas. It was a rather hectic travel day on Wednesday between wrapping up some work for my day job representing Timberland, and travel delays out of New York City didn’t help the situation  — the chaos at the airport was pretty unimaginable! But that gave way to warm evenings and long, sunny  (but all-too-brief!) days in Fort Myers with great family and friends — for that, I’m definitely thankful. And making the style transition from the in-between weather in NYC to the record-high temperatures in Florida proved more than doable with the gear I brought along for the trip.

Sturdy waxed canvas made this bag a great travel companion. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred

Sturdy waxed canvas made this bag a great travel companion. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred

To get from Point A to Point B, I brought along my trusty Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag and my new but still-reliable United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle — I would definitely recommend picking up a trusty weekender bag crafted from a durable waxed canvas, particularly if you only find yourself on the road for a weekend or a few days at a time. It proved more than accommodating for the gear I brought with me, and the extra gifts I brought back! And it’s a good thing I packed relatively light, as temperatures throughout the Fort Myers area were in the 80s throughout the duration of the trip! That made it extra-refreshing to check out a sure-to-be-favorite spot — the nearby Point Ybel Brewing, a relatively recent addition to the burgeoning craft beer scene in southwest Florida. Myself and my family sampled some great brews, including the delicious Captiva Cream Ale seen below — if you can get your hands on it, I’d recommend you bring home some fresh-canned beer from the brewery itself. For that excursion and much of the rest of the trip, I found a comfortable tee (in this case, a rugged-yet-stylish Pistol Lake short-sleeve henley) and some tailored shorts worked just fine.

Sipping on a great brew at the nice Point Ybel Brewing Company in Fort Myers. Olive short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Sipping on a great brew at Point Ybel Brewing Company in Fort Myers. Olive short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Glasses by Warby Parker.

The laidback outfit also worked well to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens — and MAN, what a movie. We capped off Christmas Eve with some more family traditions, including watching “Love Actually“, playing a few games and enjoying a delicious meal before awaiting Santa… And my sister and I were certainly very lucky and blessed this year — Santa definitely fulfilled some of my #menswear wish list! I’m extremely excited and grateful for the incredible gifts I received, including the stellar Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt from Todd Snyder and an amazing pair of Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses (as worn by James Bond — WOW.). Those will definitely be accompanying me on future trips!

A look at some of the gifts Santa left for me. Brooklyn Field Guide by Wildsam. Beard Balm by Brooklyn Grooming. Beard & Face Brick by Clifford Originals. Notebook by Public Supply. Beer tasting book by 33 Books Co. Chocolate by (who else?) Toblerone.

A look at some of the gifts Santa left for me. Brooklyn Field Guide by Wildsam. Beard Balm by Brooklyn Grooming. Beard & Face Brick by Cliff Original. Notebook by Public Supply. Beer tasting book by 33 Books Co. Chocolate by (who else?) Toblerone.

It was an amazing Christmas Day, and I’ll now have even more new style gear to add to my wardrobe, including an eco-friendly watch from Sprout and a pair of lovely Americano Dress Cords from Bonobos. But perhaps the best part of the day was relaxing with my family and enjoying a traditional turkey dinner – it’s a good thing I went with casual style, as I was plenty stuffed with Christmas cookies. There’s perhaps no better way in my mind to cap off a great holiday than by spending it with the ones you love, so that made things even better.

Dressed casually for a hot Florida day. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Olive sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Dressed casually for a hot Florida day. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Olive sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Glasses by Warby Parker.

But there was no time to rest with a shortened visit – and we had to work off all that food! We made the most of the day after Christmas by heading to the famous J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge for a bit of exploring – – I tackled that part of the trip with a pair of comfortable (but not sloppy) Pistol Lake sweatshorts and my reliable GREATS Brand Rosen Runners. Both picks proved more than adequate for lots of walking – as you may know, I’m a huge fan of GREATS, so I’d recommend you toss a pair in your bag on your next excursion.

Exploring the beaches near Fort Myers. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford (thanks Santa!).

Exploring the beaches near Fort Myers. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford (thanks Santa!).

As to the refuge itself — it’s an incredibly tranquil setting that’s really second-to-none in terms of natural beauty in southwest Florida – if you’re a fan of bird-viewing or fishing, definitely consider exploring the refuge. We also stopped by a local beach for a bit of exploration, which I was more than able to tackle in my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks and an organic cotton United By Blue pocket tee (similar style here), plus the aforementioned Tom Ford sunglasses. When you hit the road yourself, consider picking up a pair of sunglasses that’ll look sharp with outfits both dressy and casual – some slim Randolph Engineering aviators would be a great start.

Before enjoying some brews at The Lodge, we saw some of the sights around Fort Myers. Vintage 'drinks' shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Before enjoying some brews at The Lodge, we saw some of the sights around Fort Myers. Vintage ‘drinks’ shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

We finished up our day in Fort Myers by heading to The Lodge, a cavernous downtown bar replete with rustic wood furnishing, delicious barbeque and (my personal favorite), the ability to pour your own beers from their long list of taps (the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter from Fort Myers Brewing is worth a few sips!). We were joined by some old family friends in town for a visit (Hi, O’Brien family!)  — it was a wonderful evening filled with lots of laughter and reminiscing, plus new memories made.

Catching the last of the Florida rays. Ringer Pocket Tee by Tommy John. Khaki shorts by Banana Republic. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. White Wilson sneakers by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Catching the last of the Florida rays. Ringer Pocket Tee by Tommy John. Khaki shorts by Banana Republic. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. White Wilson sneakers by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

But as with all great trips, the journey home has to start sometime. We had the chance to pick up some locally-famous donuts from Bennett’s Fresh Roast on Sunday morning– once again, this place is a must-visit if ever you find yourself in the Fort Myers area. We finished off that leg of the trip by taking in the last of the nearby ocean views. With walking in the itinerary, I grabbed a comfortable Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey, which fits slim and is crafted from remarkably soft fabric. I topped off the look with a vintage ballcap from Goorin Brothers – although the option you see here is sold-out, a stylish, minimal cap never goes wrong when traveling, nor do versatile captoe sneakers.

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With all that activity (and new #menswear gear) in the bag, it was time to hit the road – for travel, I threw on my trusty Mott & Bow denim and some sturdy Thursday Boots suede chukkas. I’d certainly recommend you reach for comfortable, stylish pieces the next time you hop on a flight. Aside from some travel delays on the way down, the trip was about as amazing of a holiday as I could have hoped for, and I can’t wait to visit southwest Florida again. The natural beauty is second-to-none, the local attractions are unique, and the sunshine isn’t a bad way to spend Christmas – or any other time of year! I’ll be looking forward to my next trip, and I hope you’re able to travel & see loved ones as we head into 2016. For now, look for a New Year’s Eve Style Suggestion hitting right here tomorrow.

Until then – stay stylish!

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Swimsuits for Summer

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007. Nice swim trunks, right?

007. Nice swim trunks, right?

First of all: We should all aspire (I think) to get to a  007-level type of fitness — and of course, to own clothing options like the Orlebar Brown swim trunks pictured above (but more on those later). Even if you don’t have the bank account of everyone’s favorite secret agent (or the physique), upping your swimwear game should be top of mind for the warmer months. Baggy boardshorts are the norm a lot of places where the water hits the sand (or even the sides of your local pool), but streamlining your swim trunks is a nice style move that’s an extension of dressing better everyday. And if you’ve already got that down and are just looking for a new pair of trunks, look no further than the picks assembled by your humble #menswear writer below.

#1. J. Crew Factory 7″ Tab Swim Short in Anchor — $39.50

The styling touches of shorts combined with the functionality of swim trunks.

The styling touches of shorts combined with the functionality of swim trunks.

The first noticeable thing about this pair of swim shorts is that they … don’t really look like typical swim trunks in terms of styling. The lack of a drawstring waistband and the more tailored appearance are both definitely good things, though. The slant pockets and tab front are also touches you would find on a pair of shorts, and doing away with the stylistic trappings of a baggy pair of swim trunks is certainly a great upgrade. The print is fun and nautical, too — the company’s seersucker version is slightly toned down but still warm-weather friendly, on the other hand. Best of all? That price, which helps you keep more cash on-hand for that beer you need to bring to the beach.

#2. H&M Striped Swimshort — $17.50

A low, low price point that's hopefully not indicative of overall quality.

A low, low price point that’s hopefully not indicative of overall quality.

For those looking for something slightly more basic than the above pair (yet still want some color and pattern), H&M has you covered with these swimshorts. The price is typical of H&M, but hopefully this isn’t the type of swimsuit that’ll go to pieces as soon as you wear it. The touches here are more traditional — the drawstring waistband is back, as is a Velcro back pocket. However, even this pair is better than a baggier set of trunks that hang below your knees. And you could even pick up a back-up set in one of nearly a dozen colors or patterns.

#3. J. Crew 7″ Boardshort with Contrast Pocket — $75

A classic offering from a classic brand.

A classic offering from a classic brand.

The more traditional counterpart to the JCF trunks listed above (yet still a style upgrade). J. Crew’s swimwear options, like the rest of its apparel offerings, hit things straight down the middle of the fairway as far as style goes — the 7″ length of these J. Crew swim shorts should work with those at a range of different heights, as they eliminate the fabric of the typical baggy boardshort and keeps things slimmer overall. The light blue color and contrasting white waistband and back pocket are old-school, athletic-inspired touches. While not fully the type of swim trunk you could wear straight out to a casual dockside dinner afterward, the styling is ideal and the price is pretty agreeable.

#4. Bonobos Amalfi Boardshort — $150

A vibrant print and tailored touches make this pair stand out nicely.

A vibrant print and tailored touches make this pair stand out nicely.

Option number four on this list comes to us courtesy of Bonobos — the brand is also taking a more tailored approach to its swimwear, much like several of its menswear counterparts. These Amalfi Boardshorts also offer the crisp, classic design touches of the J. Crew Factory boardshorts seen above, but at a much higher price point; the Italian-sourced fabric and Italian-designed prints definitely see to that.  They feature the brand’s famous curved waistband, which should offer comfort not normally found in swim trunks. While the print is louder, this is one pair that gives off a very continental vibe.

#5. Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks in Sky — $230

 

As luxe a swimsuit as it gets right now.

As luxe a swimsuit as it gets right now.

Gulp. That price tag. But still — worthy of an inclusion as the official swim trunk of James Bond himself. These are perhaps the most luxe pair of swim trunks on the market right now; they do feature a substantially shorter inseam than other pairs on this list (roughly 4.3″) but they still wear like a pair of (very) tailored shorts thanks to the side tabs and front metal slide (or “popper”) closure. They’re available in a range of colors, but the Sky version seen here is the one 007 wore to get in his laps in Skyfall. If you’re particularly ambitious and like hunting and waiting for a good sale, a fairly wide selection of Orlebar Brown swim trunks are actually available through Nordstrom. Let me know how the search goes and good luck on your latest mission, 007.

Of course, any online roundup that narrows things down to five picks is bound to slot some pieces into the ‘Honorable Mention’ spot — if you fancy a larger selection of trunks, STAG Provisions offers up an array of potential picks from both classic retailers like Birdwell and more fashion-forward brands like Saturdays Surf NYC.  Of course, price, fit and versatility are key to keep in mind when picking up a pair of trunks — hopefully, each of these five will carry you far (or at least to the water) this summer.

What’s your favorite of these selections? Which pair are you planning on picking up — or have you already done so? Shoot me a note or leave it all in the comments!

Ernest Alexander

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