As we get into the hotter months, it’s abundantly clear: the summer is coming, whether we’re ready or not. And if you’re not ready, maybe it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear when it’s warm enough to go for a swim. We’re talking about board shorts.
A good pair of board shorts can be one of those essential articles of clothing that fulfills multiple purposes. While initially made to go swimming or surfing (hence the name), the best board shorts are designed to double as the best shorts. You shouldn’t feel constrained to only wear them at the beach or the pool—if you find the right pair of board shorts, you can wear them around the house, when going for a jog, or running out to accomplish some errands.
With that in mind, we put together this guide to talk you through some of the top trends for men’s board shorts.
In the old days, men’s bathing suits were all fairly similar in style and materials. These days, however, there are many different looks—and just as many individual preferences when it comes to how a man’s swim trunks should look.
The cut of swim trunks is maybe the most disagreed-upon subjects when it comes to men’s swimwear. Some prefer their shorts to be just that—short—while others like a longer, less revealing cut. While there’s no right answer, you should have an idea for yourself what you prefer before deciding on a pair of shorts.
Not everybody likes to show off their quads and hamstrings, but for the guys who do, there are plenty of short shorts out there that can accomplish that goal. Ranging from the brief-style super-snug suits to mid-thigh trunks, shorter suits have the benefit of revealing those lower body muscles you’ve been working on. Plus, less fabric naturally means more attention from the sun—just make sure to protect yourself from those UV rays with a good sunscreen.
For guys who prefer a longer style of swim shorts, there are plenty of options available. Longer shorts are obviously less revealing than their shorter counterparts, but there are some other benefits that might make guys opt for shorts with a little more length.
For starters, the more material that’s covering your body, the more protected you are from the sun—especially if the material that your shorts are made from is engineered to protect against UV rays.
Additionally, if you’re hoping to take your swim shorts for a walk along the boardwalk or through town to run errands, you might get some dirty looks if your swimsuit is short enough to look like briefs—so longer shorts will have more versatility when it comes to the world outside of the beach.
These days, you can find men’s swimsuits in many different colors and patterns. Each and every guy has his own preference when it comes to color, and you shouldn’t feel boring for liking a classic black or blue pair of shorts over a flashier fluorescent pink or complex pattern. And if you like the brighter colors and glitzier patterns, you’re not alone—plenty of guys like eye-catching swimsuits (bright colors have a way of attracting the attention of others, in both the animal kingdom and the human world).
The material from which a pair of board shorts is made can make all the difference in their utility and versatility. If you’ve ever sat around uncomfortably in a wet bathing suit, you know the pain of having a suit made from the wrong material. The best swimwear is made from performance materials that are capable of accomplishing a lot more than just making you look good—here are a few factors to keep in mind.
It might seem counterintuitive that a good pair of board shorts would be able to get rid of water quickly (considering they’re meant to spend a lot of time in the water), but it’s true. Moisture-wicking materials are made to rapidly pull moisture away from your body—whether that moisture is sweat or seawater—and allow it to dry quickly on the surface of the fabric.
This is an especially necessary feature when it comes to swimwear because, while a given fabric’s moisture-wicking capabilities won’t work underwater, they’ll come in very handy as soon as you get back on dry land. And if you plan to wear your board shorts to the gym, you’ll want moisture-wicking fabric that can draw sweat away from your body and keep you comfortable for longer—so that you can keep performing at your best.
Some of the best board shorts are also made to be anti-microbial. Our bodies are covered with tiny living things called microorganisms, and most of the time, they’re completely unnoticeable and helpful … but when some microorganisms mix with human sweat, the result is the ever-dreaded body odor.
That’s why anti-microbial materials are preferable for any clothing that you may sweat in—these anti-microbial fabrics work by killing or slowing the spread of microorganisms, keeping you smelling fresher for longer. If you’re wearing your board shorts to the gym, you’ll want to find a pair that can fight odor before it starts.
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when buying swimwear is its ability to protect you from the sun. While a suntan can be attractive, the sun can do more harm than good if left to its own devices. The risks of skin cancer are too great to spend a day at the beach without protection, and while many people swear by their favorite brand of sunscreen, sunscreen, and other protective lotions will eventually wash off in the water. That’s where UV-protective clothing comes in.
UPF stands for “ultraviolet protection factor,” and it refers to the ability of a given fabric to block out UV radiation from the sun’s rays. For example, a fabric with a UPF of 50 blocks 98 percent of the sun’s rays and allows 2 percent (1/50th) to penetrate—thus greatly reducing your risk of exposure.
If you’re going to spend a day basking in the sun, it’s a good idea to protect yourself from the radiation that comes along with it. For that, trust UV-protective clothing to help.
Board shorts have a tendency to be pretty simple, but there are still some features to consider when looking into buying a new pair.
If you’ve ever jumped into the deep end of a pool with your phone in your pocket, you may hesitate to trust yourself with a pair of board shorts that have pockets—luckily, there are plenty of options that don’t even offer a single pocket (so you can save your phone from yourself). However, for those who like to walk on the wild side, pockets can be very helpful.
You never know when you’ll want to run to a shop along the boardwalk to grab a pair of sunglasses (don’t worry, you’re not the only one who occasionally forgets to bring a pair) or when you’ll want to rush toward an ice cream truck—or cocktail truck—filled with adrenaline and nostalgia. When that happens, it’s nice to have a pocket with a couple of cards (or soggy dollar bills).
At Willy California, we offer a couple of fantastic options for men’s board shorts. Check out our collection and see what’s right for you—we’re sure that you’ll find something that you love.
We designed our Board Shorts to be functional, fashionable, and versatile. They repel water, dry quickly, and offer top-notch UV protection. They’re also anti-microbial, so if you take them for a run along the beach, you don’t have to worry about unpleasant odors.
Perhaps most importantly, our Board Shorts look just as good on dry land as they do in the water. Take them for a walk through a charming beach town, wear them around the house on a lazy day off, or use them for running errands. No matter what, you won’t look out of place—these Board Shorts were made to wear everywhere.
Our classic Board Shorts with a little more flair, The California Board Shorts feature the image of California’s iconic palm trees. If you love our Board Shorts but prefer a bit of added visual interest over a solid color, these are the perfect shorts for you.
Ultimately, the best pair of swimming trunks is the pair that makes you look and feel your best—and with a good pair of board shorts, you can look and feel your best anywhere.