After making it through COVID winter, there are few things we collectively deserve more than a nice dip in some cool water. Trips to pools and the beach should be a crucial component of what looks to be a more normal summer, and dipping your head underwater is a great place to scream and let out the frustration from a year cooped up.
So what are you going to wear for the cathartic swims of the months ahead of us? Buying new swim trunks is something of a yearly ritual, and although it’s not entirely necessary, why not treat yourself to something new to wear this summer?
Whether you’re looking for something muted or a tasteful print, emphasis on tasteful, we’ve put together eight options you’ll be proud to show off in. The only direction we’re going to push you in is toward a shorter inseam — absolutely no board shorts here.
Acne Studios Desert Swim Shorts ($210)
The 2000s were plagued by the most obnoxious prints on trunks that extended below the knees, but this is not that. Acne’s all-over desert print is pared down by muted colors, and although the shorts are on the longer side they still stop before the knee. The price tag may not be the most approachable, but stylistically they’re less of a leap than exposing full thigh.
Noah Core Swim Trunk ($148)
When we talk about the perfect length for shorts, this is it. Noah is making a bigger commitment to swim and surf attire this year, but we’re still going with the brand’s core swim trunk. Solid colors with a small logo patch at the opening, yes please.
Peninsula Swimwear Il Toro M3 ($137)
I won’t pretend to have heard of Peninsula Swimwear before, but this suit stuck out amongst a lot of the more gaudy options from design brands on Farfetch. The mosaic print is just bright enough, and the whole thing is made from 100-percent recycled polyester.
Polo Ralph Lauren Traveler Swim Trunk ($70)
Not much needs to be said here. It’s Ralph, it’s under $100, and there are enough color options to satisfy anyone.
Stüssy Soul Water Short ($70)
Stüssy is essentially the streetwear equivalent of Ralph Lauren, meaning you could do no wrong by shopping exclusively with this one brand. We’ve been in peak tie-dye for more than a year now, and these colorful trunks are a slight but solid alternative to the now-ubiquitous pattern.
Dries Van Noten x Len Lye Swim Shorts ($315)
Two years ago it was Verner Panton, and now it’s the estate of the artist Len Lye that’s contributed gorgeous prints to Dries Van Noten. Abstract swim trunk isn’t a phrase we ever expected, but we love it now that it’s applicable.
Bather Nylon Swim Shorts ($90)
Can’t choose one shade of blue? You don’t have to, with two perfectly faded hues split right down the middle.
Paul Smith Artist Stripe Swim Shorts ($150)
Paul Smith’s go-to striping may look better on these trunks than anything else its made. These scream designer shorts without quite reaching the designer hit to your pocket.