Menswear | July 2, 2021 7:40 am

Take It From a Woman: Your Swim Shorts Need to Be Shorter

Show those upper thighs the respect they deserve

Anything longer than six inches? They've gotta go.
Anything longer than six inches? They've gotta go.
Courtesy of brands

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The male upper thigh is criminally underrated.

When the late ’90s and early 2000s ushered in baggy, knee-length basketball shorts and swim trunks, the absolute horrid style regrettably became the norm for almost the next two decades — leaving so many of us starved for those beautifully roasted, meaty upper thighs.

Fortunately, short swim trunks have recently made their way back into our pools and beaches, which can only be attributed to the increasing popularity of the UK’s Love Island. However, since the government has not yet picked a day where everyone is legally required to go out and burn their knee-length shorts, there are some men who are still wearing them, and it is making me very sad.

If you are one of these men, it’s up to you to purge your swim trunk drawer and invest in a few new shorter options. But how short is short, you ask? Here’s something you probably haven’t heard before: Anything longer than six inches? They’ve gotta go.

But I’m not just going to leave you alone with a tape measure. Below are a few swim short styles that look good, feel good and are the correct, and only socially acceptable, length.


New Look Swim Shorts in Lilac

Want to know what the absolute hottest pair of swim trunks are? A lilac pair. I know this because I am a woman, but also because nearly every pair of short lilac board shorts is currently sold out on the internet. But you can still snag this pair from British brand New Look on ASOS, featuring a lightweight fabric with mesh lining, a drawstring waistband and tons of pockets.


Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks

You can never go wrong with a classic navy trunk. This drawstring pair from Bonobos is made with 85% recycled polyester and features an elastic waistband for the perfect, comfortable fit.


Patagonia Baggies Shorts – 5″

If you’re looking for an all-around short you can wear in the water and out, Patagonia’s Baggies Shorts were designed to be worn pretty much anywhere. These lightweight, durable board shorts feature a water-resistant, quick-drying nylon fabric and an adjustable drawstring for a snug fit.


Rhone 6″ Fletcher Trunk

This quick-drying 6″ trunk from Rhone is made from four-way stretch fabric and is available in a multitude of colors, though we fancy this eye-catching Beat Green neon.


J.Crew 6″ Stretch Swim Trunk in Stripe

Crafted from water-repellent, environmentally stretch fabric, these uniquely patterned J.Crew swim trunks are made to look good in and out of the water, and they’ll even protect you from 98% of the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays, thanks to the fabric’s UPF 50 protection.


Channel Cross Swim Short 5″

These Channel Cross swim shorts from Lululemon come in four distinct patterns and colors and are made with high-performance fabric, including a breathable, four-way stretch mesh liner that’s chlorine-resistant — perfect for the pool, lake, ocean and hot tub.


Onia Nylon Crinkle Hybrid Short – 5″

This 5-inch short from vacation-ready brand Onia is made from a performance Nylon fabric that’s water-repellent and super quick-drying. You’ll also find a stretchy waistband for maximum comfort, plus an interior mesh lining and convenient hand pockets at the sides. And it’s primed for travel: packable, lightweight and even includes a matching stuff sack made from the same Nylon material.


OAS Marshmallow Swim Shorts

OAS offers a slew of fun, uniquely designed swim shorts at the perfect length, including these swirly marshmallow ones you can’t take your eyes off.


Solid & Striped The Classic

Solid & Striped’s signature suit, aptly named The Classic, is certainly a timeless style swim trunk. Available in eight solid, flattering colors, this sexy 4″ inch seam short includes an adjustable drawstring waistband, mesh lining and tons of handy pockets (including a hidden snap closure pocket at the back). It’s an iconic suit you’ll wear for summers to come.