11 Swim Shorts to Wear as Regular, Everyday Shorts

Swim trunks — not just for swimming!

Swim shorts from Nike, Urban Outfitters and Saturdays NYC
It's time you require more of your swim shorts.
Nike, Urban Outfitters, Saturdays

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.

The swim trunk has come a long way. Near-extinct are the long, knee-length (or worse, below the knee) board shorts of yesteryear, the ones that told everyone who saw you that you were definitely en route to the pool or beach, always managing to look a few sizes too big and as though they would threaten to slip right off when wet.

Now, in accordance with the recent short shorts movement, the swim trunks of today typically rest somewhere along the mid to upper thigh region and are much more refined and tailored in terms of silhouette. In fact they’re so good that to relegate them to the beach or poolside alone would be a disservice, which is exactly why we’re petitioning you to start wearing them as regular, everyday shorts, regardless of whether your plans entail taking a dip or not.

The testament of a truly great swim trunk lies in its ability to transcend the confines of its clothing category and seamlessly blend in with other parts of your wardrobe, as ready to be paired with a tee and sneakers for a stroll around town as they are with a pair of sunglasses and no shirt at the beach.

So for the remainder of summer, we implore you to seek more from your swim shorts than what’s typically expected of them. If you need help with where to begin, below we’ve found 11 pairs of “swim trunks” that also double as highly wearable everyday shorts. The ability to cannonball into a body of a water at a moment’s notice is just an added bonus.

Noah Core Swim Trunks in Navy

Noah Core Swim Trunk

For their Core Swim Trunk, Noah designed the shorts not only with water-based activities in mind but land performance too, the ultralight, quick-drying nylon just as suited to running, hiking and climbing as it is surfing and swimming. Available in classic shades of black and navy, we recommend snagging a pair of each for constant rotation in your wardrobe the rest of summer.

Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Shorts in Vintage Rose
Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown Setter Shorter-Length Swim Shorts

Maybe it’s the ‘Vintage Rose’ color or maybe it’s the retro-inspired details like the adjustable side fasteners and pattern based on that of a traditional trouser silhouette, but we can’t help but imagine these swim shorts from Orlebar Brown on some Bond-esque figure in the South of France, paired with a terry cloth polo, naturally.


J.Crew 6″ Swim Trunk

J.Crew’s updated the classic swim trunk with a slimmer fit, so there’s no worry of you looking like you’re drowning in an excess of fabric, offering the new and improved trunks in a bold summer plaid inspired by vintage madras cloth, meaning you’ll be sure to make a splash both in and out of the water.

Mr Porter

Adidas Logo-Print Recycled Shell Swim Shorts

Sometimes you just want a basic pair of do-anything and wear-anywhere black shorts, so you’ll want to have these Adidas shorts in your arsenal. Plus, at only $35, you really can’t beat ’em.

Saturdays NYC

Saturdays Talley Swim Short

Cut from a highly durable but stretchy nylon and featuring a relaxed fit, there’s a reason the Talley is Saturdays’ new core swim short. Relatively simple at first glance, details like faux fly, flat-felled clean-finished seams and embroidered logo help to set the shorts apart from the rest in your closet, they’re simple and casual, yes, but certainly not basic. Besides, who wouldn’t want a pair of shorts in this reddish brown ‘Cappuccino’ color?

Urban Outfitters

UO Yellow Swim Short

The description of these swim shorts from Urban Outfitters pretty much sums it up: “Staple swim shorts with a plain design.” While “plain” has come to be a viewed as a bad word of sorts in regards to clothing, don’t let the descriptor dissuade you from these shorts. Simple is sometimes better.


Onia Nylon Crinkle Hybrid Short – 5″

If you’re in the market for a pair of shorts you can keep tucked away in your gym or travel bag, look no further than Onia’s Nylon Crinkle Hybrd Short. Cut from a performance nylon fabric that lends the shorts a unique, crinkle texture in addition to being water-repellant, the shorts come with a stuff sack made from the same nylon material, perfect for stowing away in your weekender and grabbing at a moment’s notice.

End Clothing

Nike Swim Essential 5″ Volley Short

Made of a quick-drying, mesh-lined fabric, Nike’s Volley Shorts are primed for a range of outdoor activities, from hiking to kayaking, although they would certainly look just as nice lounging on the couch, too.

Solid & Striped

Solid & Striped The Kennedy

For those who can’t get past the casual look and feel of trunks and shorts with a drawstring or elasticized waist, these shorts from Solid & Striped feature a hidden drawstring, still allowing for comfort while offering a slightly more elevated look in the form of the “button” closure.


Bonobos Throwback Swim Trunks

Throw it back to the ’70s and ’80s with these highly retro and aptly named swim trunks from Bonobos, available in a bold and bright tomato red with white trim for a look that screams 1970s track star. Bonus points if you pair them a tight, white cropped tee or tank.


Bather Beige Hula Girl Swim Trunk

While these swim trunks from Bather are certainly a statement on their own, make even more of an impression by springing for the matching Camp Shirt and wearing them as a set, perfect for transitioning from the poolside to a night out.

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