How to choose swim shorts

Published 15 May, 2017

At Tom & Teddy HQ, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in swim shorts. We’re delighted that the men’s swimwear market seems to be growing year by year – perhaps the average guy just isn’t happy to throw on an average pair of swimmers any more? So if you’re ready to refresh your beachwear wardrobe, here are our guidelines on how to choose a pair of trunks that will look smart and flattering, but will also feel great as you swim some laps in the pool, duck dive the waves or take a run along the sand.

Flattering colour

You might love a zesty yellow pair of swim shorts but will they love you back? Make sure you start your swim short selection process by assessing your skin tone and choosing shorts in shades that will complement your skin tone, not wash it out. As a general rule, very bright colours look best on darker complexions and classic shades are flattering on fair skins. If you’re not sporting a light tan, we recommend that you veer more towards the blues and greens spectrum.

Best fit

Remember that the size of your tailored trousers or favourite weekend shorts might not necessarily be the size you need in swimwear. If in doubt, choose a size bigger to avoid the “trussed-up” look. We find that a well-constructed elasticated waist with drawstrings is the most versatile style to go for because it can be pulled in or let out as required. Essentially, if swim shorts are too tight or too loose, they’re not going to look great.

Right length

Voluminous swim shorts that flap around the knees are not flattering – on anyone! A mid-thigh or above-the-knee short is easy and comfortable with just the right amount of coverage for beach, pool or bar. Combining this length with a fairly slim cut will give you a smart, put-together look, rather than a beach-bum vibe.

Versatile choice

Great swim shorts can be worn at the beach or pool and then straight to lunch afterwards. With that in mind, choose a pair that can pass as non-swim shorts and that have quick-dry properties. Obviously, it helps if they are super comfortable too so that you feel happy to wear them all day, with or without a t-shirt.

Don’t play it safe

Swim short prints, colours and patterns are bolder and brighter than ever before. Why? Because in sunny climates and holiday locations, strong colours and fun designs look fantastic. If you’re usually quite a conservative dresser, take the opportunity to try new hues or a lively print with swimwear. It’s tempting to revert to your usual plain blue or nautical stripes but, we promise, something a little more unusual looks a lot more stylish and appropriate at the beach.