Summer’s just around the corner, and for most that’s an exciting prospect. But for others, it may be more of a gulp moment, especially if you don’t have a pair of flattering men’s swim trunks. You know the drill: warm weather means barbecues, day drinking, beaches, and pools. You don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines in a pair of baggy cargo shorts for that, do you?
Let’s face it, many guys are not emerging from spring into the warm summer sun with a killer gym bod. If you’re a little hesitant about taking a shirt off, you’re not alone. Still, just because you might have a little spare tire it doesn’t mean you need to skip out on the fun. The right pair of men’s swim trunks can help your body put its best foot forward.
Here, we lay out what to look for with each kind of body type—and a few options that could work for you.
Big and Tall
If you’re a big dude, the biggest consideration when shopping for a swimsuit is the length. While shorter swimming trunks are the trend the last few seasons, anything too short won’t look right on a bigger frame. Look for shorts with a 6 to 8-inch long inseam. With colors, bigger guys should avoid anything too flashy—it’ll draw eyeballs to your midsection. Darker shades of blue, green, or red work best. You can have some ironic fun with patterns, but keep the background color on the darker side.
The 8-inch inseam on these trunks is on the longer side—they’re extra tall—and the solid color options keep the look clean and simple. On the outside, the polyester shell dries quickly and resists chlorine so it won’t fade after a few pool parties, while the interior is lined with a three-piece mesh for comfort.
Shop for these shorts using your waist size, up to 42—like a normal pair of pants. With a 7.5-inch inseam, the light blue-gray color has striping running down the sides to add sporty style. Mostly polyester, which dries fast, there’s enough cotton in the mix to give it a soft feel against the skin. Wrinkle-resistant, and with stretch fabric, it’s easy to go from beach to beach bar.
The contrasting stitching and drawstring on these trunks add just enough detail to the otherwise solid color scheme. With tall sizes, expect a lengthy 8.5-inch inseam. A rear pocket holds keys in place with a hook and loop closure and drain hole.
Short and Stocky
Guys on the shorter side should opt for less length—4 to 6-inch inseams. You’ll also want to go for slimmer leg openings that hug your thighs for a more tapered look, but not be skin-tight. Lastly, you’ll want to keep the waistband reasonably tight so it all comes together seamlessly.
These trunks come in 19 colors and patterns with three different lengths, from 5 to 9 inches, so you’re guaranteed to find one that fits your style. It has all the usual bells and whistles—drawstring on the waistband, mesh lining—but also has a key catch and pockets. Some of those exterior details are finished in a contrasting hue, for a subtle pop of color.
Sure, the name is synonymous with skimpy swimwear, but Speedo offers more than banana hammocks. With a cropped 4-inch inseam these fall about mid-thigh, but still leaves room for pockets. Sprayed with a water-repellent coating, these shed water and dry quickly and the stretchy polyester helps for beach games like volleyball
Subtle patterns certainly are not off the table. This budget-friendly pair has an elastic waistband, sure, but it won’t squeeze your belly. And the jersey-lined front is made in part from recycled polyester. They also happen to be the perfect length if you’re on the stockier side.
Lean and Mean
Being trim is great, but it does come with a few headaches of its own—namely, getting a good-fitting pair of swim trunks. So if you’re on the leaner side, look for trunks that have an inseam around 6-inches. This helps make everything look kept together. Also like your stockier brethren, trunks cut slimmer with narrower leg openings, are a better option. The good news? You can get creative with patterns to add the illusion that you’re actually bulkier than you are.
This polyester pair has three pockets to hold stuff when you go from the pool to the picnic. With a 6-inch inseam, slimmer profile, and an interesting—but not obnoxious—striped pattern, it’s a good fit for bonier frames.
For the more discrete beachgoers, this polyester pair has a tasteful, subtle pattern that doesn’t draw too much attention. The 6-inch inseam and slim legs come with a comfy waistband and back pocket.
These trunks basically scream “weekend.” With 20 festive, beach-ready patterns, the perfect length (a 5.5-inch inseam), and a slim cut these trunks are flattering skinnier guys. The four-way stretch fabric won’t hold you back from those jackknife pool dives.
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