It’s that time of year again, boys. Whether you love the beach and all of its sandy trappings, or you get dragged there by a family member, friend, or significant other, you need to stock up on some solid beach gear, and you need to invest in a good pair of swim trunks.
“Swim trunks” may sound a little infantile, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. A quick search informed us that the term has been around for a looong time, and it refers to the good ol’ days when grown men wore underwear that went up and around their torsos, or “trunks.” Which, nice. We should bring those back. (You first, though.)
Unfortunately, full-body underwear went out of style many moons ago, so now we’re stuck with shorts that don’t even rein in the navel. Alas, we’ve gotta work with what we got, which is why we strung together a few of our favorite swimsuits that are sure to stay in style until early-1900s body trunks start lining the shelves of L-Train Vintage. [Shudders.]
Until then, enjoy the ride.
You were a high school goth
… And now you’re a RVCA stan. We see you—but for the record, there’s nothing wrong with going for that toned-down goth look. (Bangs, MCR T-shirt, and disaffected look not included.)
Hop to it
These lightweight, quick-drying shorts are “vibrant enough to make waves when they hit the water.” Did one of us write that? We hope not.
Trunks, Swim Trunks.
Diamonds might be forever, but these 007 swim shorts are for NOW. Live out your British secret agent fantasies as you splash around in some sleek skinnies.
Your dad was wearing these when you were conceived
Can’t you picture a hairy-chested dude diving off a cliff off the coast of France in these bad boys? We can.
Until you pass out near the pool. These trunks are super soft, quick-drying, and made with UPF 50+ fabric that blocks at least 97.5% of the sun's UV rays.
Tell people you’re a lifeguard
… But don’t come crying to us if you get in trouble. These classic red shorts feature a mesh lining, a drawstring waistband, and (thank god) side pockets.
Et tu, braj?
You can go in one of two directions here: floral and tasteful, or dope and dope. (And by dope we mean a retro, cargo-short-style, over-the-knee masterpiece.) The choice is yours.
We love the Married… With Children energy of this animal-print pair of trunks—and you've gotta love a matching shirt.
You want that OG sailor look
All that’s missing is the hat. As one reviewer noted, “these are for my friend lol,” so you know they’re what’s up. (They also have a 4.9 average rating out of 1,425 reviews, FYI.)
The “just got out of bed” shorts
These washed-out, vintage-looking trunks from Nordstrom feature a back pocket for your GameBoy. (Are those waterproof?) You can also wear these on land, which is great for some post-beach bar hopping.
1980 called, it wants its swimsuit back (and we answered)
These trunks are giving off Jazz vibes, and we’re here for it. They also have a Velcro pocket and come in a slew of different prints.
Understated, not underestimated
Simple, sleek, sophisticated. For the more refined swimmer. Yeah, we never really thought of ourselves as J. Crew people, but some of us are over 30 now, or shopping for Father’s Day.
These shorts are anything but a lemon
Don’t let girls have all the fun, pricey athleisure-wear. Lululemon is for men, too! What else are you going to wear to the rooftop Mr. Purple, or literally anywhere in SoHo?
Find your beach, folks.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. VICE may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on our site.