Men’s Swimwear: The Best Swim Shorts, Trunks, Board Shorts And Jammers

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The first question to ask when selecting your swimwear is how you intend to use it, because the needs of someone aiming to smash out 50 laps at their local pool of a morning differ greatly from those of someone intending on cooling off with a quick dip in the sea before lounging the day away at a beach bar. One will be hunting down streamlined trunks or jammers to minimise drag as they perfect their front crawl technique, the other will be looking for stylish shorts that are more impressive out of the water than they are in it.

Fortunately we have rounded up the finest examples of every type of swimwear for you, so the needs of every swim-shorts-searcher can be met by simply scrolling down.

The Best Swim Shorts And Trunks

Finisterre Maris

You’ve seen the photo above. Now try to unsee it. Now try to picture trunks with a purple flower petal print. We doubt you’d come up with this delight to the eyes. £55, buy on finisterre.com

K-Way Le Vrai 3.0 Olivier

Never sure whether there’ll be time to fit in a dip on a short break away and don’t want to waste valuable carry-on space on a potentially redundant item? Then get yourself a pair of these trunks which pack away into their own back pocket. There are more sombre tones (black and navy blue) if the fluorescent is too much for you; alternatively if it falls short, the orange is dubbed “EXTRAFLUO”. £60, buy on k-way.co.uk

L’Étale Ostrich

Keep scrolling down this page and you’ll notice a trend of bird prints on swim shorts, but consider this pair from the British brand your luxury option. £85, buy on letale.co.uk

Paul Smith Zebra

The details on this pair give us the shivers. Witness the drawstring, the striped tab on the rear pocket and the multi-coloured zebra logo. Paul Smith – we are not worthy. £60, buy on paulsmith.com

Original Penguin Memphis Style Volley

“Hey, it’s early-90s American teen sitcom Saved By The Bell on the phone – it wants its graphics back.” “Hang up, we’re keeping it and plastering it in all its nostalgic glory over these swim trunks.” £55, buy on amazon.co.uk

Scotch & Soda The Pool Side Palm Print

If you want something that doesn’t clamour for attention but isn’t as boring as a block colour, the rich green of this palm print with bursts of red, um, coconuts on black fits the bill. £79.95 (currently reduced to £39), buy on scotch-soda.com

Fila Colour Block

Of course, if you’ve always found prints too fussy, the bold panels on this pair should suit. £35, buy on urbanoutfitters.com

UO Tropical Shortie

If you wear these thigh-high floral print you’d better (1) be headed for Hawaii or (2) have fully committed to leg day over the winter. Who are we kidding? You like ’em, you wear ’em. £28 (currently reduced to £15), buy on urbanoutfitters.com

River Island Black Floral Fish Runner

It’s quite some trick to design colour into swim shorts without making them so bright you need sunglasses to look at them, but it’s a trick River Island pulls off with aplomb. £18, buy on riverisland.com

Reiss Flint Stripe Navy

Is it possible to own a pair of smart casual swim shorts? Reiss answers that question with a resounding yes. £65, buy on reiss.com

Label Lab Miami Photo Print

While this is a captivating print, we love how from a distance there seems to be a brilliantly aflame orange stripe around the thighs. £30 (currently reduced to £12), buy on houseoffraser.co.uk

Finisterre Transom

Bad news: the oceans are awash with microplastics. Good news: plenty of people are trying to do something about it, including the folk at this Cornish surfing brand. Finisterre has released a microplastics collection using variations on this multi-coloured fragments print to raise awareness of the issue and funds for Surfers Against Sewage. And it’s slapped the print on the excellent hybrid Transomshorts, which are made from a blend of cotton and ECONYL, a material spun from reclaimed plastic. £65, buy on finisterre.com

Dock & Bay

We’re pleased to present more environmentally-sound swimmers with this delightfully soft pair made from old plastic bottles. Dock & Bay is better known for its colourful quick-dry beach towels, and it’s brought both qualities to its first line of swim shorts. Bear in mind the colour on the cabana-inspired vertical stripes really pop – great for the beach, but perhaps a bit out of place in your local municipal pool. £30, buy on dockandbay.com, buy on amazon.co.uk

Orlebar Brown Bulldog Sport

The go-to for designer swim shorts that’ll catch admiring glances wherever you take them, this retooled pair of shorts (formerly known as the Jack) are ultra-lightweight and versatile enough to cover a swim and a game of volleyball. The pattern’s also available in navy or ocean blue if don’t think you’ll ever have the tan to match this bold berry. £115, buy on orlebarbrown.com

Jacamo Flamingo

In any other brand’s range these shorts would be the clear choice, but with Jacamo we had to think long and hard over which pattern to pick, because there are several excellent options available. If you hate this flamingo design, perhaps the parrots shorts suit? But you won’t hate it, because flamingos. £18, buy on jacamo.co.uk

Nike Swim Volley Short

The fadeaway blue design on these shorts is suitably oceanic, and the fitted cut means that although they’re long shorts, they won’t flap around in the water. £35 (currently reduced to £17.50), buy on asos.com

Quiksilver Highline Kaimana

The Repreve fabric used in these shorts is made from recycled plastic bottles, so you can feel really good about wearing them in the sea. The block colour design of the Highline Kaimana range is pleasantly understated – ideal for those few who don’t want flamingos all over their legs. £40 (currently reduced to £28), buy on quiksilver.co.uk

Speedo Vintage Printed

While Speedo specialises in exceedingly tight and streamlined shorts, jammers and briefs, it would be a mistake not to check out its range of fashion-focused swimwear, the highlight of which are these leaf-print shorts. As you’d expect from Speedo, all the swim-specific features you’d want are present and correct, including quick-drying fabric and pocket drainage so sand doesn’t clog them up. £32 (currently reduced to £22.40), buy on speedo.com

Zoggs Penrith

You get a pinkie promise of 750 hours of swim time in these bright, no-nonsense shorts thanks to the chlorine-resistant fabric. And after it got you through many a year of school pool lessons with its go-to goggle range, who are you to argue with a trusted brand like Zoggs? £18, buy on zoggs.com

Bowler & Beach The Seahorse

Bowler and Beach pink swim shorts

Inspired by the sunny beaches of Portugal, Bowler & Beach is a British label that falls firmly in the affordable luxury camp. The distinctive Seahorse pattern is one of its signature designs and perfect for a playful style. £89, buy on bowlerandbeach.com

The Best Jammers And Performance Shorts

Zoggs Bridge Jammer

Zoggs is so confident in the durability of the chlorine-proof Aqualast fabric this jammer is made from that it comes with a lifetime guarantee, so it might be the last piece of swimwear you ever need to buy. The V-front lining on the jammer provides a little extra comfort where it’s most appreciated, as well as protecting modesty where it most needs protecting. Up to a point – it’s still a jammer after all. £32 (currently reduced to £16), buy on zoggs.com

Speedo Fit Panel Aquashorts

The panels on these shorts are designed to keep your body in the perfect position to cut through the water at speed, with targeted compression in parts of the legs and core. The shorts are also 100% chlorine-resistant, so they won’t degrade no matter how often you hit the local pool. £39, buy on speedo.com

Nike Swim Printed Trunks

These trunks are our pick for the more confident gentleman out there, thanks to the eye-catching pattern and skimpy design. Flat seams and the high-stretch fabric ensure the snug fit is comfortable and won’t chafe. £29 (currently reduced to £17), buy on asos.com

Adidas Three Stripes Jammer

The classic Adidas white-stripes-on-black design, but on jammers! What’s not to like? £32.95, buy on adidas.co.uk

Arena Spider Shorts

Arena offers a range of performance shorts and jammers that goes right up to pro-standard racing swimwear with prices that rise well above three figures, but for your everyday training there’s no need to look beyond these chlorine-resistant shorts and their funky spiderweb design. £22.99, buy on arenaswimwear.co.uk