The ultimate men’s swimwear picks, from boats to beaches

What you should be wearing this summer whether you’re in, on or next to a body of watering

Men’s swimwear has undergone something of a revolution these past few years, resulting in a huge range of textiles, fits and patterns, with an unfortunate trend towards a more garish aesthetic.

So if you’re interested in those ubiquitous, neon-flecked cartoon fruit print designs, we’d politely suggest that this article – full of the sort of tastefully designed swim shorts men should be wearing – may not be for you. But to those looking for expert tailoring and craftsmanship, suitable for any water-based occasion, well, we’d very much encourage you to read our men’s swimwear picks for 2021.

Coral cool: Ripa Ripa Positano

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It takes considerable skill to stitch an embroidered red coral pattern onto a midnight blue background and make it look both elegant and playful. But that’s exactly what Milanese trunk specialists Ripa Ripa have managed here. Made from soft, brushed fabric for a luxury cotton feel that’s also quick to dry, these are drawstring swim shorts that bring a touch of the 60s jet-set style to your poolside look.

Slim stripes I: Morville Persian Red

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Morville’s seersucker swim shorts go well beyond just looking superb. The soft fabric features a unique puckered texture that allows air to flow between your skin and the material, keeping you cool as the mercury starts to rise. It also helps them dry even faster when you’ve waded out of the water, Daniel Craig-style.

Swim the blues: Apnée Swimwear Reflects

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Designed to imitate the glint of the sun as it hits the water, these shorts prove that a casual look can also have real class. Made by Portuguese men’s swimwear brand Apnée, with superior quick-drying fabric that’s not only durable but resistant to chlorine, salt and sun too. Which means they’ll look just as good on their twentieth outing, as they did on their very first (twenty sunny days not guaranteed).

Perfect in pink: Hemingsworth Clipper Swim Short Core Seersucker

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British-born Hemingsworth has taken the tailoring expertise that they use on their everyday range, and sensibly applied it to their swimwear. Which means you get this traditional flat-fronted pink-stripe trouser pattern, with a sharp silhouette and red hemlines. Not to mention the zipped French button fly and Tahitian Mother of Pearl buttons. All in all, a superbly stylish pair of swim shorts men should be happy to wear all summer long, both in and out of the water.

Bold bravissimo: Ripa Ripa Ravello

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Another of our Italian favourites from Ripa Ripa. With a burst of primary colours that recall the bold patterns of Amalfi decor, this is men’s swimwear in a confident style. With the same soft brushed finish for a quick-dry cotton feel, these swim shorts are perfect whether you’re at the helm of a Riva, or diving off the deck of one.

Sea the difference: Apnée Swimwear Écume

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‘Écume’ is the typically elegant word the French use to describe waves as they froth and foam when they chop into one another. And that’s the inspiration for the design on these dark blue, patterned swim shorts for men who want something bold, but refined.

Another drawstring pair from Apnée, they’re made with the brand’s usual element-resistant material, which means the ‘écume’ won’t fade over time.

Slim stripes II: Morville Tailored Originals

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And if you want the striped look but prefer buttons to a drawstring, Morville have you covered once again. These swim shorts have the same puckered fabric texture to help cool you down faster and pastel stripes that were just made for a day spent lazing by the pool, ice-cubed drink in hand.

Poolside sophistication: Hemingsworth Stone Gurkha Swim Short

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We told you Hemingsworth like to tailor their swimwear as though it were for everyday use, and they’re up to their old tricks again here. This pair of Kulbir shorts come with distinctive double pleats and a standout crossover belt fastening. A poly/cotton fabric blend and luxurious stretch mesh lining mean you’ll also feel as good as you look too. Quite simply, elegance personified.


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