13 Stylish Vacation-ready Swim Trunks for Every Budget

13 Stylish Vacation-ready Swim Trunks for Every Budget
The heat is here, cool off with a swim suit that keeps your summer style sharp.

When I was about thirteen, I was rifling through some old family photo albums and came across a picture of my dad at a pool party. He was wearing wayfarers and a pair of swimming trunks that hit his mid-thigh. I teased him immediately: “Look how short those are! They look like underwear!” He laughed and said, “Hey buddy, those are real swimming trunks. Those board shorts you guys wear today look ridiculous.” But I was thirteen, so obviously my dad was an idiot.

Fast forward twenty-four years, and dammit he was onto something. Remember those knee-length swimming trunks we were all wearing in 2000? What the hell were we thinking? Anyway let’s emotionally move on from that sartorial faux pas and head into the 2023 beach season with some classic style.

Here are a few options for swimwear this season…

quick dry swim shorts for men with drawstring waist and shark print design

maamgic 5″ Swim Trunks, $22

The board short is out, and the five-inch swim trunk is in. This pair from Amazon comes in a myriad of colors and patterns, has a standard mesh liner, and the price is outstanding. If you’re on a budget, these are hard to beat.

swim trunks for men with drawstring waist

Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks, $89

We’re not shy about how much we love Bonobos, and these trunks are no exception. Made from recycled materials, these trunks come in unique patterns and are available in three lengths.

runner style swim trunks

Parke & Ronen Runner Swim Trunks, $130

Real talk: Parke and Ronen are not for the faint of wallet or the faint of heart. I’ve owned two pairs of Parke and Ronen, and I’ve always gotten compliments on them. They offer briefs (if you can pull off that look) and trunks in lengths from 2-6 inches.

maze print stretch swim trunk

J.Crew Stretch Swim Trunks, $64.50

If the five-inch inseam is a little short for you, check out these six inchers from J.Crew. They have a ton of styles on varying degrees of sale right now, with several sizes of each in stock.

seersucker style swim trunk

J.Crew Factory Seersucker Swim Trunks, $34.50

If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool prep like me, you can’t deny how handsome these seersucker trunks are. Put these with a pair of wayfarers and a coke can, and you’re my dad from 1986.

swim trunk with surf car patch

Bonobos Throwback Swim Trunks, $29

Sizes are limited on these, but the sale is too damn good to pass up. I bought this pair and the pink pair with the palm tree. The drawstring is internal, the back pocket has a zipper, and the cut of the trunks is perfect.

ripstop fabric swim trunk

Flint & Tinder Ripstop Short, $88

For the guy who spends his time outdoors (maybe hiking the woods near a lake?), the hybrid short is the way to go. With ripstop fabric, these shorts are made to stand up to hard use, and with a nylon-blended fabric and mesh pockets that drain quickly, they’re ready for that spontaneous swim.

performance fabric swim trunk

Banana Republic Retromarine Swim Trunks, $90

I don’t know what it is about these trunks from Banana Republic, but they’re top of my list. Can swimming trunks be elegant? Luxurious? These are made from a quick-dry polyester with a shoe-lace style drawstring and snap-close buttons. The orange and the light blue are stunning.

swim trunks with compression lining

SilkWorld Compession Swim Trunks, $31

If the loose mesh lining isn’t your thing (sometimes they get a little itchy), you may want to try these trunks from Amazon that have a compression lining, which is sort of like wearing built-in boxer briefs under your trunks. These have a 4.5-star rating and are available in 39 color and pattern options.

striped amazon essentials swim trunks next to straw hat and penny loafers

Amazon Essentials Swim Trunks, $15

These trunks from Amazon Essentials give off a certain tennis club vibe. The vertical stripes are slimming, the five-inch inseam is the perfect length, and the white drawstring against the navy waistband is just the right amount of contrast against the stripes. And for under $15, you may as well get two pairs.

retro style drawstring waist swim trunk

Fair Harbor Bungalow Trunk, $68

If sustainability is your thing Fair Harbor is a company built around it, with a focus specifically on removing plastic bottles from the ocean and turning them into a spun thread for weaving fabrics. Pretty cool. These retro-style trunks are made with 88% recycled material and have a proprietary liner made with breezeknit fabric, which is quick-drying and guaranteed not to chafe.

swim trunk

Faherty Blocked Beacon Swim Trunks, $128

Like Fair Harbor, Faherty is devoted to using plastic water bottles for the construction of their fabric. These colorblocked trunks have an 80s surfer vibe that’s perfect for the California beach.

swim trunk with drawstring waist

Outerknown Nomadic Valley Swim Trunk, $78

We’ve featured Outerknown before (Their blanket shirt is legendary), and they are the easily the frontrunners in the sustainability game. Founded by a pro surfer and a designer, Outerknown pieces have a casual, West Coast groove with comfort top of the list. This pair of trunks is made of 100% post-consumer waste and comes in ten color and pattern variations.

Mike Henson

Mike Henson is a literature teacher in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He enjoys shooting 35mm film, restoring vintage straight blades, purchasing too many American-made goods, and spending time with his wife and their three daughters.