As you gear up for swimsuit season, remember that picking the right trunks will help you feel confident and comfortable – on the beach, board, or water. Here are a few rules to finding the best beach britches. 

1. Embrace elastic: Swim shorts with elastic waistbands used to get a bad rap, but we're past that now, especially if you've been diligent with your workouts. Elastic-waisted trunks flatter a flat stomach and keep anything from falling out in rougher waves. This pair from Zegna have two drawstrings, one on the waist and one at the legs, giving you a custom fit. 

2. Go shorter: Knee-length board shorts aren't a good look once you're over 14. Thigh-baring, vintage-inspired trunks are back in style and offer a slimmer, more tailored fit. British brand Orlebar Brown's Bulldog Classic Shorts have a six-inch inseam and a sneakily adjustable waistband with tab fasteners on either side. 

3. Pick a subtle pattern: If flamboyant florals aren't your speed but you're bored with your old solids, find a middle ground with a faded paisley or thin stripe like this pair from Solid and Striped. Freeman's Sporting Club's Bond Swim Trunks have a relaxed fit, hit mid-thigh and allow a little give at the waist. Plus, they straddle that line between preppy and cool that is so, well, Bond

4. Or lose the pattern altogether: You can't go wrong with a solid pattern on swim shorts, like this velveteen pair from Tommy Bahama.  

5. Find trunks that look good with a t-shirt: It's one thing to feel comfortable at the beach, but invest in trunks that can transition easily to the lobster shack or bar. They don't have to be solid, but they should be versatile and have a shorter inseam to lengthen your look.