The beach is nothing if not a great equalizer. Once you take off your shirt and you’re left with only your swim trunks, everyone knows what’s going on under the hood. And finding the right pair of shorts has never been easier, thanks to more brands designing versatile and stylish trunks that won’t break the bank.
When you’re shopping for new swim trunks, consider a few simple visual tricks: Vertical stripes create the illusion of a longer, leaner frame while horizontal ones (as well as bold patterns) can appear to add bulk. Stick with dark, slimming solids if you have thicker, muscular legs. If your legs are on the smaller side, steer clear of short inseams. These work best for average-height and smaller guys who need to show more skin to look longer. More focused on style? “Navy looks great on everyone and goes with just about everything, and red has been the standard for lifeguards on both coasts since the 1960s,” says Bill Carney, director of apparel at iconic board short brand, Birdwell. “Camo is a style staple that can be worn every summer.”
Whether you want to spend $35 or have a little room in your budget, here are a dozen stylish, affordable swim trunks you’ll want to rock in the sun this summer.