The skate/surf punk wave in the late ’80s to early ’90s did a lot of terrible things for fashion, but top on the list is the men’s summer board short.
Designed to be worn during intense surf sessions, the board short eventually creeped into everyday swimwear.
The problem, though, is that board shorts are generally useless and almost universally unflattering.
Though men think they function much the same as a traditional swim trunk, they don’t — for three very important reasons:
- No mesh. This necessitates underwear, which defeats the purpose of wearing a swimsuit in the first place.
- Baggy fit. Most of the traditional surf brands put out board shorts with a terribly baggy fit, accented by way too much length.
- No elastic. The waistband of board shorts is a traditional drawstring enclosure without the elastic that allows for a snug fit.
There’s a better way to be stylish at the beach, and the answer lies in a traditional swim trunk.
A traditional swim trunk hits above the knee — or, even better, mid-thigh (be brave, gentleman) — and has an elastic waistband with a drawstring and Velcro fly. Its biggest pro, though, is its mesh lining, which allows you to forego underwear.
A lot of companies are now selling way more stylish board shorts that look just like swim trunks, but we say go for the original. You’ll be much better off.