Consider the bathing suit. Is there an article of clothing that makes one more self-conscious while also being the most relaxing thing to have on in the summer? Other than a kaftan, not that I can think of.
Now that it’s officially summer, it’s also prime swimming time. With that, I want you to be as comfortable as possible inside and outside the water. Not only that, but a men’s bathing suit should feel like a piece of your wardrobe, so it should be at least a little stylish. From trunks to briefs and everything in between, I’ve put together a list of ten of the best bathing suits for men that I think will be the perfect pairing for sand, sun, and perhaps an ice cold beer all season long.
The Best Bathing Suits for 2022
Patagonia Men’s 5” Baggies Shorts
I love a short inseam and I love Patagonia, so these were a definite pick for me. Offering a relaxed fit on the thighs to let your boys breathe, you can wear these shorts/bathing suit all day in and out of the pool. Further, as with most of what Patagonia offers, these shorts are produced from 100% post-consumer recycled nylon faille, which is made from recycled fishing nets to help reduce ocean plastic pollution. You’ll feel good wearing these, in more ways than one.
Frescobol Carioca Tailored Swim Shorts
Trust Brazilians to know good swimwear. Sure, you can get any old men’s bathing suit, or you can get these. A tailored fit is pretty rare for swimwear, but these do it so well, that I don’t really want to see anyone try to imitate them. From the high rise to the side buttons, it has as much care in the design as a suit pant, but is a lot more fun to wear.
Charlie by Matthew Zink Beach Short
Charlie is a brand built on celebrating the male physique, but I find that anyone looks good in their beach shorts. They’re the perfect balance of classic American but with a slightly higher rise and great color – think American Gigolo if it were set in 1965 Malibu. Paired with some black trainers and an open shirt and you’re set for a day on the boardwalk with this high-fashion men’s bathing suit.
J Crew 6” Trunk in Seersucker
Head from Malibu to Nantucket with these seersucker trunks from J. Crew. Can anything be more prep? I like these for their versatility – they almost don’t look like swim apparel at all. In fact this bathing suit could easily pass for a pair of comfortable shorts. With a slim fit and an old-school drawstring, you’re looking at an Ivy League summer, no matter where you’re at.
Fred Segal The Classic
With a 4” inseam and a classic cut, Fred Segal makes a men’s bathing suit that’ll last in your wardrobe season after season. Opting for a darker color may not seem very summery, but given the versatility of a rich navy like this one and you have the perfect option for throwing on a linen shirt, some Birkenstocks, and a ballcap and be ready for anything.
Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-Length Jacquard Swim Shorts
I’d be surprised if someone didn’t wear these swim shorts long after summer was over. They’re a gorgeous tailored fit in an equally lovely jacquard pattern. Like Frescobol Carioca’s above, tailored swimwear isn’t exactly common, but when it’s done right – man, there’s nothing like it.
Chubbies The Living Colors 4″ Classic Swim Trunk
Chubbies is one of those brands you see on Instagram and think, “Huh, I should look into them.” Well, reader, here’s your sign to do just that. They’re a fun brand that has reinvigorated the men’s bathing suit and shorts market, not necessarily through polished designs, but through a clever and simple message in their clothing: you’ll have fun in these at any size or fit. The 4” classic is my bet for an easy-to-throw-on option and comes in a variety of colors for anyone. I’m particularly fond of the pattern called “The Living Colors”, which has major Saved by the Bell vibes.
Bonobos Riviera Recycled Swim Trunks
Another classic trunk with just about any color and pattern for you to choose from, the Bonobos Riviera is a modest option from a brand that makes clothes to wear all day, any day. And if you’re a little – ahem – packed in the front, the jersey mesh is a breathable, comfortable lining that won’t cause extra friction or constriction.
Dandy Del Mar The Belize Swim Brief
I had to include Dandy Del Mar, but couldn’t choose which of their products to highlight. I went with the swim brief, since I realized I hadn’t included one on the list and, frankly, I like the colors a lot. These briefs are a nod to the Mediterranean and come in some nice tonal shades that highlight the region well. The vertical stripes act as a trompe-l’œil on your package for an added effect for your ego. These briefs may seem out of your comfort zone, but trust me when I say they’re right in line with the ethos of Dandy Del Mar, which is all about maximum leisure with minimum coverage. And, if you’re not about to jump aboard the swim brief train, they have plenty of other great men’s bathing suit options.
Mami Wata Tofu Swim Short
African surf clothing brand Mami Wata has made an exclusive for Huckberry and the Tofu shorts are a marriage of beautiful patterns from the African continent and American classic tailoring. They’re made from a soft African cotton that has a natural stretch to it and comes in a scalloped pattern in either navy or green that is, frankly, one of my favorites of the season. While Huckberry has the exclusive, I think Mami Wata’s star is rising and we’ll see more of this brand stateside soon.