Finding the Right Fit: A Guide to Swim Shorts for Men, Women, and Boys [2023]

by Ontravlex

A nice pair of swim shorts provides a comfortable and safe alternative to a normal bikini, a set of briefs, or a swimming suit. These shorts are made to stretch as you move, so you can wear them to swim, surf, play games on the beach, or even just work out on dry land.

Things to Think About When Buying Swim Shorts

Even though your swim shorts need to fit well and feel good, there are a few other things you should think about when buying them.


You’ll be spending a lot of time in the water, so your swim shorts will need to be strong enough to last. They should also be made well enough that they can be washed many times without getting see-through or pilling.

Even the tightest board shorts have some elasticity in the waistband, if not all over, and the majority of swim shorts are constructed of synthetic materials with a high water tolerance, such as nylon, spandex, and polyamide.


Different lengths may be preferable for you depending on where you’re wearing them and what you’re going to do in them. Some shorts are much longer than others.

While some shorts can be quite short and are intended to appear and feel more like a full-size brief than a typical pair of shorts, other shorts can be longer and can reach your knees, providing a viable alternative to wetsuits for surfing or paddleboarding.

Bottom Line: Whether you want shorts to sunbathe in or more protection from the sun, sand, and other irritants, you can find swim shorts that are the right length for you.


No matter whether you like tight or loose shorts, your swim shorts shouldn’t make it hard for you to swim or move around. Some shorts are tight around the buttocks and sit high on the thigh, while others are looser and longer.

A higher waistband is another common characteristic of women’s swim shorts, which helps to hide lumps and bumps. Additionally, some broader versions include v-splits on the legs to accommodate bigger thighs.


Short-legged, high-stretch alternatives will look and feel the best if all you’re looking for is a pair of shorts to go with your bikini top when you’re in the water. But let’s say you think of them as a bikini brief with a longer back. In that case, you can wear these cute little bottoms with a bra top or tankini. They are great for swimming, sunbathing, and other outdoor activities.

A longer length short can be preferable if you want to be a bit more active while out on the water since it will provide you with extra protection. For keeping your smaller items close at hand while you’re on dry ground, traditional board shorts often have pockets. Many of them are also modest enough to be worn with a t-shirt for a more laid-back summer appearance.

Lining and Support

A mesh lining is included in certain swim shorts, which is intended to provide more support and keep you comfortable in the water. Men, women, and boys can wear these types of shorts without underwear because they are made to be worn in the water without anything else.

Tip: Shorts that don’t have a liner or built-in brief can also be worn without extra underwear, especially if they are tight and short. However, some swimmers may want to wear briefs for more comfort in the water.

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