Men: Swim Trunks, Board Shorts, Suits….Whatever They’re Called, Please Upgrade



Attention, Men:  Do your swim trunks flap as you walk, much like the wings of some giant bird?  A heron, perhaps?  If you were dropped from the sky would you rest easy, knowing that the leg openings of your swim trunks would expand like Mary Poppin’s umbrella, allowing you to drift softly to the ground?  And do your swim trunks, when observed from a distance, actually resemble man-capris?

Yes?  It’s shopping time, Men.  It’s SHOPPING TIME.

The new tenets of man-swimwear are as follows:

1.  It’s OK to show knee.

2.  It’s OK to show thigh.

3.  No beer logos, Frat Boy.

4. No silky gym shorts.  Did James Bond wear gym shorts to the beach?  I thought not.

C’mon, Guys!  You can do this!  And it doesn’t have to be scary, or like some big leap into hipsterdom.


The Best Option: Slim-Fit, Mid-Length Trunks

My top choice is something like this:



You can still rock that whole surfer-dude thing, just with an updated, manly fit.

(And I realize that a PBS shirt is dangerously close to ironic hipster territory, but trust me when I say that for Mike, it’s a declaration of love.)



swim:  Rhythm board shorts (seriously cool, unique patterns)

tee:  Alternative Apperal Moroccon Tee


Guys, in simple terms, just go buy one of these (I even have an exclusive ASOS discount code for you):

Basic (Yet Modern) Swim Trunks



An ode to basic, manly trunks.  The J.Crew shorts are the longest I’d recommend.  I don’t love the cargo pocket, but appreciate the overall slim fit.

ASOS Navy Mid-Length, $22 | ASOS Mid-Length Contrast Waistband, $38 | J.Crew 9″ Board Short, $80



He’ll never go wrong in stripes.

Esprit Swim Shorts, $43 at ASOS | ASOS Navy Stripe, $38 | ASOS Red Stripe in Mid-Length, $38



If not stripes, my guy prefers either subtle or minimalist patterns.

Jack Wills Botanica Print, $75 at ASOS | ASOS Flag Print, $41 | ASOS Geo Tribal Print, $42


Did you notice that most of the featured trunks are from ASOS?  Yeah – their selection is HUGE and perfectly on-trend.  When I realized all of the ASOS love I had going on (it was truly a coincidence), I emailed to see if they would offer an exclusive discount code.  Yup.  Use AINTNOMOMJEANS to take 10% off full price items at ASOS between now and June 11th, 7pm EST.  (See full terms at the bottom of this post.)


If You Must:  Slim Board Shorts…JUST ABOVE THE KNEE

If the thought of exposed man-thigh is terrifying, find some slim board shorts that hit right above the knee.  Which means…your knees must show, even when standing up.  Got it?  THE KNEES MUST SHOW.

The pair Mike is wearing in the pic below is the longest possible pair I’d recommend:

I love the look on our nephew’s face as he runs away.  He knows payback is coming.


wearing (on Mike):  RVCA swim trunks


A word of caution:  By next summer, I predict that the only guys still wearing board shorts this long will be old guys.  But if you need to baby step away from your giant, cargo-pocketed, large flapping swim trunks, you can try these.



Billabong Sundays Board Shorts, $87 at ASOS  – use AINTNOMOMJEANS for 10% off

Quiksilver Original Basic, $45 at Zappos

Old Navy Plaid Hybrid Shorts (9″), $15


J.Crew 9″ Board Short, $75



For The Brave: Shorty Shorts

For the confident James-Bond wanna be, think…shorter.



ASOS Swim Shorts in Short Length, $38


French Connection Plain Swim Shorts, $88

H&M Short Swim Shorts, $18

Oiler and Boilder Retro Swim Shorts, $77 at ASOS


I realize I may have lost some of the guys right now.  That’s OK.  This next bit is really for the Moms, anyway.

To demonstrate the power of the shorty-short, I’d like to introduce you to my sister’s husband, Zack.



He’s currently in the running for best-uncle-ever and will become a first-time dad near the end of July.  He’s making a preeeettty darn gooood case for dads in shorty-shorts.



Nothing like a little eye candy now and again, Mamas.  YOU ARE WELCOME. For more clothing styles for men, check out our men’s fashion section!




ps.  Don’t Forget the ASOS discount!


Offer: 10% off full price items

Starts: June 4th

Ends: June 11th, 7pm EST 

Terms and conditions:

Enter promo code AINTNOMOMJEANS at checkout to receive 10% off full price items. Offer ends 7pm EST June 11, 2014. Valid for one transaction only per customer, up to a maximum of $900 before discount is applied. Excludes certain brands, delivery charges, gift vouchers and subscription to ASOS Premier. Codes cannot be used with any other promo code, including the free delivery codes. US orders only.



  1. My husband has been wearing the same pair of black (now gray) elastic waist cargo shorts with a white stripe down the side for something like 10+ years and is perfectly happy about it. Ugh.

  2. Can you give us an idea of inseam lengths for mid length vs short length? (I clicked around, but I couldn’t find this.) You said 9″ is the longest you’d recommend, but I want to make sure I order my teenager the midrange, not shorty shorts. (He’s my baby boy, not eye candy!) Thanks!

  3. Wow, thanks for the mommy eye candy — knowing that they are husbands/fathers/soon to be fathers makes them even more attractive in my book. And I’m sorry but did you teach your husband the HALF-TUCK!? Bowing down to you girl.
    Unfortunately, I am the fashionable one in my house and there is no way my husband will give up his big ol’ board shorts. However, he’s a 6’4″ tow truck driver, so he can wear anything he wants and look sexy as hell to me. 😉

  4. Sorry Jen – meant to include that. I’ve updated the post with links so you can find the brands (RVCA and Rhythm). Both of Mike’s pairs are old (and now gone), but the updated designs for Rhythm especially are pretty sweet.

  5. I think stylish swim trunk styles vary a lot based on intended water activity and location. Here in San Diego, life is super laid back, and longer styles are the norm among all age groups. When I say longer, I mean right above the knee. Sure there are plenty of frat boys tooling around in their corona trunks and their calf length boardies with their butt hanging out (ew!), but you’re not too likely to find many men cruising around in their shorter inseam shorts either. When you do, chances are they are either an old guy in Tommy Bahamas, or a tourist visiting from a colder climate. Hot guys rocking their shorties like uncle up there are few and far between. I think it is mostly because the surf culture is big here, and guys don’t want their goods peeking out while their surfing. Back in earlier days, shorter shorts were the style, but they had those built-in mesh undies to keep their danglies tucked inside. ost surfers would prefer a lot more freedom of movement that no underwear provides, hence the longer short. In fact, the most preferred trunks are made of a thin and
    stretchy material to allow lots of freedom of movement while surfing. Like these:

  6. Dang, Uncle!!
    I’ve been looking for something for the hubs just like the mid-length ones you posted. Thank you!

  7. I posted before editing. Oops. Anyway, my whole point is that there are definitely some no-no swim trunk styles out there, but length isn’t everything. I believe fabric, overall cut, and getting rid of goofy looking bunchy elastic waistbands are more important.

  8. OMG! LMAO. I was just thinking my husband would NEVER EVER wear the shorty shorts, and then those hunky pics of your BIL. LOL. I suppose if my dear man looked like that, I would persuade him to wear them. 😉

  9. Holy hot!
    I’m still not on board with the elastic waistband that some of these have though. It makes me think of beer bellies.

  10. Hi,
    I just read an older article about flying/traveling with toddlers, but the comments were closed so I’m posting on your most recent article. Please consider updating your traveling advice/info as when you google search tips for traveling with a baby/toddler your article still appears. While there is lots of great advice, there are two suggestions that are dangerous. #1 It is NEVER safe to fly with a toddler or baby in your lap. The only safe way for infants or toddlers to fly is in a car seat. In the event of turbulence or a runway crash, your baby can become a projectile or your own personal airbag. Not safe! #2 If you check your car seat it is considered to have an unknown history. Its no secret that baggage gets tossed around carelessly by baggage handlers. They take no special care with car seats. Many people assume that because they can’t see any damage that the car seat may be fine. That’s not always the case. You have the right to your own opinion, but I feel that it is irresponsible to hand out unsafe advice. I hope you will consider revising that article. Thanks!

  11. Would love to buy same or similar shorts as the ones worn by the uncle for my husband. Do you know brand? Love the red trim.

  12. DYING! This post is KILLING ME – THANK YOU for the eye candy & the excellent ideas. My hubs too has been wearing the same (type of) swim shorts for ages. They aren’t that flappy (I DIED laughing at your “heron” image!), but since we live on the water we definitely SWIM TRUNKS, and LOTS OF THEM. Great Father’s Day idea!!!

  13. I totally agree with you! My husband has tons of old pairs that are long he refuses to get rid of because he doesn’t want people seeing the scar on his knee from a diving accident and some badly placed coral. They just look so dumpy! Plus, he’s 5’9″ so they make him look shorter then he really is. I’m totally going to show him this because he thinks I’m the only one who think they look bad!

  14. All you momma’s enjoying the eye candy I must admit I had a little hard time with it. You see that Eye Candy is my baby 🙂 but I must admit you all have great taste. Sign me Eye Candy’s Mom!

  15. Success! My husband agreed to try on three of your suggestions and kept two. The man who has bought clothes without trying them on even asked if he could try on more, It was a lovely day at the lake as I enjoyed my own now more confident Eye Candy. Thanks.

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