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14 Swim Trunks

by Doug Black
on 30 May 2008

With Memorial Day behind us, it's high time to get out of the city and onto beach. And at CH, we want you looking your best. While most focus gets placed women's swimwear, we know that guys also like a well-designed suit. With that in mind, we looked at some new creations—as well as resurrected classics—and picked a few of our favorites. We hope you enjoy.

Zoo York Sketchbook Boardshorts
When I would get bored during math class, I might make a few doodles on my graph paper. But nothing like the Sketchbook Boardshorts (right) by Zoo York. We love them because they contrast order and chaos; raw, asymmetrical sketches over an organized grid and a cutout pocket at an irregular angle. This board short manages to rep Manhattan in a single design with no visible math problems to boot.
-Maxwell Gold


Sundeck Rainbow Board Shorts
Any self-respecting surfer in the '60s and '70s wore Sundek board shorts. Sadly, the brand succumbed to complete oversaturation in the '80s. Now, 50 years since they first came on the scene, Sundek is back on the with their iconic rainbow-striped trunks (below left). Very little has changed in the design. Like the original, they feature a square back pocket and come in a wide array of colors. You can find the whole spectrum for $120 a pair at Jeffrey and Saks Fifth Avenue.
-Doug Black

Murphy & Nye Hartville Board Short
The nautical appeal of the Hartville swim trunk (above right) sets it apart from the rest; it looks as though it were fabricated from pieces of a sail. We love the cord drawstring waistband and the careful stitching around the pockets. Like a fine yacht, these shorts combine luxury with durability.


Maui and Sons Vintage
Children of the '80s probably had a pair of these neon trunks during their original run. The two-decade fashion cycle is coming around again, and Maui and Sons' distinctive shark logo is once again on the market—now considered "Vintage."

This time around, however, you won't find them at J.C. Penny. A collaboration between Maui and Opening Ceremony, you can buy them at more high-end retailers, like New York's Oak for $75. They're constructed of 100% nylon with a convenient velcro pocket on the right leg.


American Rag Harmony Amplifier Capsule Collection
These board shorts are an homage to Joel Tudor: the surfing legend who brought the old-school style back to surfing. We love these board shorts because their primary goal is comfort and flexibility of movement. In fact, this design is modeled after Tudor’s very own custom-tailored pair. The Harmony Amplifier Capsule board shorts accomplish exactly what Joel Tudor did for surfing: reconnect method with style and simplicity.


Columbia Backcast Water Trunk
Don't let the image (above, far left) fool you, these shorts have a classic slim fit, hit a couple inches above the knee, and are a pale sherbert-orange. Like all Columbia gear, they boast high-tech fabric that protects from the sun. A small zippered back pocket is good for keeping essentials secure; you may or may not want to remove the label above it that reads "Packable" depending on your lifestyle. Backcasts are available in six different colors. Get more info from Columbia.
-Ami Kealoha

Paul Smith Shorts
We recommend this fuschia short (above center) for the more olive-skinned out there, but if you can pull it off, the classic cut combined with the bold color makes for a style statement. The elastic band also has a drawstring in the trademark Paul Smith multistripe colorway and two side pockets and a rear draining snap pocket add functionality. A pair will set you back £50 from Paul Smith.

Orlebar Brown Setter Shorts
To channel Sean Connery playing Bond, these shorter, tailored take on swim trunks (above, far right) have a classic '50s appeal. Great details like a flat, non-elastic waistband with adjustable fasteners, a zip fly and two hidden slit side pockets, make for some of the chicest shorts we've seen and with a price tag to match. They're £115 from Orlebar Brown.


Patagonia Wavefarer II Board Shorts
With their William Morris-esque floral pattern and below-the-knee length, these shorts would go well with a beard and some wooden beads.

Made from a durable nylon that dries fast and with a single button flat fly, as well as a self-draining side zip pocket with an interior key loop, they're good for more sporty types as well. When you're done with them, they can be recycled via Patagonia's Common Threads program.

Pick them up for $50 from Patagonia. Several other colors and patterns are also available.


Ever BarStripe Boardshorts
Simple and relaxing. What you see is what you get. We love the BarStripe Boardshorts for their easy comfort, with drawstrings and a Velcro fly. Be careful, though, because they are unlined. They're on sale for $89 from Barneys.

Vilebrequin Moorea Trunks
Vilebrequin was born as an experimental swim short company for vacationing celebrities in San Tropez, and it has evolved into a one of the most exclusive makers of swim attire. Named for the gorgeous spot in Tahiti, we love the new Moorea multi-colored spot swim shorts for their unique quick-drying material and eye-catching design. And you gotta love the fact that they come with a matching water-resistant wallet as a free gift. They're $190 from Men a la Mode.

Penguin Blowfish-Print Board Shorts
The Penguin Blowfish-Print board shorts have funky shapes and color patterns sure to get you noticed pool-side. The design evokes the indie-rock band aesthetic that could be, say, found on a Shins album cover. We also love the Penguin Blowfish-Print for the foot-long inseam that stays true to the long boards short style. Tall dudes only! They're $65 from Saks Fifth Avenue.

via Uncrate


Modern Amusement Soul Plaid Reversible
If you can believe it, the two wildly different swimsuits below are one and the same. Modern Amusement constructed the reversible Soul Plaid suit with a black border so that each suit looks equally well. The California brand uses classic cuts and bold colors to make two distinctive suits out of one. You can find the Soul Plaid for $88 on the Modern Amusement site.


Howe’s Makaha Print Swim Short
Howe's Makahas have a strong Hawaiian surfer vibe. Made from 100% cotton, they're distressed for that perfect broken-in feel (without being cheesy). Contrasting floral fabrics used on the interior seams and waistband add that extra something to make the pair covetable. They've got side cargo pockets with drains, but no liner. Makahas are $110 from Howe.

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