Boardshorts are the new shorts. No longer confined to underwater domains, the design and fit of “boardies” these days lends them to be stylish enough to be worn on land – so long as you’re within a few hundred metres of water. So before you reach into your drawers and grab those saltwater and/or chlorine-wrecked gym shorts, check out our top picks for shorts to get you through the summer of you.
Venroy Swim Short
Local Aussie brand Venroy prides itself on its use of quality materials for its classic leisurewear. We’re all about simplicity when it comes to clothing and Venroy’s Swim Short in Red Tigris ticks that box off nicely. The key here is the expertly tailored cut of the shorts, falling just above the knee. This is exactly how you want your boardshorts to fit.
Onia Calder Short
Moving into more luxe territory, NY-based swimwear brand Onia is a relatively young brand that’s already amassed a cult following thanks to its mission of bringing elegance back to swimwear. We love their Calder Short, not just for its skinnier fit and chino cut, but also for the collection of prints that it comes in. Ranging from ship architecture blueprints to Japanese-inspired art, there’s an eye-catching statement design suited for everyone.
Mocha Salt Shorts
Another local Aussie brand creating waves (sorry not sorry) in the swimwear market is Mocha Salt, who set up shop just last year. With a no-nonsense approach to fashion that is quintessentially Australian, Mocha Salt currently stock three ranges of shorts comprising of 23 styles. This small range means the quality of material and cut is supreme. Another major plus is the lightweight nylon construction, which is quick drying.
Strong Boalt Classic Swim Trunk
Channelling the free-spirit of the 1960s with their swimwear designs, Palm Beach brand Strong Boalt produce designs which channel the luxe nonchalance of brands like J. Crew and Ralph Lauren, which isn’t a coincidence given the brand’s founder used to be a buyer for the latter. The fit and cut of their range is also hugely characteristic of the 60s era, with a hem falling well above the knee.
M.J. Bale Swim Short
Exciting times lie ahead for the suitmaker, whose foray into casual clothes has recently been teased on the brand’s Instagram, and we can’t be any more excited. All we know so far is that boardshorts will be on the agenda for the Australian label, due for launch anytime now. And if the quality of this casual offshoot is anything like their suiting, we’re all in very good sartorial hands for the summer.
The Rocks Push Balmoral Swim Short
There are very few more badass things than naming your label after a criminal gang from Sydney in the 1870s. The Rocks Push took their name from a notorious crime gang that dominated the Rocks area of Sydney up until the 1890s, known for general thievery and violence. They were also known for being impeccably well dressed with a penchant for donning velvet jackets and cravats. The brand push (sorry not sorry again) four different styles, all with different cuts, fit and features but it’s hard not to look past the Balmoral swim short.
Boardies Candy Green Shortie Short
Look, it’s not the most creative label name but they do make some damn fine-looking shorts so it makes the list. The no-nonsense UK label produces two styles: mids and shorties. No guessing what you’re in-store for with these. The shorties feature super soft light weight and dry quick material as well as premium mesh-lining support. Turn beachgoers green with envy with these bad boys.
Orlebar Brown OB Editions Collection Short
Quite possibly the undisputed king of boardshorting, Orlebar Brown was born from the idea of having shorts that you could go straight from the pool to the bar with, without a clothes change in between. The brand is famous for its ‘OB Editions’ collection, which sees famous photographers like Slim Aaron print their iconic imagery mapped in 360 degrees across the entire fabric of the short.
Saturdays Surf NYC Colin Open Circles Boardshort
Masters of off-duty style and laidback sartorial vibes, Saturdays Surf NYC’s swimwear collection is another perfect place to start for sorting out your entire summer wardrobe. You also won’t have to play guesswork online anymore, with the NYC-based label’s flagship Australian store opening later this month in where else but Bondi. We have very little doubt that the Collin Open Circles boardshorts will be a bestseller when it opens, with its curious design evoking all things nautical.
Frescobol Carioca Tailored Noronha Short
Combining the fine tailoring of Savile Row with the Carnival mood of Rio Di Janeiro comes Frescobol Carioca, whose designs will transport you to Brazil’s most famous festival. But rather than over-the-top prints, Frescobol Carioca offers simple designs in rich colours, giving you a versatile, tailored short that’s ready for the beach and the bar.