The 19 best swim shorts for women – for swimming, surfing or just because
One Saturday morning in town, with no beach in sight, on one of the first excruciatingly hot days in early June, I was in line at my neighborhood Apple store when I noticed a woman behind me in swim shorts. . Knee-length and printed, these swim shorts were surprisingly chic and effortless with a flowing white blouse and chunky slip-on sandals. A street-to-beach look that I immediately wanted to add to my own rotation of summer outfits.
While this was an unexpected item for the Brooklyn community, it was a dress choice that actually made sense. There is nothing worse than thick fabrics and tight figures in hot, sticky weather. And with their relaxed aura, loose fit, and water-wicking fabrics, women’s swim shorts become extremely appealing whether you’re going for a swim or not.
Not to mention that a handful of fashion brands have adopted the surf’s-up style. Paco Rabanne and Prada’s summer beach and outdoor capsule collections delivered literal versions of the boardshort (seen most recently in our own beach shoot with Mayan Toledano). Meanwhile, Christopher Kane, Dries Van Noten, Versace and Jil Sander showcased styles of drawstring shorts. It is undeniable that the square, mid-length silhouette and elastic at the waist has become a major trend among designer brands. But of course there have always been options among classic swimwear brands and surf brands. We love the retro prints from Vilebrequin and the striped pairs from Roxy.
One of the best aspects of adding a boardshort to your summer style is the endless amount of fun prints or shades to choose from. Take it from someone who doesn’t often wear prints or bright colors; there’s something to be said for having a colorful zigzag stripe, tropical print, or retro-inspired abstract pattern that pops out under an oversized white button placket. You can also turn to model Paloma Elsesser for more inspiration on how to style a pair. Or use one to breathe new life into that solid black swimsuit you wear over and over again.
So whether you’re on or off the beach, pick one of the best swim shorts for women and shop our selection of boardshorts below.
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