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.

Geometric print shell shorts Paco Rabanne

Jil Sander Drawstring Waist Swim Shorts

Versace print beach shorts

Vilebrequin Mandala swim shorts

Ansea the reversible long board short

Tombolo Seafood Swim Boxer

Vilebrequin 1975 swim shorts

Frescobol Carioca swim shorts

Dries Van Noten print shorts

Zimmermann relaxed poppy silk shorts

Paradised Hanna Print Shorts

MC2 Saint Barth recycled patchwork swim shorts

Christopher Kane Spirit Shorts

Ramy Brook Tessa Floral Wave Shorts

Madewell Second Wave Board Shorts

Roxy navy striped swim shorts


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