8 best swimming trunks

Get ready for lazy beach days and pool parties in style

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The Independent Online

If you’re heading abroad to sunnier climes for your holidays this summer, or staying at home with fingers crossed that the British summer delivers the goods, you’d be wise to invest in pair of shorts – and wiser still, to invest in a pair of shorts you can wear in and out of the sea or swimming pool. 

Here, we have a collection of exactly those, in a range of styles and sizes. From the eye-catching to the understated, and from the wallet-friendly options to the budget-blowers, we’ve got something here to suit your needs.

1. M&S Tailored Fit Mid Length Quick Dry Swim Shorts: £29.50, Marks & Spencer


These shorts, from M&S’ David Gandy for Autograph collection, are among the smartest on our list, and would therefore work even if you’re not planning to go swimming. Made from 55 per cent cotton, they’re quick drying, which is handy. They come in enough different block colours to suit your taste – we chose blue. 

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2. H&M Printed Swim Shorts: £12.99, H&M


If you’ve spent the vast majority your money on the holiday itself and don’t have a great deal left for the corresponding attire, H&M is a good bet. Giving enough change from 20 quid to buy yourself a pair of sunglasses, these blue, tiger print shorts fit quite high up the thigh, and are mesh-lined for added comfort.

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3. Hilfiger Denim Beach Print Swim Shorts: £55, Topman


If you can’t make it out to some scorching Mediterranean beach and have to settle instead for your local lido, you can at least go some way to recreating the former with these Tommy Hilfiger shorts. There are plenty of pockets (just make sure you’ve emptied them before taking the plunge), with a comfortable elasticated waistband.  

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4. Pull & Bear Printed Swimsuit With Elastic Waist: £15.99, Pull & Bear


You can count on Pull & Bear for reasonably priced, good-looking and well-made clothes. These eye-catching, zig-zag print shorts made from 65 per cent cotton and have a useful button-up pocket at the back for when you’re on the move. There’s a range of other jazzy designs available if these don’t take your fancy. 

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5. Patagonia Wavefarer 21” Board Shorts: £49.99, Surfdome


If you’d prefer not to buy a pair that cut off half way up your thigh, these longer board shorts from American brand Patagonia are a welcome alternative. Manufactured using sustainable materials and methods, they’re comfortable, airy and lightweight – just what you need when the mercury rises.

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6. Hackett London Hawaiian Swim Shorts: £70, John Lewis


It wouldn’t be summer without the parading of at least one outlandish Hawaiian garment, and we think these shorts, from London-based menswear brand Hackett, are among the more agreeable of the crop. With a floral design set upon a navy blue background, there’s a comfortable elasticated waistband which doesn’t chafe.

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7. Sundek Rainbow Mid-Length Swim Shorts: £80, Mr Porter


The only thing brighter than these shorts might be the sun itself, so you’re sure to stand out. Coming from the Californian surfwear brand, the shorts feature a tri-colour stripe across the back, and the mesh lining means they’ll stay comfortable when wet. 

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8. Orlebar Brown Bulldog Seersucker Mid-Length Swim Short: £175, Orlebar Brown


If the budget is there to be blown, we’d recommend these smart-looking shorts from Orlebar Brown, a London-based brand which specialises in sophisticated ‘poolside’ attire that is just as suitable in the water as it is out. These finely striped shorts feature metal buckles, adding sophistication, while a drawstring carry bag comes included. If this design doesn’t take your fancy, there are no less than 40 other patterns to choose from.

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For the combination of style, quality and value, we’re giving a thumbs up to the shorts from Marks and Spencer. But if you’re pushing the boat out (and then diving off it into the sea), we’re a big fan of the sophisticated range on offer from Orlebar Brown.

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