Home » Swim Shorts vs. Swim Trunks: What’s the Difference?

Swim Shorts vs. Swim Trunks: What’s the Difference?

Summertime is here, and with it, the delightful dilemma of choosing the perfect swimwear. As you browse the huge range of options available, you might be asking: what’s the difference between swim shorts and swim trunks? Though they sound similar, and the terms are often used interchangeably, there are distinct variations between the two.

Swim Shorts: Lightweight and Versatile

Swim shorts tend to be more versatile in nature. Typically, designer swim shorts are made from quick-drying, lightweight materials, making them the perfect choice for various water activities. Designed to look more like casual shorts, they often come with pockets and can be worn on the beach or even at a nearby café without drawing odd glances. 

The length of swim shorts can vary. Some reach down to the knee, while others might sit mid-thigh. This variety allows for personal preference, making it easier for you to choose a style that complements your body type. 

Swim Trunks: Traditional and Snug

If you are thinking about old-school swimming attire, you’re probably thinking of swim trunks. These are the classic choice, usually shorter in length and fitting more snugly around the body. Unlike swim shorts, they often lack pockets or have minimal ones, as their primary purpose is for swimming. 

Trunks are often made of a similar quick-drying material to swim shorts and may have a mesh lining inside. The purpose of this lining is to ensure a better fit and increased comfort. 

Materials and Durability

Both swim shorts and trunks are crafted to withstand the challenges of water, salt, and sand. Typically, they are made from polyester or nylon because of the water-resistant and durable properties of these materials. When considering a purchase, it’s a good idea to inspect the material blend and choose high-quality brands to ensure your swimwear lasts for multiple seasons. 

Fashion and Trends

Over the years, beach fashion has seen a dynamic shift, with both swim shorts and trunks undergoing various style transformations. Today, you can find shorts and trunks to suit everyone, whether you prefer a more minimalistic approach with subtle patterns and muted tones, or like the vibrant, bold prints reminiscent of the ‘80s and ‘90s. 

Choosing the Right Style for You

Your choice between swim shorts and trunks largely comes down to the intended use and your personal preferences. 

  • Activity: If you plan on taking part in beach sports or perhaps grabbing a bite to eat after a dip, swim shorts offer more flexibility. Their design ensures they don’t look out of place, even away from the water. 
  • Comfort: For those who prefer a snug fit and a traditional swimming experience, trunks might be the ideal choice. 
  • Style: Fashion-conscious individuals might choose swim shorts due to the wide array of designs available, while others might appreciate the timeless look of trunks. 

While seemingly similar, swim shorts and trunks cater to different needs and tastes. Whether you gravitate towards the adaptable nature of swim shorts or the classic charm of trunks, both options promise a great time under the sun.