A Guide to Swim Shorts for Women

A Guide to Swim Shorts for Women

Swim shorts are a fashionable, functional summer wardrobe staple. In this article, you’ll learn more about women’s swim shorts and why you need at least one pair in your swimsuit collection.

What are Swim Shorts Made From?

One of the most important features of any swimwear item is the fabric and swim shorts are no exception. Nylon is commonly used for swimsuits because it’s sturdy, stretchy, and fast-drying. Some swim shorts are crafted from nylon with a small percentage of spandex for even more stretch. Most swim shorts have an interior lining, which is often made from a polyester/spandex blend. Speaking of polyester, it’s also a popular material for women’s and men’s swimsuits. Like nylon, it’s durable and breathable, and it blends well with other materials such as spandex.

There are also swim shorts made with LYCRA® Xtra Life™ spandex, which provides 10 times the wear of regular spandex and is chlorine-resistant. This material resists fading for enduring vibrancy, and it holds its shape through repeated wear and washings. Many swim shorts—including those made from LYCRA® Xtra Life™—provide UPF 50 protection for covered areas and are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Features of Swim Shorts

Now that you know more about swim-short fabrics let’s look at features. Swim shorts come in multiple styles, including those with a high waist for retro-inspired flair. Some pairs have a seamless hydroliner, which provides a light layer of additional coverage and helps prevent chafing.

A wide waistband is a swim-short feature you may want, especially if you’re seeking swimwear bottoms that smooth the midsection without feeling tight. A drawcord provides a custom fit for every body, and some shorts even have pockets.

Swim-short pockets come in handy if you’re grabbing a treat from the beach café and don’t want to change from swimwear to regular shorts. Just tuck your cash or card into a pocket, throw on a rash-guard tee, and slip into some water shoes or sandals for casual beachy style.

Swim shorts come in a variety of lengths ranging from 3 inches to 11 inches. Longer styles provide plenty of coverage and are ideal if you prefer a modest look. Shorter styles are comfortable for water sports and still cover the bottom and hips, while medium-length styles work for virtually every body type and activity level.

For example, a 5-inch pair of swim shorts can keep you comfortable and covered, whether your idea of beach-day fun is surfing, parasailing, or lounging on a velvety oversized beach towel with the latest bestseller.

What Do You Wear with Swim Shorts?

The possibilities are almost unlimited when it comes to pairing swim shorts with other pieces. The tankini top is another summer classic that you can’t have too many of. Create a swimwear capsule wardrobe with swim shorts and tankinis in different colors and prints, then mix and match to create many looks.

Just as there are multiple styles of swim shorts, you’ll find plenty of options when shopping for tankini tops. The classic scoop neck is a style that’s never off-trend, as is the V-neck. There are swimsuit tops with shirring and control fabric for a streamlined effect, along with high-neck tankini tops for a modest look. If you prefer a retro aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with a bandeau tankini top. Another universally flattering style with throwback flair is the blouson tankini. There are also swim tees, which come in short-sleeve crewneck styles.

Alternatives to Swim Shorts

If you want to change your summer wardrobe depending on mood or occasion, there are other styles of swimwear bottoms that you can alternate with swim shorts. There are swim skirts in flouncy styles—like swim shorts, they come in different lengths. You’ll also find swim leggings, which are similar to shorts except longer. Skorts provide the coverage of shorts with the look of a skirt and are another swimwear option for your wardrobe.

Rash Guard Cover-Ups

Rash guard cover-ups are an essential part of any summer wardrobe. There are T-shirts and cover-up dresses made from lightweight polyester with a hint of spandex, which provides UPF 50 for covered areas. Wear them over your swimsuit when sitting on the beach or even to the concession stand or outdoor restaurant. There are rash guards for women, men, and kids, so your whole family can stay comfortable and protected in the sun.

Beach and Pool Accessories

Along with swim shorts, tankini tops, and cover-ups, there are a few more beach and pool must-haves. A canvas tote bag is a useful accessory, with enough room for beach towels, sunscreen, and beach toys for the kids. Now that you know more about swim shorts and what to wear them with, you’re ready to shop. Experiment with different swimwear pairings and color combinations to find the looks you like best.

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