Understanding Board Shorts: Swimmers vs. Style

Understanding Board Shorts: Swimmers vs. Style

Board shorts and swim trunks can sound like, at first glance (or first hear, as the case may be), synonyms — but these terms actually refer to two separate and distinct types of swimwear. While both board shorts and swim trunks are men’s swimwear items that look more or less like a pair of shorts, their stylistic differences give them a different look and feel from one another.

Board Shorts

Let’s start with board shorts: they’re usually made of quick-dry fabric and are cut with a performance fit in mind. They often have a bit of stretch to them for ease of movement, and a micro repel coating keeps them waterproof. Board shorts also lack an internal mesh lining.

Swim trunks, on the other hand, tend to have lasso waist (read: drawstring waist) styling, encased elastic at the waist, on-seam side pockets, and a “lo tide” fit. Like board shorts, though, they can have a little stretch for comfort and easy movement (but sometimes are made of rigid fabric instead), and a micro-repel coating makes them perfect for wearing in the water.

Board shorts are designed for a secure fit and usually feature four-way stretch fabric. These details make them perfect for active endeavors like surfing. They can also be worn for amphibious activities (think: a hike during which you may have to walk through a waist-high creek but will travel along drier terrain before or after hitting the water too).

Swim Trunks

Swim trunks are a more suitable choice for recreational use. Think pool parties or beach trips during which you might splash around but won’t be full-on exercising (and, therefore, the possibility of chafing wouldn’t be a concern). Performance fit and fabric are less necessary at times like these, making board shorts unnecessary and swim trunks an easy choice. Our men’s swim trunks and boy’s swim trunks are great picks for fun times like these.

Board Shorts for the Family

Though the board-short style was originally a boy’s and men’s style, board-short options have since grown to include board shorts for female water sports enthusiasts. They can offer more coverage during sports like surfing than a bikini bottom would and help prevent that dreaded “wedgie” that can distract you from catching a wave. If you’re an active water sports fan, though, you’ll want to have several pairs of board shorts in your wardrobe. Our men’s board shorts, women’s board shorts, boy’s board shorts, and girl’s board shorts are all quality picks. They’ll provide durability and style, all at a great price.

Complete the Outfit for Maximum Sun Protection

It’s natural to wonder what (if anything) should be worn with board shorts. While board shorts can look and feel great when worn on their own, we love rash guards, and ours look and feel terrific! Our boy’s rash guards and girl’s rash guards offer unparalleled durability and value while keeping little bodies sun-protected. We know how hard it is to get SPF onto a squirmy little one who’s eager to get into the water as fast as they can, and when your kiddo wears a rash guard, there’s less exposed skin to which you need to apply sunscreen! It’s a win for them and a win for you too.

Beach Vacation

A rash guard and board shorts make a great beach outfit for a little boy (and for bigger boys, too!). Putting together great looks for little boys (who can often be fidgety and bothered by seams or tags in their clothes and hard on their clothes, too) can sometimes feel a little challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got your back with great tips and outfit ideas for dressing your little boy during the summer season.

And if you’re taking your son — or your whole family! — along on a summer vacation, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got to take tons of stuff along. The good news is: you may need less than you think for a minimalist vacation. Board shorts or swim trunks, though, are always a must-have for men and boys when there’s a summer vacation involved.

Whether you prefer board shorts or swim trunks, you can find everything you need to outfit your whole family for a fun-filled summer at Lands’ End — no matter where your summer might take you!


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