Can You Wear Board Shorts Casually?

Can You Wear Board Shorts Casually?


When it comes to casual beachwear, board shorts and swim trunks are the go-to options for many men. These versatile garments provide comfort and style, making them perfect for various outdoor activities and leisurely days by the water. But can you wear board shorts casually? In this article, we will explore the suitability of board shorts for casual wear and provide insights into their design, features, and styling options.

Understanding Board Shorts and Swim Trunks

Before delving into the casual wear aspect, let's briefly differentiate between board shorts and swim trunks. Board shorts are originally designed for surfing and other water-based activities. They are typically longer in length, reaching below the knee, and feature a slimmer fit. On the other hand, swim trunks are shorter and looser, providing more freedom of movement. Swim trunks are commonly worn for swimming and lounging at the pool or beach.

The Versatility of Board Shorts

Board shorts can certainly be worn casually, beyond their intended purpose for water sports. Their comfortable fit and stylish designs make them suitable for various casual occasions. Whether you're strolling along the boardwalk, enjoying a beachside BBQ, or simply hanging out with friends, board shorts can be a great choice for a laid-back and fashionable look.

Design Features of Board Shorts

Board shorts are crafted with specific features that contribute to their versatility and comfort. They are typically made from quick-drying materials such as polyester or nylon, ensuring that you stay comfortable even after a dip in the water. Board shorts often have a secure closure system, combining a tie-front opening and a Velcro fly to keep them in place during active movements. They also tend to have a sleeker, more streamlined appearance compared to swim trunks.

Styling Board Shorts for Casual Wear

To wear board shorts casually, it's important to consider the overall outfit and styling choices. Here are some tips to help you achieve a stylish and casual look with your board shorts:

  1. Choose the Right Length: Opt for board shorts that hit just above or at the knee for a balanced and modern look. Avoid excessively long shorts, as they can appear outdated.
  2. Select the Right Fit: Look for board shorts that have a relaxed but not overly baggy fit. This ensures comfort and a contemporary aesthetic.
  3. Pair with a Casual Shirt: For a relaxed and put-together ensemble, pair your board shorts with a casual shirt, such as a plain t-shirt or a lightweight button-down. This creates a balanced and stylish look.
  4. Accessorize Appropriately: Add a few accessories to complete your casual outfit. Consider a stylish hat, sunglasses, or a colorful beach towel to inject personality and flair.
  5. Choose the Right Footwear: Opt for casual footwear options like flip-flops, canvas shoes, or slip-on sandals to complement your board shorts. Avoid wearing athletic sneakers, as they can clash with the casual vibe.
  6. Experiment with Patterns and Colors: Board shorts come in a wide range of patterns and colors, allowing you to express your personal style. Experiment with different prints or opt for solid hues to create a versatile wardrobe.
  7. Layer with a Lightweight Jacket: If the weather calls for it, layer your board shorts with a lightweight jacket or hoodie. This adds an extra element of style and functionality to your casual ensemble.

    Remember, the key to wearing board shorts casually is to strike a balance between comfort and style. With the right fit, accessories, and overall outfit coordination, you can effortlessly create a fashionable and laid-back look.

    Swim Trunks: An Alternative for Casual Wear

    While board shorts are a popular choice for casual beachwear, swim trunks also offer versatility and comfort. Swim trunks are designed with relaxation and swimming in mind, making them equally suitable for casual outings. Their shorter length and looser fit provide a more relaxed and traditional aesthetic compared to board shorts.

    Styling Swim Trunks for Casual Wear

    To wear swim trunks casually, consider the following styling tips:

    1. Choose the Right Length: Opt for swim trunks that fall above the knee for a classic and casual look. Avoid excessively short or long trunks, as they can appear disproportionate.
    2. Select the Right Fit: Swim trunks should have a comfortable and relaxed fit without being too loose. Look for options with an adjustable drawstring waist for a customized fit.
    3. Pair with a Casual T-Shirt: Pair your swim trunks with a casual t-shirt or tank top for a laid-back and effortless look. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen for added comfort.
    4. Add a Lightweight Cover-Up: If you're heading to a beachside restaurant or bar, consider adding a lightweight cover-up, such as a linen button-down shirt or a chambray overshirt. This adds a touch of sophistication to your casual ensemble.
    5. Choose Appropriate Footwear: Pair your swim trunks with casual footwear options like flip-flops or espadrilles. These comfortable shoes complete the relaxed vibe of your outfit.
    6. Accessorize with Minimalism: Keep your accessories minimal and understated. A simple watch, a woven bracelet, or a straw hat can add a stylish touch without overpowering the casual aesthetic.
    7. Experiment with Colors and Prints: Swim trunks come in various colors and patterns, allowing you to showcase your personal style. Opt for vibrant hues or subtle prints to add visual interest to your casual look.

      By following these styling tips, you can confidently wear swim trunks for casual occasions, whether it's a day at the beach, a poolside gathering, or a casual summer outing.


      In conclusion, both board shorts and swim trunks can be worn casually with the right styling choices. Board shorts offer a sleek and sporty look, while swim trunks provide a more relaxed and traditional aesthetic. By considering the length, fit, accessories, and overall outfit coordination, you can confidently wear these versatile garments for various casual occasions. So, go ahead and embrace the comfort and style of board shorts or swim trunks as you enjoy your leisurely days by the water or any casual outing under the sun.

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      This article was written by Muhammad Saleem Shahzad, Managing Editor of Fashion and Manufacturing. With more than a decade of experience in the Fashion industry, Muhammad reports on breaking news and provides analysis and commentary on all things related to fashion, clothing and manufacturing.