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Short Swim Trunks: How Short is Too Short?

This seasons mens short swim trunks - Bondi Joe Swimwear

Short swim trunks have become a popular choice for men looking to combine style with functionality. However, determining the ideal length can be challenging. How short is too short? This guide explores the factors to consider when choosing the length of your swim trunks to ensure they are comfortable, stylish, and suitable for your activities.

The Rise of Short Swim Trunks

In recent years, short swim trunks have seen a resurgence in popularity, partly due to their retro appeal and partly because they offer greater freedom of movement. These trunks often feature lengths that fall mid-thigh or higher, providing a sporty and fashionable look. But while shorter lengths can be stylish, finding the right balance between style and practicality is essential.

Factors to Consider

Comfort and Mobility

One of the primary reasons men opt for short swim trunks is the enhanced mobility they offer. Shorter trunks allow for a greater range of motion, making them ideal for swimming, beach sports, and other activities. However, if the trunks are too short, they can become uncomfortable and may restrict movement rather than enhance it.

When trying on swim trunks, move around to ensure they provide the freedom you need without riding up or feeling too tight. A good rule of thumb is to choose trunks that allow you to bend, stretch, and move without any discomfort.

Body Type and Fit

Your body type plays a significant role in determining how short your swim trunks should be. Men with athletic builds may find that shorter trunks accentuate their physique, while those with different body types might prefer a slightly longer cut for more coverage.

For a flattering fit, consider trunks that fall mid-thigh. This length is generally versatile and suits various body types. Ensure the trunks are snug but not too tight around the waist and thighs. Elastic waistbands and adjustable drawstrings can help achieve a comfortable fit.

Activity Level

The activities you plan to engage in while wearing your swim trunks should also influence your choice of length. If you are swimming laps or participating in vigorous water sports, shorter trunks can provide the necessary mobility. However, if you are lounging by the pool or playing beach volleyball, you might prefer a bit more coverage.

Assess your activity level and choose a length that aligns with your needs. Short trunks that are too revealing can be impractical for certain activities and may cause discomfort.

Style and Fashion

Fashion trends come and go, but the key to looking good in your swim trunks is feeling confident in what you wear. While shorter trunks are currently in vogue, it’s important to choose a length that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

Consider the style and design of the trunks as well. Bold patterns and bright colors can make a statement, while solid colors offer a classic look. Regardless of trends, your personal style should guide your choice.

Determining the Ideal Length

Mid-Thigh Length

Mid-thigh length swim trunks are a versatile choice that offers a balance between style and functionality. This length is generally flattering for most body types and provides ample mobility without being too revealing. Mid-thigh trunks are ideal for various activities, from swimming and water sports to casual beach outings.

Above Mid-Thigh Length

Swim trunks that fall above mid-thigh are great for men who prefer a sporty and fashionable look. This length can accentuate your legs and is perfect for active beachgoers. However, it’s important to ensure that the trunks are not too short, as excessively short trunks can become impractical and uncomfortable.

Below Mid-Thigh Length

For those who prefer more coverage, trunks that fall just below mid-thigh can offer a comfortable and stylish option. This length still provides good mobility and is suitable for various activities. It also offers a bit more modesty, which can be preferable in certain settings.


1. How can I determine if my swim trunks are too short?

To determine if your swim trunks are too short, try them on and move around to assess comfort and mobility. If the trunks ride up, feel too tight, or restrict your movement, they may be too short. Aim for a length that falls mid-thigh for a versatile and comfortable fit.

2. Are shorter swim trunks suitable for all body types?

Shorter swim trunks can be flattering for many body types, but it’s important to choose a length that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Mid-thigh lengths are generally versatile and suit various body types, providing a balance between style and coverage.

3. What activities are best suited for short swim trunks?

Short swim trunks are ideal for activities that require a greater range of motion, such as swimming, beach sports, and active water activities. However, for lounging or casual beach outings, slightly longer trunks may offer more comfort and practicality.

4. How can I style short swim trunks for a fashionable look?

To style short swim trunks, consider pairing them with solid-colored tops or simple accessories that complement the boldness of the trunks. Choose patterns and colors that reflect your personal style, and ensure the overall outfit provides a balanced and cohesive look.

5. Can short swim trunks be worn for casual outings?

Yes, short swim trunks can be worn for casual outings, especially if they feature versatile designs and colors. Pair them with a T-shirt or tank top and casual footwear for a relaxed and stylish look that transitions seamlessly from the beach to casual settings.


Choosing the right length for your swim trunks is a balance between comfort, style, and practicality. While short swim trunks are trendy and offer great mobility, it’s important to ensure they provide the coverage and comfort you need for your activities. By considering your body type, activity level, and personal style, you can find the perfect pair of swim trunks that make you feel confident and comfortable all season long. See our other guides to buying mens swimwear.


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