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How men’s swim shorts became totally acceptable lockdown attire

Gone are the days where men reserved swim shorts for weekend getaways. We’re not going anywhere lately, and we’ve found that swim shorts have actually become a great lockdown look.

As we search high and wide for the motivation to get us through this very long semi-lockdown period, we’ve also gone through various phases of dressing.

At first, we embraced not having to get dressed and went halfway commando for most of our Zoom calls. Then, we embraced the mental health benefits of getting dressed and how this can make you more productive. We found a balance, and looked to sportswear and athleisure, using only trips to the supermarket as a reason to wear actual shoes. Yet whilst we all kind of agree that ugly sandals, bucket hats, and graphic tees are 100% lockdown beloveds, we’ve also recently noticed another trend: men’s swim shorts.

Image Credit: Salawan

Whilst a woman could wear a bikini as a crop top or bra, it doesn’t hold realistic in a lockdown world. It’s not functional. It’s not comfortable. It’s not appropriate. Men’s swim shorts, however, make a lot of sense.

For one, they’re extremely comfortable to wear (the greatest priority at this time). They look somewhat dressy even if they aren’t dressy, because they’re a bit of a stretch away from regular jersey, cotton, or basketball shorts. They’re less pretentious than actual shorts (why dress like you have somewhere to go?), and they can be dressed up or down however you like.

The elephant in the room, of course, is that you would have loved to dress them up or down to go to the beach, but we have to compromise here.

Below, we’ve put together some of our favourite Thai brands (and a few international brands) that make men’s swim shorts. We’ve paired each item with a lockdown activity they’re best suited for, so consider your mornings in the sun, afternoons in the bed, and evenings on the couch well-styled.

[Hero and Featured Image Credit: TIMO Trunks]

We’re starting our list with a classic design, because you can never really go wrong with white-and-blue stripes. Asava’s more casual Moo brand really brings a light and relaxed flair with this pair, featuring white contrast stitching and a bold yet timeless design. The best part? The shorts already do much of the talking here, so you can pair with a plain t-shirt and you’re good to go.

Perfect for: Morning coffee runs to that croissant place you like
Price: THB 1374

For those looking for something a little more luxurious, go for these TIMO EDITION trunks. Designed to mimic studs, this edgy and somewhat eclectic pair reminds us of summer parties in Europe. Pair them with a crisp white shirt if you’re feeling dressy, or just a plain white t-shirt and keep it casual — with an edge.

Perfect for: Cocktail hour at home
Price: THB 3500

Are you familiar with this really fun Swedish brand? They make a whole host of cool swim trunks for both men and women, and they can be found at Another Story here in Bangkok. For when we’re in the mood for colour, we’re feeling this bright red pair of swim shorts that comes in a mid-length and with a playful design. Perfect for those who like to make an entrance, even if that entrance is from the bedroom to the kitchen every few hours.

Perfect for: Dance party in the pantry
Price: THB 1640

Is tie dye still in fashion? We’d like to think so. Especially in this less in-your-face and more casual-cool design, we’re loving these Sweeks shorts for any and all of our lockdown leisures. Everybody needs a pair of dark navy shorts that can be summoned at any moment. This is a great option.

Perfect for: Balcony barbecue with bae
Price: THB 1190

If you’re one for wearable art, opt for these Salawan men’s swim shorts. Featuring an “adventurous tropical-inspired” print, we like the splash of colour and the playfulness in design. Whilst we would have loved to wear these by the beach in Samui, they look pretty good for brunch back at home, too.

Perfect for: Weekend breakfast by yourself (company is on your shorts)
Price: THB 1175

For all men who are trying to wear more colour without going the whole nine yards, these surf shorts by Leisure Projects could offer an attractive solution. We like the colourful marine life-inspired design, contrasting boldly with the black base colour. Leisure Projects also makes a similar pair in a lighter colour, so it’s advisable to get both and switch according to your mood. Lockdowns are all about moods.

Perfect for: Trip to the grocery store
Price: THB 1490

There are swim shorts that can be worn only for certain occasions, and there are swim shorts that can be worn for just about any occasion. Our last pair on this list belongs to the latter group. We love these Greyhound swim shorts for their simple yet sophisticated design, featuring a subtle logo on the front and a warm and enriched colour overall. Wear with sneakers or with slippers. Pair with shirts or with tees. Whatever you do, you’re looking good.

Perfect for: Just about any lockdown activity
Price: THB 2200

Lisa Gries
Creative Content Director, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.
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