From Paco to Prada—Fashion Brands Want You to Wear Boardshorts This Summer

  • 6882

A Saturday morning in the city, with no beach in sight, on one of the first excruciatingly hot days of early June, I was waiting in line at the Apple store in my neighborhood when I noticed a woman behind me in a pair of boardshorts. Mid-length and printed, these swim shorts looked surprisingly and effortlessly chic with a flowing white blouse and chunky slide sandals. A street-to-beach look I immediately wanted to add to my own summer outfit rotation. 

Despite being an unexpected item for the middle of Brooklyn, it was a sartorial choice that actually made perfect sense. There’s nothing worse than thick fabrics and tight silhouettes on sticky hot days. And with their laidback aura, loose fit, and water-wicking fabrics, a pair of swim shorts for women becomes extremely appealing—whether you’re heading out for a swim or not.

Not to mention, a handful of fashion brands have adopted the surf’s-up style. Paco Rabanne and Prada’s beach and outdoor summer capsule collections delivered literal takes on the boardshort (seen most recently in our very own beach shoot with Mayan Toledano). Meanwhile, Christopher Kane, Dries Van Noten, Versace, and Jil Sander presented drawstring shorts styles. There’s no denying the boxy, mid-length, elastic waist swim short silhouette has become a major trend among designer labels. But of course, there have always been options from classic swimwear labels and surf brands. We like Vilebrequin’s retro prints and Roxy’s striped pairs.

One of the best parts about adding a boardshort into your summer style is the endless amount of fun prints or shades from which to choose. Take it from someone who doesn’t wear prints or brights often; there’s something to be said for having a colorful zig-zag stripe, tropical print, or retro-inspired abstract pattern peek out from under an oversized white button-up. You can also look to model Paloma Elsesser for extra inspiration on how to style a pair. Or use one to breathe new life into that plain black swimsuit you wear on repeat.

So whether you’re on or off the beach, pick up one of the best swim shorts for women and shop our boardshort edit, below.

Paco Rabanne geometric print shell shorts

$280

SELFRIDGES

Jil Sander drawstring-waist swim shorts

$360

MATCHESFASHION.COM

Prada shorts

$860

PRADA

Versace print beach shorts

$285

24S

Vilebrequin swim short Mandala

$205

VILEBREQUIN

Ansea the reversible long board short

$125

ANSEA

Tombolo Fruits De Mer swim trunks

$108

TOMBOLO COMPANY

Vilebrequin swim short 1975

$205

VILEBREQUIN

Frescobol Carioca swim shorts

$220

FRESCOBOL CARIOCA

Dries Van Noten printed shorts

$375

NET-A-PORTER

OAS Zic Zac swim shorts

$90

OAS COMPANY

Zimmermann poppy relaxed silk shorts

$350

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Paradised Hanna printed shorts

$195

NET-A-PORTER

MC2 Saint Barth patchwork recycled swim shorts

$89

SELFRIDGES

Nonwe swim trunks

$20

AMAZON

Christopher Kane mindscape shorts

$495

CHRISTOPHER KANE

Ramy Brook Tessa floral shorts in wave

$195

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Madewell Second Wave board shorts

$70$50
MADEWELL

Roxy sea stripe board shorts

$45

NORDSTROM