Jun 24, 2014

Beach Essentials | The 5 Inch Board Short

Super long board shorts, you know, the ones that drape...

Super long board shorts, you know, the ones that drape down to the middle of your calves really make no sense. You’ve been waiting all year for the weather to break 80 degrees just so you could hit the beach, but, you’ve decided to basically rock a pair of “man-pris” while you’re having fun in the sand. The short answer is DON’T DO IT! Hopefully you hit the gym through the winter and now it’s time to show some manly leg. Look around at the landscape of women sunning on the beach and you’ll notice that 90% of them are wearing two-piece bikinis/swim suits. Take your beach style cues from the ladies as in “less is more”.

Most guys won’t admit it, but rocking long board shorts is more of a security blanket. Remember there’s no better way to gain some confidence on the beach than rocking a well-tailored board short that shows off those legs you’ve worked so hard to sculpt. You don’t want to look like the guy that forgot to bring swim trunks and had to borrow a pair of basketball shorts from his buddy. For guys ranging in height from 5’6′ to 6’2, a board short with a 5 inch inseam will hit you just below, or right at, mid-thigh. This might be the first time that your quads see some sun but trust me, people will notice you for all the right reasons.

This post features three pair of 5 inch (inseam) Surfside Board Shorts from Bonobos.

The Geometric Pattern

Bonobos Surfside Geometric 5 Inch Board Shorts

Navy & Green Harbor Geo Print 5 inch Board Short – Bonobos | 502 Gray Fade Sunglasses - TVR Optus | Optical Beach Towel – Nate Berkus for Target

No matter if you’re at the beach, a rooftop pool party or the local YMCA, there will probably be a life guard on duty. If that lifeguard is a guy, you’ll notice that his shorts also hit him mid-thigh and there’s a practical reason for that length. With a shorter inseam your range of motion increases, making it easier to swim, run or (in the case of a party emergency) dance like your life depends on it.

A geometric pattern adds some personality to your trunks and can serve as your plumage (if you’re peacocking on the beach looking to attract a mate). Here are some tips to rocking geometric board shorts:

  • Know what colors work well for your skin tone. Since more of your skin is exposed than normal, you’ll want find shorts that are complementary. When in doubt, navy, white and gradients of green work well on most skin tones.
  • Only opt for a 5 or 7 inch inseam when wearing geometric pattern. Remember, longer the shorts mean more fabric. With more fabric there will be more geometric pattern that could be overwhelming. You don’t want to make anyone seasick while checking out your trunks.
  • With a flat waistband, board shorts are flattering on all body types, as opposed to draw string shorts that cinch the waist (man muffin top is not a good look)
  • These trunks are cut like your everyday short, so you can easily throw on a white tank and head over straight from the sand to the nearest beach bar when it’s time for happy hour

Bonobos Surfside Geometric 5 Inch Board Shorts

Bonobos Surfside Geometric 5 Inch Board Shorts


Bonobos Surfside Navy Lanai Floral Trunk

Navy Lanai Floral Surfside Board Short – Bonobos | Straw Panana Hat – H&M (get similar here) | Handmade beaded bracelet – Tobox Philly

Florals are a huge trend in menswear this spring & summer, and of course they go hand-in-hand with swimwear. Giving off a tropical vibe, floral board shorts show that you have a big personality and enjoy the finer things in life (aka drinks on the beach).

  • Floral shorts with a blue base are always a safe way to go, especially when the flowers are pink, green, yellow or white
  • The scale of the pattern is crucial. Opt for a floral short with large flowers that are spaced far apart. Remember you’re not a walking bouquet

Bonobos Surfside Navy Lanai Floral Trunk

Bonobos Surfside Navy Lanai Floral Trunk

Stripes On Stripes

Bonobos 5 inch rudder stripe trunks

Surfside Blue Rudder Stripe Board Short – Bonobos | Dean In English Oak Sunglasses – Warby Parker

If you’re taking your first step into patterned 5 inch board shorts, this rudder stripe pair might be your gateway pair. They’re a great sky blue, the color that reminds us most of beautiful sunny days. The white striping adds just enough to these shorts for a bit of subtle flair.

  • Wear these with everything at the beach (tanks, tees, a short sleeve white linen popover, or a button down)
  • The striping is key. If you have a wider lower half, opt for a thin multi-stripe short like these or a pair with a singular bold stripe
  • You don’t have to just lay around or drink on the beach, try some fùtbol this summer!

Bonobos 5 inch rudder stripe trunks

Bonobos 5 inch rudder stripe trunks

Photo Credit: Marina T. Peele @Cantwinklefty

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tagged beach wear, patterns, swimwear, bonobos board shorts, floral men's trunks, men's beach style...