How to Wear Board Shorts – Do’s and Don’ts

How to Wear Board Shorts

The real question people ask themselves isn’t how to wear board shorts, as much as when and where should I wear board shorts, and will I look silly?

It isn’t rocket science. However, there are some things to consider when you put on pair.

Do you need to wear anything underneath board shorts? What’s the difference between board shorts and swim trunks?

Can you wear board shorts casually? What are hybrid board shorts? What shirts can I wear with board shorts and not look like a lost tourist?

These are all legitimate questions we’ve asked ourselves when planning a day that includes more than going to the beach or the pool.

Fortunately, all it takes is a little common sense as well as style sense and you should be comfortable on most social occasions. I’m going to show you all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to wearing board shorts so you can enjoy your day and feel confident you look good.

Do I Need to Wear Anything Underneath My Board Shorts?

Most of us wear underwear every day of our lives so it seems counterintuitive not to wear them underneath board shorts. However, even though it might seem weird, you don’t want to wear underwear with board shorts.

Why you might ask?

Not only is it tacky, but underwear will remain wet long after your board shorts have dried. Well, I should say, would’ve dried. Your wet undies will make sure of that!

Not to mention that the dyes used to make underwear don’t necessarily mix well with pool chemicals or saltwater.

If you must have something underneath your board shorts, you might look into low rise compression shorts or Speedos. Nonetheless, trust me when I tell you it’s ok to skip the undergarment under your board shorts.

Are Board Shorts and Swim Trunks the Same Thing?

Board shorts and swim trunks are indeed different due to a few factors. These factors are the length, type of waistband, and the existence of an inner liner.

Board shorts are usually a lot longer than traditional swim trunks. Swim trunks will be shorter and well above the knee while board shorts will be at or below the knee.

The reason being that board shorts are designed for surfing and help keep your legs from chafing against the surfboard.

Short swim trunks are making a comeback however and are being seen more and more at pools or on the beach.

The length of your shorts comes down to your own personal style or comfort level. Some people like their shorts short and some people like them long.

Can You Wear Board Shorts for Casual Events?

That depends. A little common sense is needed here. What is the color and print of the board shorts you want to wear?

What is the social event or setting that you will be attending? If it’s a wedding I would say no. If it’s a tropical wedding on a beach I would say maybe.

Again, it depends.

It is possible to wear board shorts casually as long as the colors are muted and not too gaudy. Another thing to make sure of is to not have the shorts too baggy or fall below the knee too much.

If you want to pull off wearing board shorts casually you’ll want them to fit well and contour to the shape of your body

Also, you want a pair of board shorts that are versatile in terms of style and functionality.

That’s where hybrid board shorts come into play.

What are Hybrid Board Shorts?

Hybrid board shorts are your best bet if you want to go directly from the beach to a social gathering. They are specifically designed to be versatile and look good at the beach or walking down the street. They also will have more features such as pockets with zipper or Velcro closures for things such as your phone, wallet, and keys.

The material of hybrid board shorts will look more like a traditional pair of shorts and not like the stereotypical elastic waistband beach short. They just look a little more refined.

Brands such as Volcom and O’Neill make some of the best hybrid board shorts available and look nice in most outdoor summertime occasions.

What Should You Wear With Board Shorts?

There are no real hard and fast rules about what you can wear with board shorts. It all depends on personal preference.

A few key things to remember is to wear a shirt or tank top that fits the style of your board shorts. Also, having a top that isn’t too baggy or out of proportion with your board shorts is helpful as well.

Again, it all comes down to your own personal level of comfort. Remember, the original purpose of board shorts is that they were made for the water. Whether at the pool or the beach, chances are you’ll be having a good time and fashion rules needn’t apply. So don’t overthink it.

Wear what you feel comfortable in.

The Bottom Line

Board shorts have come a long way in terms of style and materials used. Shorts that were once only worn by surfers have now made it into mainstream culture. They are now a staple of the beach as well as summertime attire.

With more and more people wearing them, the styles of board shorts have advanced to where they can fit in seamlessly with most outdoor social occasions.

Just remember if you want to wear your board shorts for more than just the pool or the beach you might want to choose a neutral color pair that fits well.

I personally love hybrid shorts for their versatility and they look good even away from the beach.  Not only that, but I also like the fact that the pockets in hybrid board shorts are subtler than the big flappy pockets associated with cargo shorts.

So, hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of how to wear board shorts and the things to look for and the things to avoid. Now, go have some fun!