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The Hottest Summer Swim Boyshorts for the Hottest Summer Bois and Grrrls

Boyshorts are the most magical of all swimwear bottoms. Boyshorts can range from the barely there femme-cuts to the vintage style men’s swim trunks and all the good stuff in between. It’s like someone was looking around and realized there were all these amazing women for whom board shorts or bikini bottoms just weren’t cutting it. Women who wanted a little added coverage or needed to fulfill a deep desire to dress like a 1920s male beach model. Who knows? Maybe some women just wanted to play beach volleyball without getting sand all up in their good bits.

If you’ve been hanging around for a while, you’ve probably already read the Autostraddle Swimsuit Edition. Still, it’s a new year and a new summer and I thought you just might want to take a fresh look at some cute boyshorts. Be all in the moment with it. Besides, it’s about halfway through the summer and there is a 50% chance your favorite boyshorts are lost/ripped/in your friend’s car forever.

So here they are, in decreasing amount of coverage: my very favorites at this very moment.

When in doubt, you can never go wrong with Speedo. A little bit longer and skin tight, these are perfect if you plan on doing any actual beach sports or body surfing.


Neon is huge right now, and there’s no reason your ass should get as much color as your cheeks and shoulders. Plus these are only $10!


I love these shorts because they have that faux layered look where you get all the hip layering street cred with none of the bulk.


If it isn’t immediately clear to you, these boyshorts are designed to look like denim cut-offs. And isn’t that just exactly what we all secretly want to be wearing to the beach?


These boyshorts adorably combine a vintage men’s trunks style pipping with a more femme tie and pattern.


For a super short vintage trunk look, without femme ties or patterns, these boyshorts are a win. Plus the color combo is to die for.


If anyone tries to tell you American flag boyshorts aren’t the coolest swimwear on the block you can just tell them “Screw you, that’s unpatriotic.” These boyshort are tight, short and pictured from the back for a reason.


Hugo Boss really knows how to make tight swimshorts for men, but these will look even better on you. I love the combination of the European masculine cut in the pink color.


Diesel always comes through with amazing boyshorts in the form of their Aloha Swim Trunk. These particular ones have a wicked cool mini front zipper! Think of all the things you could store in that tiny pocket. Hair ties? Gum? Contact lens case?


Brooklyn-based Marimacho is “classic fashion for the unconventionally masculine.” Their 1920s superman swim brief is produced in a socially responsible factory in NYC with an eye towards fit. It’s a queer girl’s dream come true.


All the benefits of the Super Boi Swim Brief, but in aqua. Hawt.


If you’re just looking for a great black shorty short boyshort to that goes with everything, Nike is the way to go. These shorts have the added benefit of athletic looking (but secretly slimming, if you’re into that) white stripes.


Body Glove Time Warp Side Kick Bottom

Teeny tiny but athletically cut, Body Glove’s boyshorts live up to their name. These are just perfect if you want shorts that are truly barely there.–get ’em


I’m not sure if these even qualify as boyshorts, but if those pockets and buttons aren’t the damn cutest thing I’ve ever seen I don’t know what is.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. I really want to own those last ones, but I’m the whitest person alive. Does having legs that can cause retina damage rule out wearing orange? Damn Irish genetics…

    • Never! Reflective skin is no barrier to wearing orange. Yellow, now, that’s a different matter; pale skin and yellow can be a pretty painful combination.

      • I totally know what you mean about yellow! As a ginger I can pretty much never pull it off.
        I always tell people that if you look directly at my bare legs it is like looking into a solar flare.
        That does not stop me from wearing what I want though.
        I want those last ones too!

        • Yeah, definitely no yellow or pale pink. I’ve learnt to love the glare, fake tan is too hard and there is no way I’m ever going to have a real one.

  2. Does anyone know of board shorts that can accommodate hips? I’m pretty apple-shaped, so my hips aren’t a problem, but my gf’s got (all the right) curves, and she’s looking for board shorts that will flatter her figure. Or, at least, not look ridiculous on her.

    • I personally like board shorts that are longer than these because if they’re short I feel like my thighs look ridiculous. I’m not sure if that would help with hips as well? But it could be worth a try. I have some that are an inch or two above my knee and I love them.(Sort of like this: http://www.surfdome.com/billabong_bikinis_-_billabong_kiana_boardshorts_-_black-78488) The only problem is that it’s hard to find any long ones except online, mine are a couple years old because I can never find new ones. And they can be kind of expensive. I think mine were like $20 because they were on sale but a lot of the ones I’ve seen online recently were more like 40.

    • I have hips and curves and stuff, and thus tend to have a problem with things being too tight in the rear and too loose in the waist. I recently got these in black at Old Navy (http://oldnvy.me/NgwuQD) and I really like them! More booty coverage than your average bottoms, and they fit my curves. I can’t find other colors online, but they might still have some in store!

      Like Emma said, finding longer bottoms for gals is kind of tricky, but there are usually some cute options in the little boys section, a la Old Navy (I swear this isn’t an ON sales pitch). Not really sure on the sizing (and they might be too masculine), but they could work! Check it: http://oldnvy.me/LFc6eb

    • I actually think that some of these look more flattering on curvy femmes than non-curvy femmes, since they tend to flatten one otherwise.

  3. oh, i’m really glad Marimacho fixed their problematic mission statement! props to them for responding to criticism about it

    • What was it before? Hadn’t heard of them until now (but I kinda want that stripey swim top!)

  4. I’m femme and I pretty much always wear swim shorts with my suit! Roxy is generally a good brand to look for but last time I got swim shorts I wanted something that wasn’t as short and low-cut, so I got these La Blanca board shorts: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/la-blanca-board-shorts/2950944
    They’d probs be okay for someone less feminine too – they’re pretty neutral.

  5. I REALLY NEEDED TO WEIGH IN ON THIS CAUSE I HAVE SWIMSUIT FEELINGS. Okay so I don’t like regular bikini bottoms. Just end up being too femmy/teeny for me. But boardshorts are a little too loose/giant on me. In the water I would prefer to wear as little as possible so I can be all free. Like a dolphin or some shit.

    Point is, I bought these: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/nike-swimwear-metro-colorblock-splice-brief-shorts?ID=668305&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results

    in all three colors. Don’t even judge. They are perfect, they have a cute teeny zipper pocket, they go up far enough to help with muffin top and down just low enough to cover a bit of thigh. I have no qualms about wearing them in front of hot pool girl (at my apartment complex) which is important, because, you know, she’s hot and I am 95% sure she bats for our team.

    I just need a perfect top. Right now I’m just usually wearing a champion sports bra from Target–the non-cotton, wicking ones. It dries reasonably fast so it’s an inexpensive alternative to a real swimsuit top. But if it was legal, I just wouldn’t wear one.

    • I can’t and I love you for this:

      “I have no qualms about wearing them in front of hot pool girl (at my apartment complex) which is important, because, you know, she’s hot and I am 95% sure she bats for our team.”

      Get it.

      • She has a very large HRC symbol tattooed between her shoulderblades.

        More like 99% sure, and 1% she has a queer sibling or best friend.

  6. I got really excited when I saw this article but I kept getting error messages trying to get to it. I finally beat the internet and it loaded for me. I’ve been hunting down swim boyshorts for weeks. Somuchhappiness.

  7. All that enthusiasm about swimsuits can only mean one thing: you guys are NOT doing enough skinnydipping!

  8. Anyone know of anything about swimsuit tops designed to make your breasts look smaller? I’m a boyish, but busty girl. I’ve been looking for AGES for a top cute enough to go with some boyshorts, but still suitably adrogynous/boob-squishing. Any recommendations?

    (P.S. I’m totally going to get that last pair of boyshorts to wear at A-Camp 2.0, so thanks Lizz!)

  9. I bought these last summer and i like them a lot.


    they’re not actually meant for swimming, but they have a lining and dry quickly and work just as well. They’re not super short, but also they’re not super masculine, which seems to be hard to find. I also really like the elastic waistband. i”ve had problems with the string and zipper kinds before

  10. eee! those marimacho ones are to DIE FOR! My job involves a lot of swimming in heavily chlorinated pools (ugh i know the things I do for love and a paycheck) so I am always looking for swimwear that will stand up to kids pulling & awkward not-out-to-attract-people job-swimming. BUT I ALSO LOVE LOVE LOVE boi swimwear for myself so double triple win! EEE! Thanks!

  11. I’ve also found cheap boyshorts in random places like Target (though usually they’re not lycra/not built to last in pools at all), sporting good stores like Big 5, and knockoff recreation stores like Any Mountain (I found my very favorite pair there for like $10). BUT THEY ARE SO HARD TO FIND Y’ALL. UGH. and thanks!

  12. I love every single thing that Marimacho produces. I hope they continue to survive and start exploding, because they are incredible. Also I hope that someday I will have the money to afford them.

  13. Arrrgh where have Marimacho gone… those shorts are *literally* the very thing I’ve been searching for my entire adult life :'(

  14. “Bois” in this article seems to imply AFAB people that are masculine, yet there are AMAB people (like myself) that identify as a boi because we are feminine.

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