The stand-out limited-edition swim shorts of summer 2021

Luxury London

18 June 2021

Exclusive swimwear guaranteed to make a splash

18 June 2021 | Luxury London


or the double vaxxed it looks like St Tropez might be on the cards after all this summer, which means you’ve already booked six nights at Hotel Byblos and are now looking for some splashy swim shorts to carry you from breakfast under the lemon trees to cocktails by the pool (events, admittedly, that might not be that far apart). Time to invest in some serious look-at-me swimwear. These limited-edition, capsule-collection swim shorts are certified wavemakers.  

Vilbrequin 1978 Infinite Fishes swim shorts

Vilebrequin, primus inter pares when it comes to premium swim shorts, turns 50 this year – a milestone it celebrates by revisiting its (extensive) back catalogue. To mark its half centenary, the brand of the sea-turtle logo has launched 50 collectors’ edition shorts in 50 different prints – each an exact remake, or a very similar representation, of a design from its 50 years in the beachwear biz. Having spent far longer than we should perusing Vilebrequin’s anthology of vintage patterns, it was this orange-on-lime-green pair that most caught our eye. The pattern is from 1978 and, if you look closely, features a shoal of fish.


Tom Ford floral-print swim shorts

Floral patterns, as you’ll now, have been a major menswear trend for the past few summers. This season, flowery swim shorts are set to be a mainstay at every Mediterranean pool party, travel restrictions willing. This tonal-pink, mid-rise pair from Tom Ford is exclusive to Mr Porter. They feature a zipped back pocket and adjustable waist tabs. Tall gents beware, they’re slim cut and short length – this is Mr Ford, after all.


Patémar Pilot Ocean Deep Special Edition swim shorts

The newest brand on the premium swimwear block, Patémar has launched its first Special Edition swim shorts with Bali-based mural artist Yessiow. Headquartered on the same Indonesian island, Patémar manufacturers all of its products entirely from upcycled plastic waste. For every pair of shorts it produces, the company has calculated that plastic equivalent to 12 water bottles is prevented from entering the ocean. This blue-and-pastel-pink pair will only be available during summer 2021. So dive in now.


Frescobol Carioca Copacabana print swim shorts

Rio de Janeiro-based beachwear outfitter Frescobol Carioca has teamed up with LA eyewear specialist Garrett Leight on a capsule collection that reimagines both brands' best-selling lines. In the case of Frescobol Carioca, the company’s halo Copacabana swim shorts have been printed in a new white-on-smoke-green colourway. The short-length, drawstring shorts feature both side and back pockets, and are constructed from a quick-dry fabric that’s bespoke to the brand. The collection launches in the first week of July – by which time the countries on the Green List might be a little more temperate than Iceland and South Georgia.  


Orlebar Brown botanical swim shorts

The pioneer of tight-fitting tailored swim shorts, Orlebar Brown has been giving carbohydrate-loving men something to aspire to since 2007, when it was founded by photographer Adam Brown. Within just a handful of years, the brand was rivalling Vilebrequin as the swim shorts to be seen in across Europe’s chicest beach resorts (it took a little longer for the brand to kill off knee-length board shorts in the States). New for summer 2021 is the Botanical capsule collection, featuring these mid-length Boxer shorts. The floral-on-navy print is based on a vintage illustration from the 1960s.


CDLP Cuixmala swim shorts

In 2016, Stockholm-based businessmen-designers Christian Larson and Andreas Palm established saucy design house, CDLP, with the aim of sexing up men’s underwear. They’ve since extended that mission to swim shorts. This limited-edition, bi-colour pair was created with Mexican eco resort Cuixmala, and are made using Econyl, an Italian-sourced nylon fibre regenerated from ocean and landfill waste. This vibrant, fuchsia-on-flame colourway is inspired by the vivid colours of the Central American retreat.  


Ralph Lauren Amalfi floral-print swimming trunks

For its 2021 swimwear collection, Ralph Lauren has teamed up with Mantero, a century-old mill in Italy renowned for its striking illustrated prints. Mantero made this multi-coloured floral design exclusively for the American lifestyle giant, which the preppy brand then printed on five-inch, relaxed-fit swim shorts. Practical elements include a drawstring waist and a buttoned back pocket. Finer details include vented hems, side seam pockets and a mother-of-pearl button. 


Bluemint Santa Margherita Bond swim shorts

London-based resort-wear brand Bluemint has been in the premium swim short business since 2013 – you may have walked passed its Chelsea store in Duke of York Square. The company’s mid-length, limited-edition Bond shorts feature a tailored fit and pop-stud fastening (though, importantly for long lunches at the beach bar, elasticated side-bands). The pick of the collection is this pair, printed with an illustration of the Santa Margherita coastline in northern Italy.


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