Men’s shorts are getting shorter, and thank goodness! Gone are the days of baggy, below the knee boardshorts and instead we’re thrilled to see more and more men letting their thighs see the sun in classic, well-tailored swim shorts.

For many gentlemen however, how long their shorts should be is a common conundrum; we’re all different heights and body types and some lengths and cuts suit some men better than others. If you’re sometimes unsure about which shorts would suit you best, then allow us to shine a little light on the subject:

A Cut Above the Knee

Model wears the Riz mid length boardshort cut above the knee

Always. But how far? We suggest selecting a short with a hem that hits between two to four inches above your kneecap for swim shorts and one-to two inches above your kneecap for our all-day Brauntons or Blighty classic boardshort - but certainly no longer than the top of your kneecap. There are several stylistic reasons for this, but the main one is that shorter shorts will make your legs look longer and your body trimmer.

What Does Body Shape Have to Do With It?

If you already have long, slim legs then you don’t need to accentuate that fact further by selecting particularly short shorts; if this is you then a mid-length short with a tailored fit will complement your silhouette without making your legs look even longer. If you’re a taller man and a little shy about showing off your long legs then our Blighty longer boardshort will be the best choice for you.

For a man of more modest height, then short shorts, such as our “classic cool” European summer-inspired Buckler will suit you well and make you look that little bit taller. Generously proportioned gents may feel more comfortable in our new elasticated mid-length swim short, the Blythe. Mid-length swim shorts will show enough thigh to help lengthen the look of your legs and the elasticated waist stretches larger than our fixed waistband shorts.

If you’re a classic “wedge” shaped, athletically built gentleman with a broad chest or shoulders, then our boardshorts (either the Burgh or Blighty) will suit you best; these have a really good ergonomic fit and a slightly wider leg to accommodate more muscular thighs.

Sam Bleakley longboard surfing in the Riz Blighty long board short

What Will You Be Wearing Them For?

If your plans are to spend some time lazing in the sun, snoozing or reading a book and taking the odd dip in the ocean to cool off, then shorter shorts will see more of your skin in the sun, and we all know how nice that feels. If you need one pair of shorts to see you through an action packed day, snatching some beach time or a swim in the sea in between some sightseeing, lunch or maybe even work, then a slim mid-length short cut like a pair of tailored chinos such as our Braunton all-day short would be the best option. If the action in your day involves catching some waves, setting some sails or stretching into some yoga poses then a mid-length or longer short such as our Burgh or Blighty styles will provide the freedom of movement required without being at all baggy.

Model wears our Riz Braunton mid length tailored swim shorts for a walk on the beach

Many men hesitate when it comes to their shorts living up to their name, preferring instead to play it safe with longer, looser styles that actually have no style at all. By considering the length of one’s legs, taking body shape in account, and thinking about what you’ll be doing in your shorts, it’s easy to select the most suitable pair of swim shorts. There’re now more options available than ever before, particularly in our new collection, and we’re always happy to offer advice and help you make your choice either here at Sunny Cove Studios or over the phone.

Model wearing the Riz Buckler short length tailored swim short for ocean swimming

A guide to swim short and boardshort length illustrated with the range of Riz shorts