Designing the Indefinable


“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.”

Charles Eames


Design should be rooted in solving a problem or improving an existing situation, otherwise it is gratuitous. The task of designing an “all-day” short that is both smart and relaxed, and that can be worn from sun-up to sun-down, wet or dry, was a real challenge and one that Riz has relished. 



“We live in a world where we want things to be more multi-functional and multi-environmental, and that is pushing fashion towards hybrid garments and fabrics. Our nomadic lifestyles dictate this: the smart phone is a great example of an all-in-one product that many people now can’t live without. Similarly, we require our clothes to look like high fashion, but perform like sportswear.”

Riz Smith


Riz’s design for an all-day short, our Braunton style, is cut like a pair of tailored trousers, made from our quick drying recycled polyester and features a 17.5” outseam. 17.5” is not a standard leg length in the swimwear industry, sitting as it does mid-way between a standard walkshort or boardshort length (19”) and a mid-length swim short (16”). We know our inches though: it is long-ish but leaves a little leg showing, so you can get some sun on your legs without feeling as though you’re wearing swimwear on the streets.




Cut like a pair of classic fitted chinos, they feature a separate waistband with an internal (flat) draw cord and a second popper fastener on a tab on the inside of the waistband. The drawer cord provides some room for adjustment of fit and gives you the reassurance that if you dive in from height two things will remain with you: your shorts, and your modesty. The second popper on the inside of the waistband is a design feature from tailored trousers that allows the waistband to sit flatter and flusher against the stomach and prevents the waistband from swiveling around the axis of a single popper.


professional surfer emi cataldi surfing in the philippines wearing riz boardshorts with tropical island in background


The pockets are angled ergonomically so that your hands find them naturally. On jeans the entrance to the pockets are curved, on chinos and tailored trousers they are angled, and on many swim shorts they are either not there, or an awkward afterthought. Not here, though. These shorts are designed to get you through the day, and that means being able to carry your phone, keys, cash and cards in exactly the same way as you always do: in your pockets. There is a single welt back pocket , with an internal key loop and a pocket bag that features a mesh insert at the bottom to allow water and sand to drain through. The button closed pocket flap hides the opening of the pocket and prevents it from gaping. 


black and white image of a design sketch on desk of swimwear designer Riz Smith of riz boardshorts


Speaking of mesh, there is no mesh liner. We are often asked whether our shorts feature mesh liners, as though this is how a short is defined as being a swimshort or not. Our Braunton all-day shorts have no mesh liner because, primarily, we don’t particularly like them, and also because if there is no mesh liner then they can be worn like a day short with underwear, comfortably.



These are shorts that can take you with ease from the streets of the city, to the sand and the sea. They are not a hybrid short; they are designed to be your “one” pair of shorts, that you can pull on in the morning and wear in every setting and situation that you find yourself in. You may never even get them wet, but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t be able to should you so wish.  


View the full range of Braunton all-day swim shorts.



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