Beach and waves

East Coast vs West Coast - Swim Trunks

Comparing swim trunks from both coasts

The first day of spring, and also the first day of great weather is coming up soon, hopefully sooner than later for our brethren in the colder climates. This means that it’s time to replace that ratty pair of swim trunks you’ve been using for two years and pick up a new pair. If you live in a warmer area like Southern California or Florida, there are more opportunities for showing off your swimwear and you should have a few trunks to cycle through.

There a few basic differences for what is currently popular on each side of the states. The main ones being that the trunks on the east coast tend to be a bit shorter and more fitted than their west coast counterparts. They feature nautical themed prints more often while west coast trunks tend to have surfer and island influence.

East Coast swim trunks

East coast brands utilize pastel colors more than their west coast counterparts, as they do with most articles of clothing. The colors and prints usually feature more colder colors and the themes include more nautical content and images in their prints. There is a newer trend which has been emerging over the last couple years as far as the content of the print goes. East coast brands have been including more random images in their prints such as animals or whatever random item that brand wants to place. The images and patterns tend to be much smaller and closer together than their west coast counterparts, giving them more visually stimulating patterns, such as the pineapple print pair below.


Even though this vibrant pair by 98 Coast Av. are inherently East Coast styled, they are manufactured and based in Mexico City. Most swimwear brands have pairs that share traits from both coasts, we are just discussing the different current trends that have risen up on either side of the states. So it doesn't really matter where your trunks are from, just how they look. Kind of like the opposite of humans... sort of..?

West Coast swim trunks

West coast style tends to veer towards the island and surfer vibes, utilizing more tropical themed prints and warmer colors like reds and oranges. They are usually deeper colors than the east coast, but not as bright. Prints tend to feature larger images and designs. This combines with their extra length and looser fit to give them a more relaxed and less cramped feel. Remember these are all assessments based upon the general preferences of each coast and it's respective brands.

Toucan shorts

This pair by SunDek out of San Francisco is west coast by style ( longer and more relaxed fit with tropical birds and plants ) but a little more vibrant than you'd see in a lot of west coast brands. They favor more classic designs with solid colors and sell them in long, medium, and short lengths. They also claim to have waterproof pockets on some models of their trunks.

Other styles of swim trunks

Now say you don't like any of these loud styles that I'm describing, then be glad there aren't only two styles. You can shop the brand Solid and Striped founded just a few years ago in New York. They were formed as an answer to all the ridiculous patterned pairs of trunks that had taken over the beaches. Solid And Striped

This is one of the most colorful and exciting pairs that they offer, to give you an idea of their dedication to simplicity.

Another brand to definitely check out is Orlebar Brown, founded in London in 2007. Orlebar Brown

They market their trunks as "not just a swim short - but a short you can swim in," giving them a more defined cut and shape so that it isn't hard for you to throw a long sleeve linen shirt over after a day at the beach and head to lunch. They definitely have a cool and distinct style worth checking out, so head to their site.

While each coast has a slightly different style, you'll frequently see west coast styled pairs on the east coast and vice versa. After all, with the rising popularity of men's fashion and online shopping, one is no longer restricted by the pairs offered to him by the nearest retailer, so shopping and purchasing any style is as easy as can be. Nowadays more than ever you'll see all sorts of different styles on the same beach or pool, especially if you're still in college and headed out of the country for spring break soon ( or already have ).

I implore you to shop around the web a bit before you purchase your next pair. Most guys will like some of each type, and many brands have products that share qualities from distinctively different styles. For another cool west coast brand, check out Sauvage swimwear.

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