It’s that time of year when a gentleman’s thoughts turn to swimwear. His own swimwear, that is. Whether you’re planning a lazy holiday next to the water, occasionally taking a dip to cool off, or learning to wind-, kite- or any other type of surf, it’s worth investing in a decent pair of swim shorts to look your best – if only because you don’t have to bother with other items of clothing (save flip-flops).

With literally hundreds of different styles available, we’ve chosen some of the best to help you stand out.

Animal Darwin

Surf giant Animal crams serious stretchiness into these classic boardshorts, making them perfectly suited for high-performance manoeuvrability in the waves. They’re a great option out of the water, too – that dusty colour’s strong enough to pass them off as smart-casual chino shorts when you head for the beach bars later come evening. £50, buy on

Zoggs Penrith

You get a pinkie promise of 750 hours of swim time in these bright, no-nonsense shorts thanks to the chlorine-resistant fabric. And after it got you through many a year of school pool lessons with its go-to goggle range, who are you to argue with a trusted brand like Zoggs? £16, buy on

Orlebar Brown Jack

Celebrating ten years since the launch of its first tailored shorts designed specifically for swimming, British label Orlebar Brown has launched a new style. This ultra-light pair are built for maximum movement and available in plain block colours or photographic prints. You can even use your own photographs to create a personalised pair. £95, buy on

Boardies Santa Carla

Named after the fictional beachside town in classic 1980s vampire movie The Lost Boys, these lightweight, quick-drying shorts have two side pockets and a Velcro back pocket, plus they come in a handy drawstring bag. £50, buy on

M&S Collection Quick Dry

These quick-drying regular fit shorts with a drawstring waist are available in a variety of colours. We like the green-blue hues of Jade and Kingfisher. We like the price, too. £10, buy on

Bowler & Beach The Seahorse

Inspired by the sunny beaches of Portugal, Bowler & Beach is a British label that falls firmly in the affordable luxury camp. The distinctive Seahorse design is one of its signature designs and perfect for a playful style. £89, buy on

Dan Ward Square And Striped Print

After working for Hermès in Paris and Alfred Dunhill in London, Dan Ward launched his own swimwear label. These eye-catching, modern shorts are quick-drying with a drawstring waist. £140 (reduced to £56 at time of writing), buy on