Your swim short style guide

Your swim short style guide
Pairing Orlebar Brown swimwear to your body and personality

We make swim shorts, but more importantly we make Shorts You Can Swim In. They are of impeccable quality, with expert tailoring, and come in a magnificently broad range of colours, prints and textiles (if we do say so ourselves). There’s a pair of swimming shorts – or three – here for you, but how to choose the right pair? That’s where we come in.

It is not simply the BREEAM certification – which is a measure of the sustainability of a given development – that piqued our interest. It is also home to an extraordinary retail concept called Agora. Curated by fashion editors Daniela Agnelli and Tiffanie Darke, it will tell a story in chapters: “Reduce,” “Recycle,” “Rent” and “Restore.” We are proud to be stocked at Agora.

History of the Orlebar Brown swim short

Orlebar Brown swimming shorts are inspired by the classic tailoring techniques and patterns you’ll find on Savile Row. We pleat and we tuck in all the right places to flatter your figure and help you feel confident whether you’re on the sand, in the water, or lounging on the veranda with a double espresso.

We don’t take comfort lightly at Orlebar Brown. We craft our men’s swim shorts in six different styles and lengths because we know, from experience, that style is personal. For ease, here’s a breakdown of our six swim short styles. Remember the name of the style which calls to you. It’ll be useful when pairing with your material and colour or print choices.

The long and short of it
Narrow it down

You can pinpoint your length preference, but where to go from there? Colours, prints, patterns will all play a part in your final choice. We’ve done the scrolling so you don’t have to. Here are our top pointers to help narrow down your swim short search.


Our virtual shelves are teeming with rich, lustrous patterns. Delicate botanical printed swim shorts live amicably alongside bold prints taken from the Design Library and reimagined with a distinct O.B twist. If you’re struggling to decide, use our cheat code: would they work with your favourite laid back holiday shirt? If the answer is yes, you’re onto a winner. If the answer is no – well, we sell shirts too.


A flattering fit is absolutely key to the success of Orlebar Brown holiday swimwear. There are detailed size guides for every product, but we’ll always recommend going a size up if you’re unsure about your swim shorts size. Signature side fasteners are our not-so-secret ingredient to ensuring a refined shape and, like classic drawcords, can be narrowed easily so that your swim shorts sit just-so.


Turn your favourite holiday snap, drawing or graphic into a personalised pair of swim shorts complete with the same rigorous quality of our main collection. Our Design Your Own service lets you transform a moment or memory into your very own #SnapShorts in the length and size of your choice. What better opportunity than a holiday to surprise someone with a totally unique gift?

The long and short of it

If you’ve been edging toward a pair of Dachshunds or you’ve got your eye on our Springers, this is your chance. We firmly believe that dinky swimmers are best worn on the beach. How do we know? Slip them on and you’ll feel the infamous confidence shift. If you are a fan of the longer styles, don’t despair. Danes are the perfect choice when you’re looking to make a seamless transition from the waves to your favourite lunch spot and they provide some much needed extra coverage from the midday rays.


We’ve enjoyed many a frosted glass whilst adorned in nothing but our Springers, but we know this isn’t to every barkeep’s taste. If you’re looking to make less of a splash, then we’d recommend playing it safe with the Setter, Standard, or Bulldog fits. The quick dry fabric means that a good shake will see you well on your way from the water’s edge to the edge of the bar.


Long, languid lunches that end dangerously close to dinner? That’s how we like to spend our holiday afternoons. We’d always opt for a Dane or classic Bulldog fit if we know that a lazy lunch might be on the cards. These styles provide elegant tailored fits, a little extra coverage, and allow us the freedom for a refreshing dip in the ocean when the lunchtime festivities finally come to a close.

The long and short of it

Whether you’re adventuring on land, at sea, or just through the gnarled pages of an old paperback on your next holiday, we want you to feel confident. We have crafted our swim shorts to flatter your shape, whatever style, colour, pattern, or print you decide on. Quality has always remained at the heart of what we do, whether you go bright and bold or lean towards understated cool. So – our last word of advice is this – choose the shorts that make you happy. It’s what holidays are all about.

The O.B guarantee

We offer a 5-year guarantee on all our O.B swim shorts.

If you have bought a pair of swim shorts and they have not performed as they should (this doesn’t happen very often), Orlebar Brown will repair or replace them.