Thursday, April 11, 2013

JGIC Product Review: Board Shorts, What's Missing Inside?

A big "thanks!" to J.Crew Guy In Canada who is graciously reviewing Men's items from J.Crew with us.
So my time in Maui was well spent, snorkeling, hanging out, swimming, spending most of my days wearing board shorts.  All three pair from our friends at J.Crew.  I have two plaid pairs and one from the Quicksilver collaboration.  They fit great, but the nylon Quicksilver pair are my favorite for how quickly they dry.  But the problem is inside.

Board shorts from J.Crew are often described as lined with a mess lining, but it's not what you think.  The board shorts are in my mind, unlined; the lining is much like a pair of wool pants, attached to the fabric to separate your skin from the fabric the shorts are constructed from, but they do not have a lining that keeps things in order down there, meaning things are free and easy.  (I planned a Jon Hamm joke, but it just felt wrong.)  Trouble with being unlined is comfort.  Watching what other guys wore at the beach showed me that most fellows want a lining and support; the evidence was around the waist band.  Sadly all these fellows had underwear bands crouching above the board short waist band.  Not the best look, a little trashy in my mind.

Before you think I was right there two advertising my love of Calvin Klein underwear fear not.  Last year's hot holiday taught me the best way to pack for a tropical vacation and how to solve the board short issue.  After a few unlined days I too wore underwear in my board shorts, but I wasn't happy about sitting around the pool with wet boxer briefs under my swim wear. So I got a Speedo shoreline square leg trunk.  Basically it's much the same as the usual boxer briefs I wear (is that an over share?)  but designed for the water.  The trunks dry quicker and give better support than underwear and are low rise so I can avoid my secret being revealed.

Now with the question is why can't J.Crew line their board shorts properly?  I've seen the old man trunk in the mall with mess underwear linings in them, so why not the cool board short?  I'm not ready to wear the nasty elastic waisted models with the mess underwear, but do I need to keep wearing two sets of swim wear just to look and feel good?
Another fantastic review! "Thanks!" again to J.Crew Guy In Canada for his take on board shorts for Men.

It's interesting that he brings up support in lining with J.Crew's swimwear for Men. I felt the same for the Women's collection that I have not purchased any pieces in awhile. The board shorts for women that I already own are lovely, but I always wear a pair of bikini bottoms underneath. (I am not sure if they are meant to be worn alone- but I do not feel comfortable with that.)

I also find that J.Crew's swim tops for Women could use more padding. At least the current pieces come "lightly padded", but the ones I have from a few years ago did not have anything and it always made me self conscious.
What are your thoughts on J.Crew's board shorts? Do you own any of the items mentioned in this post? If so, please share with us your review. :)


  1. I tried but did not keep the J. Crew's women's board shorts. They were actually very cute and IMO meant to be worn over a swimsuit (I just didn't need them enough to keep them). But I would expect the men's board shorts to BE the swimsuit and not need an extra layer underneath. Really Mickey and Jenna should consult me on these (and all other) decisions ;)

    Great review, thanks!

    1. In fact they should use the J. Crew Aficionadas to make focus groups, don't you think? We could save them a lot of trouble and money ! :)

    2. Cate: Thank you for confirming what I thought- that the Women's board shorts *have* to have something underneath them. I always wondered if they were meant to be worn alone and I just couldn't do it. ;)

    3. I would not wear them alone either, Egads! lol particularly not the pink and white striped pair I tried on!

  2. I wear the women's board shorts as part of a swimsuit, nothing underneath, paired with a swim top, and think they're comfortable. I like having a pocket on my swimsuit for a key or creditcard or similar when I'm by a pool so I don't need a bag. My board shorts are last year's or the year before's style, though, so maybe the legs are slightly longer. I can understand that it would be so uncomfy for men to not have *support* :)

  3. Men's board shorts do not have a lining for a reason. They are designed for surfers and surfers do not like sand in their trunks and a liner would take longer for the shorts to dry. Swim trunks with liners are for the pool and board shorts (sans liner) are for the beach!

  4. RP1, thanks so much for explaining the reasoning behind board shorts being unlined. But as non-surfer I'd prefer a build in lining.

  5. @jcrew guy in Canada. Maybe you are use to the frozen H20! I worked at J Crew for many years and they sell both the traditional lined swim trunks and the unlined board shorts. If you like the longer board short style, you will eventually adjust to the non lined style and actually prefer them to the style with the liner. Give it some time and you will be surprised!

  6. The problem isnt the fact they are unlined, the problem is they are being sold as "swim trunks" when they are actually "board shorts". It's like wearing flip flops instead of Teva sandals during a summer hike. Not the correct choice for the activity. J Crew should educate their customer by having fact tags on the "shorts" explaining the quick dry feature. The next time you wear a pair of lined swim trunks, and then walk around for a few hours after going in the ocean, you will notice the trunks are dry, but the liner is not and will be filled with sand, causing a nasty summer heat rash.

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  8. Excellent Product Review presented in topic Board Shorts, What's Missing Inside? We surely appreciate this post being a steady Beach Shorts Supplier & Bikini Swimwear Supplier.


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