Refresh your swimwear before hitting the beach with these sizzling British brands.

As lockdown lifts, there are three potential summer holiday types. Some people are taking the plunge and heading to the Continent just as they’d always planned to. Others are making the most of the UK’s beaches and beauty spots. The third type will be found relaxing on loungers in their back gardens, much like they have been for the last 100 days.

All three summer-holiday styles would be majorly perked up by the purchase of a new pair of swimming trunks. Luckily, several British brands are falling over themselves at the moment to produce exquisitely designed, practical and comfortable swimwear for men.

Here, we’ve dug out the hottest new styles. All you need now is a towel and your SPF.

Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown is the king of British men’s swimwear labels, a supremely chic leader whom many others have followed. Since 2007, this excellent label has brought us sharp men’s swim shorts in premium fabrics and innovative prints. Our pick is the Thunderball Swim Short. These are not so much swimming trunks as works of art – and you may say their price reflects that. Check out the whole knock-out collection here.

Love Brand & Co

Established in London in 2010, Love Brand & Co is a luxury men’s swimwear brand that is committed to saving elephants. Trunks for trunks, if you will. Motivated by the plight of elephants, founder Oliver Tomalin has donated a percentage of their revenue – not profits – to elephant conservation charities since day one. Just one look at the Eye of the Tiger Staniel Swim Short and you’ll want to save an elephant/book a holiday immediately. Peruse the whole site here.


There is a lot to love about this brand, whose seriously slick trunks are crafted in London. During the height of the pandemic, they donated 50 per cent of all online sales to facilitate the supply of more PPE for the NHS. Our current favourite is the Blue Seersucker Stripe Swim Shorts, with their very English coastal vibe.

Randy Cow

Randy Cow’s selection of swimming shorts is made with 90 per cent recycled plastic – 12 bottles are repurposed for every pair – and ten per cent spandex (for stretch and comfort). They also have a very clever waterproof pocket, which will keep your belongings dry down to 30 metres. Quick drying and cool looking, these trunks are worth every penny of their £75 price tag. We like the Baby Blue Swim Shorts.

James Cromwell

Full marks to this small British brand for its stunning website. The reasonably priced trunks aren’t bad either! The company is, charmingly, the creation of a pair of childhood friends. Committed to leaving the planet in a better state than they now find it, they protect 2,556.8 square metres of forest each month, through their carbon offsetting initiative. They and their Light Pink Bold Fish style have stolen our hearts.


This small swimwear brand for men and boys also has the environment at its heart. Founder Rachel Smith-Bingham is proud that: ‘BUNKS does not add any more plastic to the world’s oceans and that the production runs are small, which adds to the uniqueness of the brand.’ The Olive Elephant Swim Shorts, with their striking red drawstring, are just the ticket.

Beaufort & Blake

In 2012, Beaufort & Blake’s founders – two agricultural students and a Jermyn Street apprentice – met by chance in a Cotswold pub. They launched selling fifty dress shirts out of the back of a Land Rover. Now they sell timeless staples, designed in London, for both men and women. While you can get everything you need for work, play and holiday at this site, we particularly love their swim shorts and want to snap up a pair of the Tiger Mint ones. Browse the whole collection here.

Saint Luke

All of Saint Luke’s kit is ‘designed for the beach; built for life’. The company was conceived over a few late-night rums on a holiday in the Caribbean – and it is this sunny, relaxed vibe that runs through the prints and design. We have our sights set on the Borneo Classic Swim Shorts and hope they’ll transport us in spirit to a heavenly island. (The packaging is seriously good, too.) The rest of the collection is exemplary too; explore the website here.

Tom & Teddy

This lovely company, though technically Australian, deserves its place on our list of British men’s swimwear brands because one half of the couple that founded hails from these shores. Our favourite colourway, which looks especially good on a man who tans easily, is the Green Gingham Flat Fronted.. One look at the site, and you can just feel the sun on your face.

By Becky Ladenburg
July 2020

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Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.