You’ve got some sweet board shorts and noticed, “These don’t have any mesh lining!!!” Now you’re thinking: What do you wear under board shorts without mesh lining? What about: what do you wear under swim trunks that don’t have any mesh lining?
We answer that age-old question with several different options. Read on to learn what to wear under board shorts and to find out what you’ve been dying to know, but are afraid to ask: what do people really wear under board shorts when they go swimming? Seriously!?
Many popular, modern swim trunks or board shorts (read about them in our Lululemon Swim Trunks Review) don’t have built-in underwear or mesh lining. So what do you do? Watch or read on to find out.
What to wear under board shorts: Your options
Like anything in life, there’s not just one option of what to wear under board shorts (or swim trunks without a mesh linger) we’ve got a couple for you!
Your First Option: Free as a bird
You may be thinking to yourself, “Can I wear nothing under my board shorts?” The answer is YES, you can wear nothing under your board shorts – you can be as free as a bird.
Just like you can chose not to be wearing underwear all the time – you can not wear anything at all.
The problem with not wearing underwear under board shorts…
The only issue is that this can leave little to the imagination if you know what I mean. 😉 Also, playing with kids, I like to put another layer (mesh liner or otherwise) in between the world and my business. 🍆
Most surfers do go commando (aka don’t wear any underwear) with their board shorts. But, let’s be real. How many people wearing board shorts are really surfing? Most of them are used around community pools and BBQs.
You’re just using it when you might get wet or take a dip – not hitting the waves and surf.
How to solve the chafing problem
This is an easy one. Get something like Body Glide
This invisible balm made with natural ingredients, protects you from chafing during intense and long-distance workouts, or anytime that you may chafe – especially in the water.
What to wear under your board shorts: the worst (and 2nd option)
Before you go off thinking, “I’ll just wear underwear under my board shorts…”
Cotton + Water = Trouble
The second option isn’t a good one: just wearing regular boxers under your board shorts. People do it – but one thing is true: Cotton and Water Does Not Mix. Don’t wear regular cotton boxers or wear regular underwear with board shorts. I promise that you’ll regret it.
Cotton doesn’t dry very fast. It can leave you wet and – even worse – chaffed from all the wetness. You get the picture. We don’t need to go any further.
It doesn’t matter if you wear old-school tighty-whiteys or more modern boxers under your swimming clothes. Just stay away from anything that is cotton.
Of course, the easiest thing would be to simply buy swimwear with built-in lining, but I know they don’t always have the very best styles. We tried Chubbies (watch our rapid Chubbies Review) and they are just so, so.
There are a lot of other brands out there these days. We hope to be trying more in the very near future!
Just don’t mix cotton with swimwear. Deal?
The best option: What to wear under board shorts
This may be surprising – but there is actually underwear designed to be worn under boardshorts. Underwear designed to be worn under boardshorts is the best option of what to wear under boardshorts or swim trunks without a mesh liner.
Yes, there is underwear designed to be worn with swim shorts
It was surprising for us, too. It was actually really hard to find (more on than in a moment). But there are specific pairs of undies designed just for this purpose: wearing under boardshorts or swim trunks – either just for looks or while swimming.
The best option, in my humble opinion, is the Mack Weldon Stealth Underwear (you may have noticed we really like Mack Weldon – read our full Mack Weldon Review). This underwear is designed to be worn under your swim shorts and a great option. They retail for $38 and are so comfortable that you won’t even notice them.
The Mack Weldon Stealth Boxer Brief also has what is called “Body Mapping Technology” – this supposedly (I have no way to prove this, but have no reason to not believe it) is based on your body’s reaction to physical activity.
The Stealth Underwear is also seam-free to help with comfort.
No branding on waistband
I also like the subtle colors with no branding on the waist band:
If $38 is too much to spend on underwear under your swim shorts, I get it.
Another, cheaper option for swim short underwear
DryDudz: cheaper underwear to wear under swim trunks and board shorts
What are DryDudz? They compression underwear designed to wear underneath your board shorts.
- The DryDudz are compression shorts made of both polyester and Lycra (Lycra = Stretch!)
- They are designed to be worn under swimwear so you can buy swimwear with or without mesh lining.
- You can Machine Wash or Hand Wash. It’s best to air dry or dry on low heat – I personally air dry.
- DryDudz now features the new Ecoinn (Eco-friendly + Innovation) Dry-Thru Technology: Wicking only means airflow, the DryDudz compression shorts wick AND provide moisture control.
- It’s both a performance compression short AND swim liner.
- They are designed to be worn with the DryDudz Board Shorts (sold separately but retail for about $25).
- Enjoy Anti-chafing, Irritation-free comfort during any fitness activity.
- This 4-way stretch short is a perfect baselayer for all outer garments – does not have to be used for only under your boardshorts or swim trunks!
DryDudz Board Shorts, WTF would I need a belt!?
DryDudz, your compression shorts are awesome, but what the heck is going on with your board shorts?
Why do you include a belt with your board shorts? That’s crazy talk, DryDudz!
What others are saying about DryDudz
Don’t just take our word for it. Look what other’s are saying on Amazon about DryDudz:
CHRIS: I wear DryDudz under my wetsuit: mainly to get in and out more quickly without dealing with a towel to cover myself (and worry about being naked!) You can’t really wear swim trunks under a wetsuit – it’s too tight… DryDudz works and fits perfectly. It dries so quickly that it is optional whether or not to use it as underwear when you are done. Only thing is, I wish I got DryDudz in all black. What the heck… I’ll just buy a second one.
MIKE: These are great. My bathing suit doesn’t have a liner or mesh. These fit and feel great under the bathing suit. I bought 2 and ended up buying 2 more. I wear O’Neil bathing suits – they dry really quick and having the DryDudz underneath also dry quick great purchase!
Compression Shorts: Another alternative to wear under swim shorts
You can also wear compression shorts underneath swim shorts and board shorts. However, your results will vary greatly. Something like these Vuori Compression Shorts could work really well, however, they are still more expensive than the Mack Weldon Stealth Boxer Brief.
A quick disclaimer on what do you wear under board shorts
I’m not a professional athlete or Michael Phelps wanna-be. I’m a dad of two that likes comfort and no looking obnxious. None of the items listed are for someone trying to win a gold medal swimming or high-diving. The option listed here aren’t for the high-performance athlete.
However, they are designed to keep you comfortable and free from any embarrassment!
What to wear under swim shorts without mesh: the final verdict.
There are a lot of options, ranging from nothing to underwear designed specifically to be worn under swim trunks and board shorts. The great news is that without a built-in liner, the choice is up to you! And you can go free bird one day and wear Amphibious Underwear or DryDudz the next day.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to let us know!
*Reviews edited for clarity and uniqueness.