When I was growing up, lined shorts were something to be feared. The typical lining was essentially a scratchy sack sure to pinch and constrict in all the wrong places. These days top-of-the-line performance wear and fashion brands are engaged in a veritable arms (or should I say, balls) race to create the most comfortable and supportive liners. Lululemon advertises its patented OOM™ (Out of Mind) liner, a “quick-drying mesh fabric” which “has a built-in pouch for support, and a no-bounce phone pocket with cord exit,” and Ten Thousand’s shorts can come with a “next-level flyweight” liner. The rhyme used to begin, “I see England, I see France…”, but in some circles walking around with your liner exposed certifies you as a hardcore active person. So what’s the big deal about built-in underwear?
I wasn’t sold on this trend until a semi-vigorous workout at a friend’s house had me drenched in sweat. I was able to shower, but then had to put on the same pair of damp boxer briefs that I’d just worked out in. The beauty of lined shorts is that your kit comes with built-in breathable and supportive underwear, so that when you’re finished exercising or swimming, you can change back into your regular clothes and remain dry and comfortable. If you stop by the gym before or after work for laps or weights, or commute via bike, this streamlined set-up can be ideal.
For those out there looking to take advantage of this golden era of lined shorts, here are 10 options that will keep you and your boys hugged and happy:
Reigning Champ makes some of the finest no-nonsense athletic gear around, which means it can sell through pretty quickly. The Dot Air features a 5.5 inch inseam with a Polartec® Power Dry® liner, meaning you are getting the finest in quick dry performance from shorts that could take just about anything you throw at them.
The Pace Breaker comes in enough color options to keep you fresh all summer long, and the OOM™ liner truly is out of this world, achieving the Ned Flander’s ideal of making it feel like you’re wearing nothing at all.
Lastly, these navy Louis Vuitton shorts accomplish the nearly impossible task of being both fashionable and functional. They will be sure to turn heads, and with the mesh liner and watercolor pattern, you’ll be comfortable enough to exude complete confidence all summer long.
Myles Apparel excels at making activewear that doesn’t look like activewear. The classic styling of their Sutro Swim Trunk comes with a mesh brief liner (of the non-pinching and constricting variety) that is ideal for long days by the water.
Ten Thousand has been making a name for itself with workout essentials done right. The interval short and it’s next-level liner can handle the most intense squats as well as the most laid back recovery session.
The Swiss certainly know a thing or two about comfort in variable climates. Enter the Hybrid Short, with a 7.5 inch inseam that can take you from trail to tavern, complete with an inner tight featuring a cell phone pocket.
Nothing says summer quite like seersucker. Onia’s seersucker trunks with a mesh brief liner are as breezy as they come.
For a running brand that emerged from the same city that hosts the Boston Marathon, Tracksmith is committed to modern classics. The Falmouth Run shorts have a stretchy nylon blend shell and feature an anti-microbial Polygiene liner. Even though I don’t quite know what that means, I know it’ll be much appreciated by the spouse, as will the sharp tailoring.
If you want to stand out at summer pool party then look no further than Mr. Porter’s in-house brand Mr. P, and these floral swim shorts with a built-in mesh brief.
Or, if you’d prefer to stand out by virtue of an understated appeal, Moncler’s swim shorts with built-in mesh lining are simple, yet undeniably alluring.