Swim shorts may not be something that you wear all year round, but it is still worth investing in the right pairs, with an emphasis on the plural. Nobody is suggesting that you travel like a celebrity, with more baggage than a UN peace convoy, but any beach or poolside holiday longer than a couple of nights requires at least two pairs of swimming shorts for wearing on alternate days.
Suffice to say skimpy Speedos or long board shorts should be avoided, unless you happen to be a professional swimmer or surfer respectively, with neat shorts which fall somewhere between the upper thigh and knee the optimum style. That makes the remaining consideration which colours or patterns to choose. Generally speaking, brighter shades such as yellow and orange look best against darker or tanned skin. If your skin is paler, you might want to keep the most vibrant pairs of swim shorts for towards the end of your trip, once you have tanned a bit. Prints and patterns are great for adding an uplifting holiday vibe to your look. All that remains is for you to turn off your BlackBerry, turn up your iPod, and relax.