I personally have been looking for the perfect swim short for a while now, and i found most of them to be either too expensive or just ugly (either not flattering or just teenage looking). My preference is board shorts (The ones that surfers wear.....), they are cooler looking and not as nerdy as other swim trunks.
Details to avoid:
Pockets - I prefer no side pockets at all, not on the legs and definitely no slash side pockets. I feel that any pockets other than back pockets or really flat front pockets (like the red Penguin below) are not faltering on swim shorts, they just add fullness in the areas you want to keep as slim as possible ...
Gathered waist band - One more detail to avoid is gathering in the waist band, the waist and especially the front has to be flat! A gathering with elastic or with drew string is nice and comfortable for gym or running shorts...not when you have no top on (and btw that also if not mostly goes for those of us who are on the fuller side and developed a little gut over the years...), the shorts has to be fitted and flat around the waist!
Length- this is a matter of preference, i like my board shorts longer - 22" (mostly because of my long legs) but as long as the shorts are fitted a shorter length would work as well.
Colors/Prints - This detail can make or brake it for me....and its probably the hardest detail to find satisfying (at list for me).... for some reason most swimwear companies think that the busier and cheesier the print and colors the better....well i disagree! Although these are just swim shorts they still need to look sophisticated, so look for solid colors, or solid color graphic blocks or stripes of 1-2 other colors (like the Vineyard Vines or the Sundex shorts) and if you do go with a print look for a big and smart print with maximum of 2-3 colors (like the flowered Sundex below).
As far as other sexy and tight swimwear styles that are available out there.... you have to be honest with yourself...and unless you have the body of a swimmer i would stay away from them.....
Enjoy the rest of your summer!