Thursday, July 14, 2011

Real Men Wear Swimwear

Earlier this summer we featured a post for women on how to find the right bathing suit for your body type. Well, its only fair to do the same for men. This summer, men's swimwear options have reached new and varied lengths, from board shorts to bikini cuts, giving guys their fare-share of options. So without further delay of the eye candy, err, men's swimwear options, here are the top four styles you can expect to see at the beach...and on you.

Board shorts

Originally designed for water sports like surfing - hence the "board" in board shorts - this style is the most modest and seems to resonate with guys in their teens or early 20's. Despite their length and baggy look, most are light-weight, quick-drying and typically come with a double fail-safe closure (i.e. Velcro fly-closure and a lace-up tie overlay) to prevent accidental (over)exposure when either swimming or suffering from a wipe out. There are also quite a few pockets for quick and easy storage.

If you opt to wear a pair this summer season, leave the extreme prints and patterns alone and choose a solid, vibrant color or a pair with color blocking.

Shia LaBeouf, racing from the water in a pair of board shorts.

Olasul Board Short


Trunks, or "swim trunks," are your more traditional men's swimwear, especially in North America. Although shorter than board shorts, they have similar characteristics, such as being lightweight, typically made of quick drying material, like nylon, and have pockets for additional storage. They usually come with an elastic waistband with added drawstring for security, as well as a mesh lining that acts as underwear and a supportive barrier to help minimize any overexposure brought about once the shorts are wet.

The length of swim trunks can range from 2" to 8" which also leaves a lot of room for options in terms of pattern, color and style. Still, the look for this season seems to be more solids and fewer patterns. If you do decide to go with a bold pattern or color, look for it in a shorter trunk.

Ashton Kutcher looks "Killer" in these swim trunks.

Naila Swim trunk


Briefs, or "square cut" style swimsuits, fall between trunks and bikini briefs, providing more thigh coverage than the bikini cut but not much. The square seam opening design can typically be found made up of a nylon and spandex blended material with a built in draw-string closure for added security. This style was popular in the U.S. in the 1950's and then again in 2006 with the help of major fashion houses like Versace and Dolce & Gabanna featuring the style on their runways. For countries like Brazil, this style is considered the norm, and dare it be said, "modest".

This summer's popular style of swim briefs hasn't strayed far from the aesthetic of the original concept. You can find these mostly in solid colors or with racing stripes on either side, but not many other flourishes. And if you're confident enough to wear a swimsuit like this, a heavy pattern or design would just be a distraction.

Daniel Craig as "James Bond" in a pair of swim briefs that gave Ursula Andress a run for her money.

Park & Ronen swim brief

Bikini Briefs

This style swimsuit will probably receive the most resistance in North America. Maybe because they're viewed as mandated swim team suits or that to wear one leaves little to nothing to the imagination. Whatever the case, their nylon and spandex composition, lining as well as thin banding at the upper thighs for security and drawstring closure and/or elastic waistband, make these the most swimming efficient out of all the suits. Not to mention they are quick drying, easily worn under pants or shorts and give optimum sun exposure.

The trend for this style suit also seems to be geared towards solid colors, but a few patterned options have been featured this season for those looking to be a bit more cheeky in their bikini.

David Beckham isn't afraid to bare close to all in white bikini briefs. We applaud him on many levels for wearing this suit and wearing it well. Very, very well.

Park & Ronen bikini brief

All of the non-celeb images were pulled from the Swell Suits Miami: 2011 collection. This was the only all-male swimwear fashion show of the year, showcasing the top three men's swimwear lines currently making waves on the beach and on the runway.

Whichever style you decide to pull on, be confident in your choice and just enjoy yourself either at the beach or pool. Now get to choosing so you can get to the water in time and in style.


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