Introduction

It’s that time of year again where beautiful summer days and whimsical notions of holidays come to the forefront of our minds. And one thing that goes hand in hand with summer holidays is swimwear – whether you’re wearing it in Margate or Marbella.

Every year in Miami Beach there is an annual swimwear event that showcases and predicts the popular swimwear trends for both men and women, which heavily influences the design choices of both designer and high street brands the following year. Recently, Judy Steiner, Executive Director of the Swimwear Association of Florida, summarised the changing face of men’s swimwear with the following comment:

“Men’s swimwear offers greater quality, variety, creativity and style than ever, making this July the perfect time to review and purchase the latest and greatest styles.”

The men’s swimwear market is undoubtedly growing with each passing year, and for spring/summer 2013 there are more options available to you than ever before – meaning there is a variant for every body type and personal style.

In this two part article we will be focusing on the four main swimwear trends for men this season: swim briefs, trunk shorts, short swim shorts and board shorts.

Swim Briefs

Swim briefs or Speedo-styles, to drop a brand name, saw a rise in popularity last year following the London 2012 Olympics, where swimmers and divers such as Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and our very own Tom Daley triumphed in their swim briefs.

Obviously swim briefs are extremely small and do not leave a lot to the imagination, so to wear them successfully a fairly decent body and A LOT of confidence is required. On the plus side: if you are serious about your swimming rather than only being concerned with the sartorial side of things, swim briefs are the way to go. And, of course, less material means fewer unsightly tan lines.

If you are considering the swim brief as your SS13 choice, one poignant piece of advice comes from Simon Chilvers, Assistant Fashion Editor at The Guardian, when he encourages you to avoid white:

“Aside from the obvious see-through factor, there is something too flashy about wearing anything tight and white on a beach.”

At Milan fashion week, Versace used their catwalk show as a tool to re-launch their swimwear and underwear line. Their models wore small swim briefs with wide, metallic belts and gladiator sandals to emphasise masculinity and strength. The Versace swim briefs were featured in shades of black, silver and hot pink, along with some on trend vibrant floral pairs.

Similarly at Michael Bastian, the American designer pushed a variety of swimwear styles during his SS13 showcase, which were paired with his signature rugby tops and other preppy staples. Bastian featured muted two-tone styles in soft pastels and white, and proved just how good these can look on an athletic figure with an open shirt or simple pullover:

Men's Swim Briefs On The Runways At Versace And Michael Bastian SS13Men’s Swim Briefs On The Runways At Versace And Michael Bastian SS13

Brand Advocate: D.Hendral

One brand who has fully backed the swim brief as their style of choice for SS13 is luxury underwear specialist D.Hendral. Releasing their first ever men’s swimwear collection this season, rugby pro-turned-model/actor Thom Evans fronts the campaign, which features a variety of classic, neutral shades:

D.Hendral SS13 Campaign

Current Styles

Turning to the high street and online, similar styles in both vibrant and more muted colours can be found at Mr Porter from the likes of Dan Ward and Robinson Les Bains, for those men out there with a bit of spare cash to spend on their swimwear this season.

For those of us more acclimatized to high street prices, the original Speedo swim briefs can be found in most department stores and at ASOS in a variety of colours. Other brands such as J by Jasper Conran also offer similar styles for those men brave enough to dare to bare:

  • Gucci Swim BriefsGucci Swim Briefs
  • Dan Ward Striped Swim TrunksDan Ward Striped Swim Trunks
  • Dan Ward Swim TrunksDan Ward Swim Trunks
  • Versace Ornate Animal-print Swim TrunksVersace Ornate Animal-print Swim Trunks
  • Aussiebum League BriefsAussiebum League Briefs
  • Diesel Leaf-print Swimming TrunksDiesel Leaf-print Swimming Trunks
  • Jasper Conran Navy Panelled Swimming BriefsJasper Conran Navy Panelled Swimming Briefs
  • Speedo Navy Endurance Swimming BriefsSpeedo Navy Endurance Swimming Briefs
  • Speedo Endurance BriefSpeedo Endurance Brief
Trunk Shorts

Trunk shorts are similar to swim briefs in that they contain relatively little material and are designed to show off your body to its fullest. However, their appeal lies in the fact that they look slightly less like underwear than swim briefs. Think Daniel Craig as 007 in ‘that’ Casino Royale scene where he emerges from the sea like a bronzed Adonis in his baby blue La Perla ‘Grigioperla’ trunk shorts.

In fact, following the release of Casino Royale, sales for trunk shorts sky rocketed as men tried and often failed to replicate the iconic look of Craig – and their popularity has not waned yet.

Daniel Craig In Casino Royale Wearing Grigioperla TrunksDaniel Craig Became The Poster Boy For The Style After ‘That’ Casino Royale Scene

Like swim briefs, there is a practical appeal as the tighter material produces less drag in the water for those keen swimmers. In our opinion, they also instantly look more comfortable than swim briefs – for both the wearer and any observers. Again, confidence and a relatively athletic body is key to wearing trunk shorts successfully.

Trunk shorts are also reminiscent of the old school belted swim suits worn by 1950s movie stars lounging around the pool at Chateau Marmont – and it seems this style is again becoming more and more popular this season. For example, H&M are featuring a trunk-style swim short in grey with contrast fabric belt in their latest SS13 beachwear campaign:

Fred Perry In Men's Belted Swim Trunks (1934) & H&M's Version For SS13Fred Perry In Men’s Belted Swim Shorts (1934) & H&M’s Version For SS13

Current Styles

Trunk styles can be found at Mr Porter, Debenhams and Selfridges in both block-colours and printed patterns, from brands such as Speedo, Diesel, Hugo Boss and Versace.

Our particular favourite comes from Dan Ward, which features a subtle, striped nautical pattern in beige, blue and white:

  • H&m Swim ShortsH&m Swim Shorts
  • Dan Ward Short-length Striped Swim ShortsDan Ward Short-length Striped Swim Shorts
  • Robinson Les Bains Capri Short-length Plaid Swim ShortsRobinson Les Bains Capri Short-length Plaid Swim Shorts
  • Speedo Navy Logo Swim TrunksSpeedo Navy Logo Swim Trunks
  • Jasper Conran Navy Striped Swimming TrunksJasper Conran Navy Striped Swimming Trunks
  • Jockey Black Piped Drawstring TrunksJockey Black Piped Drawstring Trunks
  • Versace Animal-print Swim TrunksVersace Animal-print Swim Trunks
  • Hugo Boss Krill Swim TrunksHugo Boss Krill Swim Trunks
  • Aussiebum Fresh Break Swim TrunksAussiebum Fresh Break Swim Trunks
  • Aussiebum Seventies Swim TrunksAussiebum Seventies Swim Trunks
  • Diesel Camouflage-print Swimming TrunksDiesel Camouflage-print Swimming Trunks
  • Aussiebum League Twelve TrunksAussiebum League Twelve Trunks
Final Word

So there we have two key men’s SS13 swimwear styles for men. Tomorrow we will be taking an in-depth look at short swim shorts and board shorts.

In the meantime, if you have any feedback on the swim brief and trunk short trends then, as always, we look forward to your musings. Perhaps you feel that tighter trends such as these have had their day and belong only in professional swimming environments, rather than sartorial circles? Or do you think if you worked hard for your body you should flaunt it?

Let us know your opinion in the comments section below…