Introduction

Yesterday we detailed two trending swimwear styles that are set to become popular with, most likely, athletic men who want to show off the results of their hard work in the gym and dedication to a clean diet.

Tighter swim briefs and trunk shorts have had a certain stigma attached to them in the past, but designers such as Versace and Michael Bastian, along with silver screen icons such as Daniel Craig, have turned them into a viable option for style-conscious gents, both young and old.

Today, we take a look at a couple of styles that are sure to appeal to a wider audience. Flattering, slim-cut swim shorts (similar to your tailored shorts) have ecome the go-to for the modern male over the past couple of summers, yet for SS13 we are seeing a move towards styles that are noticeably longer or shorter than we have become accustomed to.

So, are you ready to embrace short swim shorts? How about a pair of throwback board shorts?

Short Swim Shorts

Short swim shorts seem to be the most popular option with both designers and the high street for men’s swimwear this season – and they are indeed the FashionBeans team’s favourite among the trending styles.

Although we have recently identified short shorts as a common fashion mistake, claiming they lack masculinity, short swim shorts offer a clear distinction between your tailored shorts and swimwear, yet still retain an essence of versatility that allows you to go from beach to bar, and back again.

We have previously recommended that your tailored shorts should finish around an inch or two above the knee. These new short swim shorts tend not to extend past mid-thigh, which has other advantages: helping show off athletic figures and well-built legs as well as drying quicker than traditional board shorts.

At Milan’s SS13 fashion week, Dolce & Gabbana were a huge proponent of short swim shorts. Their models wore shorts that finished just above mid-thigh and came in both colourful, mosaic patterns and floral, foliage prints. In addition, the shorts were often finished with leather belts, making the garments look more like shorts as part of an outfit rather than something solely reserved for swimwear.

Likewise, Michael Bastian showcased some well cut, block-coloured versions within his SS13 collection, which ranged from timeless neutrals to bolder, seasonally-appropriate hues of yellow and lilac. Bastian chose to pair the shorts with open shirts for a relaxed, beach vibe, yet he also dressed the lilac pair up with a white button-up funnel neck, again emphasising their versatility.

Finally, it seems short swim shorts have already filtered down to the high street stores, with H&M featuring them prominently within their SS13 Beachwear campaign. Finishing mid-thigh, they are shown in shades of yellow, green and blue, complete with minimal detailing and accent colour pocket linings:

Short Swim Shorts At D&G and Michael Bastian SS13 and In H&M's Beachwear 2013 Campaign

D&G SS13Michael Bastian SS13H&M Beachwear SS13
Leading By Example: Orlebar Brown

One of the biggest and most popular high-end labels who have built their name around this style of swimwear is Orlebar Brown.

The brand’s now iconic ‘Bulldog’ swim shorts feature a tailored cut, mid-length finish and side adjuster for a perfect fit. Refined and sophisticated, side fasteners can help tailor your swim shorts to your specific body shape and produce clean, sharp lines that look so much more elegant than their bunched-up, elastic waistband counterparts.

The Guardian writes of Orlebar Brown: “Its block colour or graphic prints, with distinctive side fasteners and shorter lengths have been hugely influential.”

It seems celebrities and style icons agree, as Ryan Reynolds and David Gandy have both recently been papped in the Orlebar Brown ‘Bulldog’ range.

  • Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Swim Shorts 148020Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Swim Shorts 148020
  • Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Printed Swim ShortsOrlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Printed Swim Shorts
  • Orlebar Brown David Hicks Bulldog Print Sky Blue Swim ShortsOrlebar Brown David Hicks Bulldog Print Sky Blue Swim Shorts
  • Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Shorts 143882Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Shorts 143882
  • Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Printed Swim ShortsOrlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Printed Swim Shorts
  • Orlebar Brown Bulldog Swim Shorts 143876Orlebar Brown Bulldog Swim Shorts 143876
  • Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Swim ShortsOrlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-length Swim Shorts
  • Orlebar Brown Setter Short-length Swim ShortsOrlebar Brown Setter Short-length Swim Shorts
  • Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-tailored Swim ShortsOrlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-tailored Swim Shorts
Current Styles

For those who do not have the disposable income to spend a small fortune on a pair or Orlebar Brown shorts, high street brands such as Reiss and ASOS offer much more cost-efficient alternatives in both block-colours and printed pattern styles.

Paul Smith are currently offering a pair similar in style to Orlebar Brown with side fasteners, whilst Topman are also featuring some cheaper printed options in floral, camouflage and even parrot designs.

For those who like to invest slightly more, Orlebar Brown is not the only designer option. Other luxury swimwear specialists such as Vilebrequin and Robinson Les Bains are stocked at Mr Porter in a range of patterns, prints and block-colours:

  • Asos Swim Shorts With Contrast Waistband And HemsAsos Swim Shorts With Contrast Waistband And Hems
  • American Apparel Resort Swim TrunkAmerican Apparel Resort Swim Trunk
  • Ecoalf Mens Green Mallorca Swim ShortsEcoalf Mens Green Mallorca Swim Shorts
  • Ted Baker Buffel – Fine Stripe Swim ShortTed Baker Buffel - Fine Stripe Swim Short
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Mid-length Cotton-blend Swim ShortsPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Mid-length Cotton-blend Swim Shorts
  • Reiss Ditora Butterfly Floral Print Airforce BlueReiss Ditora Butterfly Floral Print Airforce Blue
  • Asos Stripe Swim ShortsAsos Stripe Swim Shorts
  • Topman Leaf Swim ShortsTopman Leaf Swim Shorts
  • Allsaints Medallions Swim ShortsAllsaints Medallions Swim Shorts
  • Bellfield Aztec Print Swim ShortsBellfield Aztec Print Swim Shorts
  • Chucs Positano Printed Short-length Swim ShortsChucs Positano Printed Short-length Swim Shorts
  • Faconnable Mid-length Boat-print Swim ShortsFaconnable Mid-length Boat-print Swim Shorts
Board Shorts

The classic board short still remains hugely popular today amongst the male masses. Although they are a style often associated with younger men, there is no reason why a slightly maturer gent cannot pull off a stylish pair of board shorts. Recent celebrity fans have included Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Jackman, proving that board shorts are not solely reserved for teenagers and youngsters.

Board shorts (so-called because of their association with beach sports such as surfing) remain a beach classic, although for SS13 designs are being cut slightly shorter and slimmer through the leg – taking us away from the longer, baggier styles you may typically envision. It just goes to show that even the board short has undergone development and modernisation for this season.

Much like short swim shorts, board shorts can easily be integrated as part of a high summer outfit, offering the wearer increased versatility. For example, a young man venturing away from the beach for an afternoon walking around a seaside town in a t-shirt and a pair of short swim shorts/board shorts would not look out of place – whereas pairing a t-shirt with a pair of trunk shorts or swim briefs may garner some concerned looks.

Traditionally board shorts have often been quite brash and vivid in their colour choices and pattern options. However, this works well in the current market, and specifically for SS13, where patterns such as the floral Hawaiian print are undergoing a mini resurgence.

In terms of designer proponents, Nautica featured board shorts prominently within their SS13 showcase. Coming in traditional sailing colour ways (reds, whites and blues) as well as classic floral and aquatic prints, they finished around the knee and were minimal in their appearance: well tailored and without any unnecessary cargo pockets adding bulk to the clean silhouettes.

Turning to the high street, H&M are yet again leading the pack, featuring board shorts in two recent beachwear campaigns. Shown in timeless block-colours or vibrant stripes and checks, the cut is kept slim-line and well fitted, reinforcing the style’s current movement towards a more versatile, refined option that can transcend age groups:

Nautica SS13H&M Beachwear SS13H&M Beachwear SS13
Current Styles

Looking at the huge amount of high street and designer options available today, the traditional Hawaiian print is a big hitter with the likes of Hackett, Horwick and DSquared2, who all offer floral options.

For the gent who prefers his swimwear a bit more subtle, Vilebrequin offer a plain black board short alternative and J. Crew have a pair with a subtle stripe.

More cost-efficient high street options are plentiful, with the likes of Topman, ASOS and H&M stocking both colourful prints/patterns and more sober block-colours, depending on the individual’s personal taste:

  • Topman Blue Pattern Swim Board ShortsTopman Blue Pattern Swim Board Shorts
  • Breton Stripe Swim ShortsBreton Stripe Swim Shorts
  • Topman Black Fluro Swim Board ShortsTopman Black Fluro Swim Board Shorts
  • J.crew 9 Bold Striped Mid-length Swim ShortsJ.crew 9 Bold Striped Mid-length Swim Shorts
  • Fine Stripe Swim ShortsFine Stripe Swim Shorts
  • New Look Blue Photo Print Swim ShortsNew Look Blue Photo Print Swim Shorts
  • Navy Floral Swim ShortsNavy Floral Swim Shorts
  • Blue Harbour Checked Swim ShortsBlue Harbour Checked Swim Shorts
  • Printed Board ShortsPrinted Board Shorts
  • Missoni Feather-print Surf Swim Shorts 153208Missoni Feather-print Surf Swim Shorts 153208
  • Vilebrequin Okoa Long-length Printed Swim ShortsVilebrequin Okoa Long-length Printed Swim Shorts
  • Vilebrequin Okoa Long-length Swim ShortsVilebrequin Okoa Long-length Swim Shorts
Final Word

So there we have it, a summary of the major swimwear trends for spring/summer 2013. Swimwear is part of your wardrobe that allows you to experiment and be a bit more adventurous in terms of pattern and colour, without having to worry about looking out of place at the beach or around the pool.

In terms of style preference, the short swim shorts and board shorts showcased today offer the most versatility. Able to be effortlessly integrated within any of your current summer looks, they are perfect for going from the beach to lunch or for a few drinks on the way back to the hotel.

But perhaps you disagree? Maybe the majority of you will opt for less fabric this year? As always we welcome your thoughts, suggestions and opinions, so feel free to add your comments below…