Men’s Fashion Basics – Part 52 – Swimming Shorts

Even though it’s still difficult for us here in the UK to say that summer has finally arrived, I thought it was about time I sunk my teeth into the dilemma that every (grown) man faces when the months become seriously hot. That problem is this – what swim shorts should I wear? Often asked and often done wrong, the beach and the sea can be difficult terrain to navigate for the sartorially inclined. Luckily, there are only a few tips you need to remember to transform yourself from beach bum to sand king. The first of these is fit. By now we should all know that the secret to looking great in your clothes is whether they fit your body or not; your swim shorts are no exception to this. What you want to be aiming for is an ‘athletic fit’. What I mean by this is that the shorts tread the line between slim and skinny. You want the material to be just touching on your body, allowing you plenty of give to run, jump and swim while avoiding any garish ‘tenting’ effects. Similarly, the length of your shorts is important as well. By now you should have realised that you would quite like your thighs to get a tan this year rather than strolling around in those baggy quicksilver board shorts you brought before you went to Uni. So out with the old and in with the new; make sure that when you purchase your swim shorts that the hem falls two to three inches above your knee. This, combined with the athletic fit, will help raise your swimwear to the next level. Secondly, inject some colour into your life! Summer is the perfect time to start experimenting with colours and finding out which ones you like or that look good on you. The best thing about swim shorts is that it is more than likely they will be the only thing you’re wearing at that time – so it means you can really branch out with colour. Why not go for something in electric yellow or pink? Or maybe throw a pattern in as well and try a navy and green stripe or red gingham check? The options are endless and if you do need to wear something up top, stick to a fitted tank top in neutral colours like grey, navy or black to anchor your bottom half and let the trunks do the talking. Lastly, make sure you invest in the new breed of swim shorts. These days designers and high streets alike are making shorts that blur the lines between beachwear and summer clothing. If you buy some swim shorts that are flat fronted and hang in a straight line, not only will they flatter any waist size and eliminate any risk of looking podgy but, once you have dried off, you can take them straight up to the beach bar without looking out of place. Furthermore, some shorts are also being made without the elastic waistbands and now have zip flies and pockets big enough to actually carry large items like your iPod. You may need to splash a little more cash but in the end, the benefit of having a pair of shorts that look great in and out of the pool will be worth it. Just remember to take your phone out of them before jumping in, ok?

Final Word

In conclusion, invest in a quality pair of swim shorts that fit you properly (athletic fit, 2-3 inches above the knee) in a playful colour that can transition from the sea to the bar and you can’t go wrong. Let us know in the comments any particular brands or styles you have purchased for this year. Have you any tips of brands that make hybrid shorts which can double up as swimming shorts?

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