Have you been paying attention to the selection of men’s swimsuits at various department stores lately? They are very limited! Hitting up at least five different stores, retailers seem to be selling different colors and patterns of the same cut of swim trunks (slightly above or below the knees) that are loose fitting. Often, men’s swimsuits are limited to one rack. Are men shopping from a utility standpoint – with fit and how they shape the body as a second thought — or not a thought at all? Men seem to be wearing the same cut and length – is it because that is all offered, or is it peer pressure?
I know I just posed a lot of rhetorical questions, but the main question is: are you ready for summertime fun, like going to the beach or pool, enjoying a little surf & little sand, and of course, getting a little spicy senorita summer action? Ready or not, I want to give you the 411 about swimsuits because I don’t want you screwing the style pooch by wearing unsightly or unflattering trunks. So, here’s the 411 that every guy should know to look summer-season stylish when sporting a bathing suit this summer.
Summer 2023 is all about being comfortable, and pretty much any length goes, whether short (throwback length at less than 5-inch inseam), medium (5-inch inseam; perfect option and very versatile), or longer (hitting the knee, which I advise against). You have to make sure that you are not wearing shorts that come too far down. What’s too far down?
A minimum of two inches above the knee is the longest that your shorts should be. Also, you must ensure that the suit is not super big & baggy, OR tight. Select a swimsuit that is tailored, tapered, and fits your body. If you’re used to wearing super long baggy shorts, it will take a little bit of getting used to wearing smaller shorts. But honestly, in my opinion, you get over a super quick. Even suits with shorter inseams are incredible in terms of comfort and will also allow you to get a better tan line.
The next bit of info is that big baggy board shorts (aka big baggy basketball or long-board shorts) are absolutely a no-go this season. They’re not stylish; they’re not sexy; they make your proportions appear odd. The fact is that board shorts will make you look short because they make your lower body look super small. Instead, I’d recommend something that allows you to expose a little bit more thigh. It’s all about thigh exposure, gentlemen.
The most important info I can relay to you is no Speedos EVER. Speedos are officially making a comeback amongst Gen-Z, according to experts, but not in my style book. 1/3 of men aged between 18 and 30 prefer to wear a Speedo currently, and 5% of men aged between 41 – 50 like to wear them. Also known as banana hammocks, they are off-limits unless you’re a fat, hairy, tan Italian dude (and then go ahead and rock one). But in all seriousness, Speedos are not an option EVER.
Options this year have plenty of pockets, snap, or drawstring waist. Don’t wear a men’s bathing suit with an elastic waistband. Elastic creates a ballooning effect instead of a solid fabric band which creates a slimming effect. Typically, men’s swimsuits come in small, medium, large, and extra-large, so be sure to get a snug fit so the drawstring isn’t responsible for keeping the suit in place.
2023 features various types of swimwear fabric: primarily cotton, nylon, and polyester, and durable fabrics that dry quickly. Each type of fabric has its pros and cons, but for quick-drying, non-clingy, breathable, comfortable manly swim shorts, go for cotton. You’ll probably like the price tag too. Keep in mind that nylon is clingy, especially when wet, and polyester is slow to dry. A silky-soft mesh lining is also a must.
Whether opting for a solid or a pair of trunks with a pattern, the sky is the limit with choices this year, but I recommend balancing boldness and versatility. The great thing about this year’s trunks is many can be worn like ‘normal’ shorts that you can wear day-to-day.
When styling a patterned pair of trunks, choose a plain up top (no pattern) like a modern summery Oxford, which is perfect for pairing with super fun bold shorts & white pair of leather sneakers or even flip-flops. If you’re wearing solid trunks, you can get away with being a little more daring by wearing something like a Hawaiian shirt with white leather sneaks. Just make sure that the Hawaiian shirt is fitted, and the sleeves are rolled.
And last but not least, 411 regarding swimsuit wearing is to multiple suits. You should have at least three different suits in rotation, one of my summer hacks to look super smooth & stylish. If one gets sandy, nasty, or isn’t dry (nothing will chafe you worse than wearing a damp bathing suit), you have an alternative. You also don’t want to wear the same suit every day because there will be people checking you out, and if you wear the same suit every single day, they’ll take note.
With so many swimsuits looking like everyday shorts, opt for a versatile pair to accommodate your needs. And consider where else you’ll wear the trunks when choosing the perfect pair.