Be that as it may, and whether you fancy yourself as an enterprising sartorialist who is risk adverse or a conservative traditionalist at heart who prefers resting on his (proven) laurels, this feature is certainly ripe for the picking with a vast well of considered swimwear choices that are sure to please a diverse spectrum of discerning tastes.
Being one of the few remaining style domains that you essentially have carte blanche to let loose (albeit within reason) in whatever manner you see most fitting (i.e. experimenting with colour, design, etc.), my advice as such is that — even if there is no limits (per se) as to how you can/should style your swimwear — you should nevertheless approach the purchasing of your next pair of swim shorts, trunks or briefs with visual restraint being top of mind alongside that of the ideal that the final product be just as flattering in wear, reflectively genteel in character, and impeccably cut as your exquisitely tailored formalwear.
For proof, all one really need do is imagine the perennial sea of overzealous prints, unflattering silhouettes, and (most prominently) shapeless board shorts that plague beaches worldwide as well as all the tonally out of sync (with ones natural complexion that is) swim suits that leave a lasting impression for all the wrong reasons — think bright sunshine yellow trunks that are backdropped by pasty skin tones or near (lady-like) Capri-length board shorts with so many contrasting graphic prints or motifs that they prove overbearing to the eye of any onlooker (from both afar and whilst in proper frame).
Taking to heart that (troubling?) reality, the following style guide is purposefully awash with the sort of advice, tactful ad libs and styling inspiration that will not only help appease those lingering issues but that should prove most fitting to nearly one-and-all whether they be searching for suitable swimwear for Copacabana Beach, the Côte d'Azur or perhaps even a local hotspot or private (residence) pool.
Arriving just in time for those with nautical prospects awaiting on the horizon, you could say that it is both (1) a call-to-action aimed towards battling the plague that has been brought upon many a beach by all manner of baggy board shorts and far-too-revealing (swimmers) Speedos and (2) an all-encompassing swimwear edit tasked with helping elevate true-blue swimwear into a prized possession that you will look forward to pulling on no matter how well that ‘beach-body’ workout regimen played out.
So with that in mind, and without any further or ado, here’s to taking the plunge in some of the finest swimwear (shorts, trunks, briefs) available and to making a splash whilst cutting a dash (at leisure) all summer long in what is a most tasteful and endearing manner…
As such, they are — in reflective aura and styling — likely to immediately appeal most prominently to both those innately unburdened by the notion of displaying a touch more skin as well as that peculiar set who have been gifted with (or developed) the sort of well toned, muscular and bronzed legs that will make the most of this classically handsome style of cropped swim trunk — any, in other words, who have the unfettered confidence, genteel spirit, and signature style to pull them off.
In applicational merit without question designed and presupposed strictly for beach and resort wear (read: not as a walking short for going about town in), I like to imagine retro form-fitting trunks as the sartorial gentleman’s tastefully modest answer to the far too revealing legless Speedo (brief).
Having retained their inspired vintage zest erstwhile being sensibly updated with modern quick-drying fabrics, added stretch, and quality lightweight compositional construction, those chosen before you today (including the highlighted pair which was worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale) will leave you properly equipped to effortlessly mimic the casual elegance in dress of such luminary silver-screen icons as John Robie (Cary Grant, To Catch A Thief), Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley), and James Bond (both Craig and Mr. Sean Connery, Thunderball) in no time.
To that account, take stylized liberty of 007’s sartorial cues and sport them with a rakish disposition alongside alightweight belted cardigan (Laneus; in lieu of any polo or t-shirt), round (Lennon) sunnies (H&M), Spanish espadrilles (Soludos) and a water-friendly Milanese band watch (Skagen) for a chic look that would indeed not be out of place is his revered cinematic universe.
Immediate cultural, surfing and kitschy modern Hawaiian vacationer connotations aside, if taken in solely at face value swimwear styled with florals or tropical prints is an instant ice-breaker whose distinctive form of fashionable appeal is vibrant yet nonetheless peaceful, poignant and meditative.
As such understandably a popular choice worldwide, this is inarguably a style of swimwear with a busy and enterprising design principle in which the devil truly rests in the (nuanced) details — so proceed with caution.
Either or, or whether it proves to be another that inspires you to adopt such natural prints, do keep in mind that the key to pulling off any lively design with tasteful panache lay in keeping everything else you wear tonally muted (or colour blocked) and simply styled so that the overall effect is not too overbearing nor clashing.
Best sported by those with an unshakeable level of confidence and an eccentric sartorial spirit, style yours as per below with a subtle statement making pair of raffia Venetian loafers (Casablanca1942), a cottonstriped button-down shirt (J. Crew), an inviting to the touch cable-knit cardigan (for breezy days and damp evenings) and an ever-capable raffia Panama hat (Barney's).
Having retained both the vintage nautical zest (i.e. stripes and their French Naval history/sailing spirit) and the modern Southern charm (i.e. gingham checks) that have come to popularize them, it certainly warrants mentioning that they are amongst the most profoundly easy to adopt as well as simple and approachable styles available before you today.
They are, you could say, the safest entry points for any looking to adopt what has become two of the most widely accepted and universally flattering swimwear designs in existence.
Having dutifully earned their summer staple wardrobe status, it may be safe to assume that many amongst us have become well-apprised of the endearing merits of stripes — both of the vertical (which will make you look taller and thinner) and classic horizontal variety (i.e. Breton stripes which broaden your shoulders) — in particular and in due course have become completely at ease and comfortable with wearing them.
That being said, if you must insist upon selecting between the two I would advise going the quintessential stripe route.
Insofar as such, opt for a pair of form-fitting swim trunks (much akin to those below from Sauvage) that are finished off with retro vertical stripes and a contrast waistband as they will ensure you hit all the right sartorial notes whether you fancy venturing into the water or not. Inspirationally lifted from the fashionable heyday of the 1950s’ and 60s’, wear yours with a simple white patch-pocket jersey-cotton t-shirt (Frescobol Carioca), an exquisite navy-and-white piped rowing blazer (Rowing Blazers), aviators (Tom Ford) and flax-linen nautical anchor embroidered Albert slippers (Stubbs & Wootton) for a truly sartorial aesthetic that is profoundly elegant in spite of its otherwise louche casual purposing.
Either or, you really cannot go wrong by opting for swimwear fashioned in a (near) universally flattering stripe or check.
Commonly adopted by those sartorially unperturbed by the notion of earnestly experimenting at will with maximalist prints and graphics, my advice for any interested party of this style of swimwear would be to avoid electing for elongated board shorts (whose additional real estate often always proves unflattering in wear) with overly busy designs or bright neon hues in lieu of a cropped (and tailored) swim trunk that is fashioned in a warm or muted colour palette and finished in a classic mosaic or nautical motif/appliquéd medley (such as those above from Thom Browne).
Sought after for their vivid visual contrasts and distinctive summer brio, it goes without saying that opting for printed or graphic swimwear is a considered choice that will most assuredly ensure you not only cut an aesthetically striking figure all season long but stand out from the beach-bound masses at-large for all the right reasons.
Wear with confidence and an unfaltering free-spirit lest you fancy appearing as though you are reaching well beyond the realm of your comfort zone.
Structured like a dress pant (with fitted side-fasteners for a completely customized fit) so as to be donned as a walking short wherever deemed acceptable (outside the nautical realm that is) yet still a swim short in functional essence that has the ability to retain its exquisite form after frequent forays into the sea, they are (essentially) the next level upgrade — as well as a refined sartorial pleasure — that no man should forgo if he has his sights set upon swimwear that is as sharp as his tailored formalwear.
Truly a jack-of-all-trades marvel that is ageless in wear, understated in appeal, neat in styling, and without equal in applicational versatility (sport, leisure, swim or social), these will allow you to seamlessly transition from the beach to brunch with ease erstwhile intermittently combatting all manner of sun, sea and sport thrown at them with refined panache.
To wit suitably worn most anywhere (and with anything) that pleases you, I’ve elected to styling a crisp white linen pair (from Orlebar Brown) below into a fashionable two-toned (highlighting varying shades of white + brown) getup that would look positively dashing in such locales as Havana (Cuba) or perhaps the Amalfi Coast (Italy). Anchored by a silk knit polo (Beams Plus or Todd Snyder) as well as suede driving mocs (H&M), a straw Panama hat (Barbisio), andround (brushed canvas) sunglasses (The BespokeDudes), it is a curated look for those who prefer a classic, simple and clean aesthetic rife with a level of class, luxury and social versatility that is second-to-none.
With a quite vast and varied umbrella of vintage, modern and avant-garde aesthetics at the fore and a modern styling sensibility underlying each respective style, each given article of swimwear — short, trunks and briefs — featured in this guide was chosen as consequence of not only being both the fluid representation (in their own right) of the endearing spirit of the season itself but do to the fact that they represent the perfect coalescence of cut, fit and style.
In utility often characteristically looking (and feeling) just as flattering out of the water as they do in it, this guide is replete with swimwear truly befitting the modern gentleman of style and substance.
But, you may ask, why bother putting so much thought into (or upgrading) something that you spend so little time in?
Point being is that no matter what reason proves itself most inspiring, that begs for further exploration, or that acts as a personal call-to-action, that doing your due diligence — when it comes to choosing a proper pair of swim shorts, trunks or briefs — is certainly a characteristic prerogative given you are the sort who fancies cutting a dash (whether on the beach, streets or sea) and living the dolce vida in high style all season long.
So, whether its hybrid swim/walking shorts that are cut and fitted like suit trousers or form-fitting retro trunks that will both flatter and highlight the months of gruelling leg days you endured, here’s once again to making a splash and cutting a dash (whilst at leisure) all summer long in the finest swimwear you can afford.
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