Men’s swimwear styles rarely change dramatically from year to year. Granted, every era might have had its standouts.
Compared to something like the quintessential board shorts of the ’80s, you could say that the 21st century has given way to a more liberated showing of the male physique. Inseams have risen, and the fit is somewhat snugger. I think credit should also be given to that pivotal moment that sent many women’s hearts (and perhaps libidos) aflutter: when the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, emerged from the ocean in an oh-so revealing bathing suit in Casino Royale.
I don’t want to turn this into a feature on what type of swimsuit looks best on various types of bodies. Honestly, if you’re looking for that, do a quick Google search — dozens of examples will pop up. That said, looking at some of the generalizations is surprising. I honestly think it’s a man’s confidence, personal style, and occasion that should really inform the decision on what trunks you choose to traipse around the beach.
If you’re heading to the beach or pool anytime soon, consider these options:
Orlebar Brown: This line has become the go-to for the fashion-savvy crowd. They’re not cheap by any means (generally starting at $275 and averaging around $350) but are definitely known by those in the know. Their trunks often have an all-over design incorporating photographs that seem taken straight through Slim Aarons lens. Stanley Korshak has one of the best selections of the line in Texas. I liked the pair with multiple blue beach umbrellas, called the bulldog jolly brollies, that I found on a recent visit to the store.
Vilebrequin: This is the classic choice for old-school fashion types. If you’re fortunate enough to receive an invite to head to Lyford Cay (likely on someone’s private jet) for the weekend, then these are the swim trunks to pack. Go with a jaunty print incorporating turtles or palm trees that conjure bygone days of drinking a Tom Collins and rallying a conga line by the pool.
Mr. Turk: Anyone who wants to channel the decadent 1970s or ’80s era — meaning Boogie Nights or post-Rat Pack Palm Springs, then Mr. Turk’s snug, square-cut swimsuits (which are known to accentuate any assets you might have) are a great choice.
Loewe + Paula‘s Ibiza short-length tie-dyed swim shorts (Mr Porter capsule collection). I’d gotten advance notice of these going on sale and made sure I pre-ordered. They’re likely to sell-out fast and soon be spotted on boys with names like Stavros or Liam on the white sand beaches of St. Barts.
Dolce & Gabbana: If you really want to go the skimpy route, then I suggest the most tasteful option would be the Italian luxury label’s white side-striped swim trunks. Confidence is key, and a base tan in place couldn’t hurt for those looking to don this pair. Best worn on a trip to South Beach while you are staying at the SoHo Beach House.
Mr. Swim: The lowest price point on the list (all generally $75 and under) with plenty of great style options. And, I just noticed that they have joined others out there by now offering face masks.
If you’re looking for a few accessories, then sunglasses should be top on your list. For a quick fix, choose from the carefully curated selection in the new Mr Porter Archive Collection, which debuted just a few weeks ago. It offers more than 30 frames and inspired by the best and most iconic eyewear from brands including Cutler and Gross, Moscot, Oliver Peoples. and Persol.
Also, go for a vintage vibe and score a Jimmy’Z T-shirt and Havaiana flip-flops (classic and timeless). And the ultimate way to look like a baller: Have an Hermès beach towel to throw casually down on your poolside recliner.