By Rae Avery
The days are getting longer and warmer, the sky seems a bit bluer. We walk a little slower, breath deeper, and shed clothing like the dickens. Summer is upon us, gentlemen. The beach is calling, and you want to be ready to respond - and look good doing it. Time to bite the bullet and shop for a new suit. No worries. No matter what body type you have, our handy guide has you covered. Because style matters when you’re struttin’ your stuff, but so does comfort. We'll help you navigate the best brands and new styles of the season to find one that makes you look great, and that you'll love to wear, so you can get back to enjoying that barbecue. Below are some summer options for swimwear you can feel confident won’t make you feel ridiculous. Before you commit to buying a type though, you should know what’s what.
If you're 6'2” or taller, you want a suit that ends just above your knee. An 8” inseam is perfect for you, and won't make your legs look too long. Don't get a pair that's too wide. If you want to go bold, try a fun print – there are way more options this season than the typical Hawaiian floral. Horizontal stripes are also good for tall guys, and will give your build some visual balance. For traditional swim trunks, you can’t go wrong with RVCA. They’ve been doing this a while and are a fairly popular brand in the world of swimwear.
Believe it or not, the new, shorter suits in a trunk or boxer style will make short guys seem taller. You want a suit with around a 4” inseam. These end mid-thigh and will give you the illusion of longer legs. Avoid long styles – boardshorts are not your look. They will only make your frame appear shorter. Try vertical stripes to create visual length. If you don’t like big, baggy swim trunks, this style will be much more comfortable for you. The style of short swimwear fits some men very well, and you can go a step further by looking into some really nice brands like Robinson Les Bains. They make a good-looking pair of swim shorts, if you’re willing to pay a little extra for ‘em.
You may be tempted to hide behind baggy, super long boardshorts. Please don't – it won't work! They were never comfortable even back when they were in style, and nowadays they give off a vibe that looks and outdated, no matter your body type. The new board shorts have a straight fit to elongate your legs and look leaner, and they should never go below the knee. Vertical stripes will also make you seem more slim. You also want to go for darker, solid colors, or one of the fun micro-patterns that are everywhere this season. Avoid styles with an elastic waistband. These will make you appear larger than you really are. If a flat waistband cuts into your tummy, pick the next size up. Some good old-fashioned Dockers will do just nicely if you want some good-fitting boardshorts, but have never spent more than $50 on swimwear, and aren’t looking to start anytime soon.
You want a bold print or bright solid colors to make you seem a bit heftier. For super thin guys, you have two really good options that will both work for you. The first choice is a tight-fit, low rise suit. The horizontal cut of this suit will uplift and enhance your caboose, and the tighter fit around your thighs will give the illusion of bulking you up a bit. Your other option is to embrace your slim frame with slightly looser fitting short shorts to emphasize your youthful, boyish figure. If you haven’t heard of Diesel swimwear, they have some really stylish prints, and a great selection of fits and styles. Seriously though, if you don’t like short, tight fitting shorts, don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion.
You've worked hard at the gym and it's paid off. You'll look good in pretty much any suit you choose. Why not have some fun though, and try out one of this season's swim briefs? This style is actually a bit reminiscent of the ones men wore in the 1930's, but with a more modern fit, and covers more than the traditional Speedo. Color is important in this style and should compliment your skin tone, since you'll be showing so much of it. A Speedo may not be for you, but don’t underestimate the potential comfort of skin-tight pants. As stupid, sexy Flanders once said it’s like you’re wearing “nothin’ at all.”
There is a myriad of men’s swim brands out there, many you may have never heard of, so try something new. No matter what body type you have, or what suit you choose, own it! The best accessory of this hot, hot season is confidence. Let's face it, summer is all too short. At its core, swimwear is all about enjoying your life, and reminds us to celebrate the warm and sunny seasons of it while they're here. In the end, it’s whatever you feel comfortable in, and can feel comfortable being seen in.