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The Tanning Man’s Guide to Swimwear
By Sasha Fastovskiy
Dude, this summer is gonna be totally kick-ass. You’ve got your drinks, your board, your Gidgets (if that’s your thing), and you’re ready to hit the waves and be the Big Kahuna. That’s all fine and dandy, but what if your swimming wardrobe is totally bogus ~ last summer’s trunks are just that, last summer. No need to flip your wig, there are all different styles of man-shorts on the sand and in the waves this summer so finding something that floats your boat shouldn’t be hard at all. Connect with your inner Beach Boy and Kowabunga, because the Pulse has practically done the shopping for you…gnarly, Dude.
Boxers and surfer style board-shorts have long been the trendiest and most popular swimwear for the male of our species. Boxers resemble the classic cut underwear, above the knee, while board shorts are longer (typically over the knee) and baggier. Boxers are aimed at the more adult crowd that has outgrown the look of board shorts. While most men wear them for comfort reasons, and because they can double as shorts, this year they can wring out the excuse that they are actually “in.” They have pockets, zippers, and enough compartments to go camping with ~ or at least to hold some SPF and a pair of shades.
The palette is also more muted this year ~ none of those screaming tropical prints (which, repeat after me, aren’t for everyone and every figure), they’ve been replaced with subtle designs, soft plaids, or solid colors with contrast stitching. Patterns still exist though, if monochromatic just doesn’t capture the festive essence that is you ~ more retro and floral patterns are universally flattering, so go ahead, express yourself.
Vertically challenged men should opt for pinstripes ~ or actually any other vertical stripes ~ and dark colors to lengthen their bodies, while the barneys who think they’re too tall can try horizontal stripes and brighter colors. What’s really nifty though, is the different closures on the trunks (stop it, don’t go there). No more Velcro; rope ties, buttons, and zippers (careful) have caught on (sorry, couldn’t resist) this season.
If you’re not a professional swimmer or water polo star, there’s no reason for you to don a Speedo. The skimpy Banana Hammock is truly European and difficult to properly pull off (oh, behave) successfully. If for some reason you lost a bet and MUST wear a Speedo, though, the most important factor is confidence ~ Let’s be real; you will be gawked at and potentially heckled by both genders (and bear in mind that children do NOT censor what they say, so get around a group of young ‘uns in your Speedo and prepare to be mocked bigtime). Fortunately, this style usually comes in one or two color combinations, helping every so slightly to make the teeny bikini a little less…well, gawkable. And obviously, a toned body wouldn’t be unhelpful (and in my opinion should be LAW) ~ no one complains about the Olympic swimmers when they sport their Speedos. So if you must wear a Speedo, for goodness sake do us all a favor and wear it low…do NOT hike it up to your hips ~ not only might you cut off the circulation in your…legs, but, well, it looks absurd.
Now let’s get to my favorite style to see on a man ~ the fitted trunk, made famous by the delish new James Bond, Daniel Craig. 007? How about Double-0-HEAVEN. If you’ve got a decent bod, this style will make it look even better ~ and if you’re already pretty darn hot, it’ll make you look sizzling. This shape suit is really just a slightly more substantial version of the underwear most men these days prefer, the boxer brief. It skims the top of the thigh just so and makes butts look firm. Need I say more?
And speaking of “more substantial,” fabrics now used in swimsuits are becoming better at maintaining their shape (nothing like going into the water looking 30 and tight and coming out looking 50 and saggy…that just will not do!) and their color even when put through an entire summers of chlorine and salt.
So what have we learned? There are tons of styles out there, and while some are considered trendier than others, what’s really important is A) to find something you like, B) to make sure it fits properly (take trunks for example ~ they should be snug at the waist and flare out to a baggier leg) so that you can move without, um, any wardrobe malfunctions, and C) have fun this summer, suit up, hang ten, and don’t hang out, if you catch my drift. Righteous.