As we find ourselves in the middle of the summer season, humidity levels are skyrocketing in true Mediterranean fashion and the only refuge is the beach. Now this might seem a daunting stage for many, especially with the Lebanese mentality of every outing being an obligatory catwalk moment.
They say fashion speaks on your behalf, and this is no truer than at the beach, where you, bar a disaster where you decide swimming in a shirt is a good idea, have very little on. Now there is much debate among the more aesthetically astute as to whether less is more, but most tend to agree that how long or how short the swimsuit is should be a choice made with the wearer’s specific body type in mind.
One reason swimsuits don’t generally come in a default size is the human fact that we come in all different shapes and sizes, but don’t let that discourage you; instead, play it to your advantage. For those men who are a little vertically challenged (generally under 172 centimeters), an above-the-knee swimsuit serves to elongate your legs and give you a little visual height. One takeaway from that is that the longer a pair of shorts is, the shorter you appear to be.
On that premise, it should be no surprise that donning shin-length boardshorts runs the risk of making you look compact. Leave the longer suits to the basketball players, who can best exercise the shortening-of-proportions effect. Don’t go too far below the knee, as it can be a case of more is less; at the knee or just below it is a safer bet.
From vertical we switch over to the horizontal, where we have a similar tale of two extremes. In this case, it’s waistbands: the slim and the heavy. There’s no need to put off the beach if you haven’t been hitting the bench press; skinny guys have genes to fight against, so it’s an uphill battle. Distract the average onlooker and add a little bulk to your look by going for brighter colors and a summery pattern for good measure, best exemplified in these hot pink GS trunks.
Found at G.S. Stores
For the gentleman on the opposite spectrum and who was busy transforming his six pack abs into a six pack beer belly, fret not – I’ve got you covered. A classic-fit swimsuit, not too tight and not too baggy, and a muted, darker color scheme should serve to make you look a little slimmer. Add a dash of stripes like in this Vilebrequin suit and you get to cash in on their slimming quality.
Found at Vilebrequin
That final note brings up an awkward point that has to be made. How tight your swimsuit fits is a matter of comfort; just make sure you don’t stray too far from the median. Shorts that are too tight threaten to reveal a little too much, and that is most definitely not a good thing. Alternatively, those that are too loose do your figure no favors.
Speaking of figures, remember that up until the 19th century it was customary in most places to bathe nude. Current trends seem to be leaning back to our more provocative ancestors, with men and women wearing less. A good yet safe way to embrace the tradition would be a short above the knee but with a good fit. A more conservative choice could combine athleticism with class to allow the transition from an afternoon at the beach to an evening at a poolside bar. Board shorts composed of quick-drying fabrics enable you to quickly move from the water to the dance floor without bringing your puddle along.
Another glaring transformation in men’s appearances has been the not-so-subtle movement towards the metrosexual, most notably embodied by the dime-a-dozen waxed chests you’ll see scattered around the pool. Unfortunately, when man evolved from his caveman roots he sometimes failed to ditch the body fuzz. Kudos must go those who pull off the hairy chest, but even the most gloriously manly of curls need a little manscaping.
Regardless of what you decide to wear, make sure you’re comfortable. Wear your suit with confidence and you’re guaranteed to be the reason the beach gets that much hotter.