Men’s swimwear is a tricky thing to maneuver. It’s full of oddball prints and inseams that range from the crazy-long to the super-short. But somewhere in between the Speedos and cargo shorts is a happy medium. The dream suit doesn’t hug your gut or veer into male culotte territory, and it isn’t — God willing — this horrifying man thong.
We chatted with local menswear pros to get the skinny on what to look for —and what to avoid — when shopping for suits. Guys, listen up.
Tip #1: Think beyond the water. “Many designers are selling their men’s swimwear as ‘swim shorts,’ meaning their functionality and wearability have been extended well beyond the beach and other waterside environments. This is most helpful when traveling because it encourages you to pack less. (Think pool party, summer bar-hopping, vacation gear),” says Eric Hatcher, creative director of menswear boutique Armour in Queen Village.
Tip #2: Look for a good lining. “The perfect pair of swim shorts not only look stylish but also offer you great support to take you through all your waterside activities and usage outside the pool/beach venue,” says Hatcher.
Tip #3: Be mind of your body type. “If you’re softer in the mid-section, avoid elastic waist bands,” says Ann Marie Parente of Stars & Stripes in Rittenhouse.
Tip #4: Know your length. “If you’re on the shorter side, go for a 7-inch inseam. (If you’re comfortable enough, you can go shorter!),” says Parente. “If you’re on the taller side, stick with something a little longer, like a 9-inch inseam.”
Tip #5: Beware of too-long shorts. “Don’t buy anything past the knee,” says Parente.
Tip #6: Go for color. “Don’t be afraid to try bold seasonal colors like turquoise, coral, sky blue, and chartreuse, or graphic prints,” says Hatcher. “At Armour we like Pullin swim shorts because they don’t skimp on comfort or style. Whatever you choose, the idea is to just have fun with it.”