Don't get us wrong: We were all for long-jammer board shorts when they first trickled out from the surf crowd to the vacationer crowd. They fit virtually everybody and were good at concealing – or at least not drawing too much attention to – a few off-season pounds. A couple decades on, though, and many of them are reaching NBA-like lengths; what once offered a certain swagger is now mostly just loud, long, and obnoxious. (With the obvious exception, of course, of such tasteful variations as these.)
Our preferred corrective (assuming, of course, you've got nothing to hide): These slimmed-down, shortened-up trunks from Gant designed by Michael Bastian. Bastian's made a name for himself in recent years by taking classic clothing staples and rendering them anew with perfected slim cuts rendered in luxurious materials. Of course, that kind of workmanship comes at a steep price – $550 for a pair of pants, anyone?
But that's where the genius of collaboration comes in. With Bastian doing the designing and leaving the manufacturing and distribution to Gant, the unthinkable is suddenly the doable. Witness these throwback trunks – more Stockton than LeBron, if we're sticking with the NBA comparison, though to us they summon more the spirit of Rum Diary-era Hunter Thompson prowling around the beaches of Vieques. (The same print is also available in a longer cargo short or a shirt-jacket.) [$135; us.gant.com]