Men's bathing suits have never received as much attention as women's swimwear. We've always been fine with that, but it was still exciting this spring when a new variety of trunk started showing up in stores. These refined suits are better sculpted to a man's body and privilege fit over elaborate patterns. They also – and this might be the biggest development – favor more comfortable fabrics over the slick nylon we've been sporting for the last 10 or so years. And, yes, we're fully in favor of showing a little more leg if that means enhanced flexibility and looking ready for surf-and-turf as soon as we step out of the waves.
The Shorter Suit
Thigh-baring, fifties-style swim trunks have been making waves lately, with plenty of brands from old- and new-school surf outfitters to high-fashion menswear designers offering up their take on the classic style. The appeal of these suits isn't just the switch to an abbreviated, slimmer fit, but also the addition of tailored detailing that make them, well, suitable both in and out of the water.
U.K. brand Orlebar Brown has collected all the best elements of this trend in one place. Its mid-length Bulldog classic short has the all-important vintage silhouette as well as some especially thoughtful elements like a zip fly, a metal snap closure, and a zip back pocket (and should you drop a few pounds this summer, you can adjust the waist with the clever nickel tab fasteners at either side). What's more, Bulldogs actually fit like a well-designed pair of shorts – ones that also happen to be made of quick-drying, salt- and chlorine-resistant polyamide, which means they're ready to go from boardwalk to beach and back. Once they've acclimated to strutting around with the six-inch inseam, bolder swimmers can take it up a notch with a pair of four-inch Setters – the model worn by one James Bond in 'Skyfall.' [$240; OrlebarBrown.com]