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 Sailor's Delight
Tommy Bahama's Deck Tech swim shorts are a complete departure from the cheerfully patterned trunks – all palm trees, anchors, and cocktails – that still make up the bulk of the brand's beach offerings. Instead of neon, this new suit comes in an almost velveteen black that highlights the one white button above the fly and the gracefully embroidered sailfish leaping near the bottom of the left leg, which stops at that perfect spot right above the knee. The effect is, well, elegant and extraordinarily complimentary if you've been spending time in a gym.
Though a substantive shift away from trunks, Deck Tech has kept the best of Tommy Bahama's trademark touches. The inside liner is slightly looser than in most other suits and a good deal softer. There's also a small internal pocket for the doubloons plucked from whatever wreck the suit's wearer is skin diving. And one gets the sense looking at the suit that its purpose is not so much to gird the loins of sunbathers as to protect sailors, snorkelers, and surfers.
If the suit is designed for adventure, it is also designed to set off a colored shirt. Paired with a colorful polo or a beaten-in button-down, the suit looks positively yacht club-ready. Put these on and you won't just look the part of the sailor, you'll look the part of the man with the boat. [$88, TommyBahama.com]