A good day at the beach doesn’t require much more than a pair of swim shorts, some sunshine and sand, a breeze, a high SPF, and maybe a boat. That mix might seem simple, but it’s easy to mess up with the one thing you have full control over: the fit of your swimsuit.
Ill-fitting, unflattering trunks can squander all hope you have of looking back on this summer’s photos fondly, or remembering anything about waterskiing other than a perpetual wedgie. And don’t even think about a summer of love. For that reason, your swimwear is an investment. No one needs five pairs of swims shorts since you only wear them one at a time, so get a pair or two that will stand up to the water, sun, sand, and spontaneous trips to beachside bars, all while looking good.
With more attractive, well-tailored choices and styles available than ever before, the era of the tourist-gone-bad board short is over. “Long gone,” agrees Pangea Swim co-founder and designer Nick Bradley. “Swimwear is very much like denim: You get what you pay for. Sure, it’s more expensive, but there truly is a quality difference between a $40 suit from Urban Outfitters and a $150 suit from Nordstrom. When buying a short, check the mesh. That’s how you know the difference between a high- and low-quality suit. And avoid Velcro at all costs.”
At the forefront of the newest cuts, shapes, and patterns, Bradley knows that there is no single style to flatter every body type, so here are his guidelines for picking the right trunks for your shape, so you can look good and feel good laying out, riding the waves, jumping sharks, or walking up to a surfer girl at that beachside bar.
The Dad Bod
You look like: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Segel, Chris Pratt (pre-Guardians)
If you have a little bit of one but are more of the soft side, avoid super fitted suits. “Nobody wants to see back fat,” Bradley says. “Relaxed waistbands or drawstrings are the way to go. Look for new styles of shorts with half-elastic in the back and zip or button in the front.”
The Lean Athlete
You look like: Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Chris Pratt (post-Guardians)
If you’ve got a lean, toned look thanks to a healthy dose of muscle and a body fat percentage lower than the milk in your coffee, there isn’t much you can do wrong in terms of flattering style. If you are on the tall side, go for a 6-to-7-inch inseam. If you stand 5-foot-10 or shorter, aim for a 4-to-5-inch inseam. But no matter how long or short you choose, don’t be afraid to go for bold colors, stripes, or patterns.
Tall and Thin
You look like: Adrien Brody, Benedict Cumberbatch
“Most guys don’t know it, but girls love guys’ legs. My recommendation for the tall, thin guy is to use that height. Go with shorter shorts, as it accentuates your legs and torso.” Bradley recommends a 6-inch inseam and a design with a drawstring to add some contrast against the leanness of your build. If you are thin and on the shorter side, just accommodate with a shorter inseam, such as a 4-inch cut.
The Beer Gut
You look like: Homer Simpson, Seth Rogan, Kevin James
Bradley recommends going for a mid-length or longer short that is fit loose to match the width of your hips. Drawstrings are good here for sizing and comfort, and won’t pinch in the wrong places. Make sure to look for a style that isn’t labeled as “tailored” or tapered.
You look like: Hugh Jackman, Joe Manganiello, any NFL linebacker
Being a bulkier athlete may mean buying bigger sizes, but you still look better than most XL’s out there. Make sure you look for a swim short that is cut wide all the way down the leg to leave enough room to keep your quads comfortable. Drawstrings or elastic will add to a more relaxed look, but don’t be afraid of a 6-inch inseam since you didn’t skip leg day.
Short and Stocky
You look like: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Floyd Mayweather
Avoid long drawstrings and stay with a short-to-mid length fitted shorts that adds height to your torso,” recommends Bradley. He also suggests avoiding anything longer than a 6-inch inseam to avoid cutting the length of your legs in half and taking away from your strong build. “A streamlined look with length won’t add extra bulk.”
Read original article from Men’s Journal.