Editor’s note: For even more seasonal online shopping picks, head this way.
From time to time, nailing the right seasonal style can feel a bit overwhelming. After all, searching for and building off style upgrades isn’t easy. That extends to the little details (as your humble writer so often mentions), and that includes even times when you might feel a bit off-duty. In the case of hot summer weather, that means your swimsuit. Like a slim T-shirt or a nice pair of shorts, it’s a place that you shouldn’t slack off. Luckily, swimwear has come under the spotlight a lot in recent years, thanks to stylish guys like James Bond himself rocking designer swim trunks (007 body not included). However, my fellow #menswear fan, you don’t have to go that fancy — or that expensive — to get yourself set with essential beach gear. There are swim trunks that strike the right vibe between casual and classy, and a lot of them look more like tailored shorts than in years past. For days when you might hop on a boat and then hop off for a round (or two, or three) at the dockside bar, that’s critical. Pick up a top men’s swimsuit below, and chime in over at The Style Guide’s Facebook page if you’ve got other picks I missed. Surf’s up!
#1. JackThreads The Swim Trunk — $39
If quality, affordability and style are what you seek, JackThreads has you covered. From its innovative new TryOuts program to the fact that it stocks a plethora of style essentials — from a spring field coat to the stylish swim trunks seen here, they consistently get a lot of things right. These are cut slimmer than normal and should hit about mid-thigh for most of us fellas, which provides a nice, tailored look. The Dress Blues color is versatile enough that these look more like shorts than anything else — see the intro paragraph for how versatile that makes ’em.
#2. Bonobos Surfside Board Short in Blue Chambray — $88
Our second pick here is quite the bump up in price, but definitely worth the investment. In fact, investing in a pair of swim trunks cut in a tailored fit is about the best thing you can do if you want to push yourself to upgrade the rest of your outfit. That is to say, good-bye ratty tank top, hello crisp white polo (as seen in this style suggestion). The nice thing about these trunks is that they’re cut with a 9-inch inseam; while that might be too long for some of us, that’ll hit the spot for others. Bonobos also stocks a wide range of other swimwear options, from board shorts to trunks in a range of lengths, so there’s something for everyone.
#3. Sunspel Swim Short in Navy — $210
Ahh, yes. Here we are — a premium swim short that gives you a crisp, tailored look, yet doesn’t break the bank (compared to the Orlebar Brown trunks sported by Daniel Craig’s Bond). It’s fitting, then, that Sunspel was commissioned in 2011 to do up their own recreation of Sean Connery’s swim trunks as James Bond. The result is a sharp, lean and tailored pair of swim shorts with a nifty front button pocket and a super-clean waist (not a drawstring in sight — not that drawstrings are bad). The cost of these Sunspel Swim Shorts will set you back as much as the Bonobos pair above, so why not dive in?
#4. Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk — $88
Man, $88 sure is a popular price when it comes to swim trunks, right? For those of us who prefer a little more color and pattern in our trunks (yet won’t compromise on fit), here comes the Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk, playing off a cool, vintage-inspired print that wouldn’t look out of place alongside a vintage ballcap. The 7-inch inseam is a solid length that again lends them a tailored look. Everything from a slim navy polo to a short-sleeve Oxford is going to look just right when matched with these swim trunks — nautical gear should be a bit fun, after all. Just don’t forget stylish sunglasses to top it all off.
#5. Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk — $138
If you prefer a more premium, minimal take on swimwear, the Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk is the pair for you. Italian fabric means these trunks cost more, but look all the better for it. They’ll again hit above the knee, giving you a bit more coverage if you’re taller. The teal blue color is totally spring and summer-appropriate, and makes them a bit more eye-catching and continental than other swim trunks out there. With a just-right length and versatile color (rock ’em with a white polo to start), they’ll be a reliable workhorse for plenty of trips to the beach.
While it can seem daunting at first to carry over great style principles from on land to in the water, it can definitely be done if you know where to start and you know what you’re looking for. Keep in mind classic, reliable brands like J. Crew for solid swimwear, and make sure you know your fit; not too long, not too short (ideally). If you follow the adage that great style is an investment, take your time picking out the right pair, and then wear them again and again with versatile style staples. Let me know what you pick out over on Twitter or catch my summer beach game over on Instagram.
Thanks for reading, and stay stylish!