Like it or not, trends permeate every nook and cranny of menswear. You’re not even safe from them underwater. Fashion fluctuates in the pool from year to year just the same as it does on dry land, and if you’re the type of guy who wouldn’t dream of being seen in last season’s shorts, then what better time than now to acquaint yourself with this year’s biggest swimwear trends?
Head down to any beach or pool this summer and you’ll notice some key themes emerging. Hemlines are creeping northwards, colours are getting bolder, and there’s more than one eye-catching print taking the world’s swimming spots by storm.
It’s time to ditch the budgie smugglers and bin the board shorts, because these are the only swimwear trends worth knowing right now.
We Like Short Shorts
Why the long shorts? When the sun’s shining, surely it makes sense to give your pins as much air as possible. That’s just one of the many reasons why knee-grazing board shorts are out and inseams five inches and below are in.
Short shorts are better for your tan, superior when it comes to keeping cool, and they’re more comfortable too. Anyone who says otherwise is either a surfer from 2005 or a liar. Just be careful not to go too short. Beautifully bronzed thighs are a good look. Accidental public indecency, not so much.
Floral patterns? On swimwear? Hold the front page! While it might not exactly be breaking news, flowery patterns are as big as they’ve ever been, and there are plenty of eye-catching variations to get stuck into.
This season it’s all about abstract patterns and bright colours, although there are lots of moody dark-floral options around for those who want something a bit more subtle. Check out Vilebrequin and Jacquemus for high end or ASOS for an affordable alternative.
Beach To Bar
Tailored swim shorts changed the game when they first emerged and today they’re more relevant than ever. Many people have spent the best part of the last two years slouching around in joggers and baggy T-shirts, so each and every opportunity to dress up should be grabbed with both hands… even going to the beach.
There are a few brands championing the style but Orlebar Brown is the original and best. There are plenty of floral options available if you want to kill two birds with one stone, or stick to a simple block colour to maximise beach-to-bar potential.
Jazz It Up
Intricate, jazzy, abstract patterns are huge in swimwear this summer. We’re talking all-over prints that make tans pop and add a splash of colour to your holiday wardrobe. If you tend to be shy about experimenting with patterns, this could be the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in. After all, swim shorts are one of those rare garments where pretty much anything goes.
Stripes? Sure. Polka dots? Definitely. All-over palm-tree print? Why the hell not.
Bold And Bright
If you ask us, understated swim shorts are a wasted opportunity, which is why we’re fully on board with the current trend towards bolder, brighter hues. Punchy block colours are a big swimwear trend this year, with summery citrus shades like orange and yellow being two of the most popular.
One thing to keep in mind with this trend is skin tone. Bright colours can wash paler complexions, so check to see what sorts of shades work best for your particular skin tone before taking the plunge.
Seventies silhouettes have been creeping back into menswear of late, with flared jeans, cardigans and roll necks all enjoying renewed interest. But it doesn’t stop at the poolside, because this summer the 1970s revival is spilling over into the swimwear world too. Think short, sporty and side stripes. Bonus points for contrast piping too.
Looking for something a little different to the tried-and-tested floral and tropical prints? Look no further than the latest crop of swim shorts featuring mind-bending, all-over geometric prints.
Brands like Frescobol Carioca, The Resort Co, Vilebrequin, Lacoste and Valentino have some great options this season, so check them out first if you’re thinking of dabbling in the trend.
Less Is More
Of course, you don’t have to wear shorts adorned with weird-and-wonderful patterns in order to look good on the beach. Stripped-back swim shorts with minimal branding in subtle colours are still as relevant as ever, and remain the go-to style for guys who like to keep things low key.
Patagonia’s Baggies are about as close to iconic as it gets in terms of swimming shorts, with a roomy cut and understated look that works well both in and out of the pool. Stick to versatile colours like navy, black and green to get the most wear out of them.