Julie Rath: Sink or Swim: Your Guide to Summer’s Best Swimsuits

Men's Personal Shopper Daniel Craig Swimsuit

If there’s one place you want to look your best, I would venture to say at the beach or poolside would be at the top of the list. After all, that’s where (presumably) you’ll be as close to naked as you’ll ever get in public. Thanks in large part to the James Bond movie “Casino Royale,” which features a taut Daniel Craig emerging from the water in short, tight swim trunks, men’s swim styles have been moving gradually toward higher hemlines and more tailored cuts. While not everyone has the build or desire to bare quite as much as 007, abbreviated and tailored looks are in fact more flattering and mature in feel than the oversized, extra-long trunks you may be used to. My clients are always pleasantly surprised at what a couple fewer inches and a narrower trouser-like cut can do. With that in mind, below are 6 Rath-approved swimsuits for Summer 2013, with a little something for everybody.


Universally Flattering

Men's Personal Shopper: Hartford Swim TrunksWith its flat waistband, mid-thigh length, constructed fly and trim leg openings, this classic style from Hartford
($165) looks good on just about everyone. Bonus tip: for the most flattering leg width, you should be able to fit 2-3 fingers in the bottom leg opening of your suit.


Bold Prints

Men's Image Consultant: Paul Smith Swim TrunksGo for classy and/or beach-inspired graphics and avoid anything that involves dragons or fire-breathing (or both). I like this cheeky shark-tooth number from Paul Smith (£89).



Men's Image Consultant: Orlebar Brown Swim Trunks

You’re in great shape. Why not sport your swim gear with cool confidence? The flattering trouser-like cuts from Orlebar Brown (£125-160) — note the waistband side adjusters — allow them to transition perfectly from beach to post-beach cocktails (add linen shirt and stir well). Try the Bulldog cut if you’re a little daring (modeling pict below), and the Setters if you’re a lot daring (see also “European Vacation” below).

Men's Personal Stylist: Orlebar Brown Swim Trunks



Men's Personal Shopper: Bonobos Board Short
Is going to the gym a foreign concept to you? Don’t worry, you can still hit the beach with panache. Look for swimwear in dark (read: slimming) colors, hemlines that hit an inch or two above your knee, and comfortably trim leg openings like those above from Bonobos ($65). Also, a waistband that’s flat in front with elastic in back can be both flattering and comfortable if you have a bit of a belly.



Men's Stylist: Sundek Swim Shorts

Say sayonara to your old ballooning board shorts. The new guard is updated and upgraded. Brands like Sundek ($119) will give you a great fit while maintaining the comfort and movement you’ll need to hang ten. Dig the retro vibe of the rainbow bands.


European Vacation


I know some guys who have an entirely different set of swimwear for when they travel to Europe. There you can get away with 2″ inseams, and no one will bat an eye. You can rock a shorter short in the US too: this style is especially good for slim builds, and of course you must wear it confidently. It also helps if your name has the number 7 in it (see intro). Since you’re going there, you might as well have fun with bold colors and/or patterns. Try Parke & Ronen’s Angeleno ($125) cut if this appeals to you.



File this under the category of “so not necessary you just might need it”. If you’re a tricky fit, you can always consider having your swim trunks custom made for you.


What are you planning on wearing to the beach this summer? If you need personalized help with your beach threads, drop me a line.

Happy Summer!



Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show