For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer has finally arrived, and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to bring out the swimwear.

Whether it’s days spent poolside or splashing around in the ocean on the beach, there are a variety of different options available for men. So if you’re still donning that archaic slip or packing everything into your lycra banana-hammock, take a look at just a few of the options available to you, and get your swimsuit couture sorted:


The most popular design of male swimwear, trunks are shorter than board shorts, but less ‘tailored’ and hip-hugging than their square-cut namesake. Trunks were propelled to fame thanks to movies and TV shows of the 1990s, in particular Baywatch.

Board shorts

Board Shorts

As the name suggests, board shorts emanate from the world of surfing. Typically made of either polyester or nylon, board shorts are usually around knee length and are quite baggy.

Square-leg trunks

Square Leg Trunks
Square-legged trunks are longer than traditional swim briefs, but utilise the same body-hugging technology. Think of them like the boxer-brief of the sea. Most recently, the square-cut has been propelled into the mainstream arena with Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond in Casino Royale.

Tips & Tricks

Big & Round
Avoid tight elasticised waistbands if you’re slightly large around the stomach; the muffin-top isn’t just a female blunder. Darker colours will help you look thinner and slightly longer shorts will help pull the body back into dimensional alignment. Board shorts will make you look puffy, so give them a miss if you’re a chunky lad.

Athletic & Lean
If you’ve got the abs then by all means show them off – those square-cut trunks were virtually designed for your muscular frame. Keep in mind, however, that you’re wearing a swimsuit not underwear: keep those trunks around the hips not halfway down your butt-crack!

Skinny & long-limbed
Keep away from the baggy board shorts or you’ll quickly discover you’ve acquired a bad case of ‘stick-legs’. Instead, try to break up the body with a large, simple repeating print on your trunks; remember, lighter and bold colours will help fill your frame out, but try to avoid white to ensure there are no ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ when leaving the ocean.

Styles to avoid

Loud, vivid patterns
Remember those Bermuda shorts with the day-glow patches and repeating Hawaiian prints? No? Well let’s try to keep it that way!

Speedo banana-hammocks
While the ‘slip’ has fast gone the way of the dinosaurs, if you’re attracted to the skimpy nature of the speedo for tanning or aerodynamic purposes, please be mindful of other patrons to the species and note that we really don’t need to see the outline of your junk.

Ideal for a sexy lover, but just about the worst male fashion faux pas going, or at least on a par with…

The Mankini
As Borat so kindly pointed out to us, no man in the history of the universe should ever wear one of these; even as a joke!

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

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