If you’re heading for the beach this summer, it doesn’t mean you have to look like a beach bum when you’re there. Those vast, baggy board shorts in garish patterns might be fine for a teenager but look perfectly ridiculous on grown men. If you’ve got the body for them, square-cut trunks are the way to go. The dapperest dude ever to hit the beach in trunks remains Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity, making a pair of monotone square-leg briefs look perfectly classy (of course, it helps to have the perfectly classy Deborah Kerr draped on you as the waves wash over).
But if you’re too flabby or too skinny, they’ll look daft. In which case, a pair of close-fitting, not-too-long swim shorts are the thing – sober, dashing, with a touch of retro class (think the Sixties surfers, Big Wednesday look). You can still have fun with patterns, though monotone shorts can look particularly sharp – British brand Orlebar Brown has been making waves for the last couple of years with its natty shorts in this style.
Alternatively, Brazilian beach brand FB Collection’s shorts – newly available in the UK – incorporate ivory resin and bra strap materials (really!) for something properly luxurious. Burt Lancaster would no doubt approve.
1 Trancoso shorts by FB Collection, £115, www.fbcollection.com;
2 Print striped volley swim shorts by Hackett, £40, www.hackett.com
3 Collection Riviera swim trunks by Gant, £55.30, www.gantuk.com
4 Beagle short by Orlebar Brown, £120, www.orlebarbrown.com
5 Checked swim shorts by Lacoste, £90, www.lacoste.co.uk
6 Bill Amberg collaboration by Orlebar Brown, £150, www.orlebarbrown.com
7 Hibiscus print trunks by Paul Smith, £70, www.paulsmith.co.uk