For a mysterious reason which is probably nothing other than laziness and complacency, men don’t spend enough time thinking about and curating their swimwear. While women obsess over cuts and debate between one-pieces and bikinis, when it’s time to hit the pool or the beach men are prone to just rummage around their cupboards until they find something waterproof, and then rinse and repeat with the same piece the next year. 

There are a few cardinal sins for men’s swimwear in 2018. First, ditch ‘European cut’ bathing suits. You know the ones. The ones that look like little rubber undies. Not only do they force everyone unfortunate enough to encounter you to deal with the uncomfortably vivid exposure of your crown jewels, but they also reinforce just how out of shape you are. That doesn’t mean you can get away with wearing them if you are in shape- you will just end up looking like a gigolo. Wearing these doesn’t make you European or cultured; they are a deeply aggravating 20th century bathhouse relic which no stylish man has any business associating with. 

The more American equivalent of the faux-pas of the European cut is the boardshort. These are the go-to swimsuit of the unimaginative man. And it is hard to criticize someone for wearing them; most guys they grew up with wore swim trunks, and they have no reason to think that there is anything wrong with them. It is much more a feeling of pity than scorn- the sight of adult men stilled trapped in fashion trends from the mid-2000’s incites great empathy in my compassionate soul. Trunks are simply the cargo shorts of the pool; they have too many pockets, they are too long, they have no distinct cut, and they are usually plastered in dreadful colour. Take a deep breath and get rid of the beloved pair you’ve held on to for the last fifteen years. 

The new move for the discerning man at the pool or the beach or wherever else it is appropriate to wear a swimsuit is swim shorts. They may be called any number of things by different brands, but if you put it in underwear terms; the European cut is the briefs, trunks boxers, and these boxer-briefs. The Goldilocks zone. Not too short and not too long. The perfect pair should come about two-thirds down your thigh, displaying some juicy leg while protecting your modesty. Look for solid pastels or basic prints, such as the summer staple of floral, to start of with.