It’s Summertime again and every Tom, Dick and Harry is hitting the beach on the weekends. You’ve done your work in the gym, now how do you show off your beach body in the best possible way? Picking the most flattering swimwear for your body type is key, so read up on the following tips before going to the nearest beach wear shop for a pair of swim shorts.

1.) Ditch the Speedos

No matter how hardcore you’ve been at the gym, no man deserves the humiliation of wearing Speedos in a recreational setting. Unless you’re going to a swim meet, or you’re Tom Daley, which you’re not, you should never consider slipping into them. They offer close to no coverage and you’re better off going naked than showing up on the beach in what are essentially tighty-whities made from Spandex. Of course, if you’re European, go with what you’re used to and by all means sport your swim briefs with pride.

2.) Mind your height

The shorter you are, the shorter you swim trunks need to be. You have to make your legs as long as possible, and keeping the hemline high gives that illusion. Check out styles that hit the mid-thigh area. The reverse applies to the taller bunch. Go for longer board shorts with hems that sit just a few inches above the knee so you don’t look too tall. Longer shorts (oxymoron, eh?) also help hide thin legs, if your wheels are lacking in width.

3.) Cut a clean line

Slim guys look better with fitted trunks. I’m not saying compression-tight, show-your-bulge fitted, but just trim enough to maintain your silhouette. There’s nothing worse than seeing a thin man walking around in bloomers. Opt for button- or velcro-closure shorts rather than ones with garter waists. Those tend to bunch up in the middle, making you look like you’re wearing a ball of polyester. Velorum’s shorts, even with their garter waists, still manage to cut a sleek line.

4.) Darker could be better

If you haven’t been able to make the necessary preparations for the Summer and you’re still carrying a little holiday weight all over, use the power of optical illusions to your advantage instead. Go for solid color shorts on the darker side of the spectrum to help you look just that bit leaner.

5.) Nakedness is optional, after all

Unless you’re working on getting a golden tan this season, you don’t really need to be topless just to enjoy a good time by the sea. If swimming is a nice-to-have rather than an essential part of the weekend’s agenda, you can always put on a white linen shirt (unbuttoned or otherwise) to hide any unsightly rolls of fat with a resolution to do better next Summer. You can also wear nice a breezy tee in pure cotton – think of it as a way to save on sunblock.

Wearing: Velorum Camouflage tee and Boats swim shorts, Finlay & Co. sunglasses

Disclosure: The author received product and/or monetary compensation to support this story.

Photography by Lovella Bonsol

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My friend has been trying to find the right swimsuit to wear on his vacation. You mentioned that the shorter you are, the shorter your swim trunks need to be. I didn’t realize that there are guidelines for how long or short your swimwear should be. Do swimsuits come with specific measurements?


Hi Derek,

How long or how short swimwear needs to be depends on body type. Shorter swimwear elongates the legs, which is beneficial for the vertically challenged. As with anything in fashion, the key to finding the right swim trunks is accentuating your good aspects and creating optical illusions. There aren’t any specific measurements, so it’s always important to try them on before buying.

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