A focus on swim shorts

It is certainly the season for swim shorts. Here we break down a few different styles, that might just sway your opinion one way or the other.
Slim Aarons’ photograph ‘Boating in Antigua’, circa 1960s.

Swimwear has arguably eclipsed every other menswear division in terms of its evolution. Back in the early 1900s, there was not a board short in sight. Beaches were instead populated with nautical woolen all-in-ones. It was a time when men were not obliged to bare their chests, so the suit was buttoned up just short of the neckline. Next came the two-piece bathing suit – a little less restrictive than their predecessors, and in keeping with the 1920s, were visually chic. Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby, 1974, later reminded everyone of their voguish nature. In the middle of all the stylistic movements, Speedo were solidifying their status as the go-to brand for competition swimwear, but were accepted on a more recreational basis in countries such as Germany and Brazil. Smaller swim shorts entered the fray in the 1960s, often with a button closure and in nontechnical fabrics, as seen on Steve McQueen and Peter Sellers. Celebrating their 50th anniversary of producing men’s swimwear this year, it was Vilebrequin who produced the swimming trunks that are widely recognized today.


    Freddie Anderson


    June 2021


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