Embarrassment is arriving at a beach in the unfortunate three-part sartorial surrender that is: an old t-shirt, baggy shorts, and flip-flops. All while the smartly be-loafered French or Italian locals lounge around like cover models in their slim-fit shorts and linen shirts.
If you grew up away from beach resorts, the former was once probably you. Thankfully, things have changed over the last few years, with dressing well at the beach becoming de rigueur regardless of where you are from. Today’s beaches, from Forte dei Marmi to Copacabana, are filled with savvy gentleman giving resort wear as much consideration as they would picking outfits for a ski-trip or weekend break to New York. The Rake couldn’t be happier. Not least because this writer was one of those misguided board-short slobs in the past, but because the revitalisation of well-made resort wear harkens back to a simpler time, when dressing for the beach meant actually making some effort. The pieces we have selected should carry you from your morning dip to the dinner table – hopefully a journey so brief, you can still hear the lapping of waves while you eat. Adhere to the following style rules and you'll avoid looking like some washed up flotsam and jetsam.
Rule #1: Buy Proper Shorts
The most fundamental element of resort wear is the toughest to get right. When we say proper shorts, we mean well-made, above knee length, and in a tailored or slim fit (the wide legged trend hasn’t crossed over from trousers). Plain colours are always the safest, most elegant of options, and develop into a workhorse piece that can be worn on or off the beach. Brands to look out for include Ripa Ripa, Onia, and Frescobol Carioca to name but a few (check out our full range of swimwear here), while Coast Society and Hemingsworth provide a variety of delightful Picasso-pastel, nautically inspired options if you want to inject some vibrancy to your shorts. Neapolitan tailoring house Rubinacci has designed swimwear that evokes Sean Connery in Jamaica, or Delon in the film Plein Soleil, with a convenient drawstring waist to loosen after a heavy meal. Footwear of choice would be a pair of Manebí espadrilles.