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Swimsuitapalooza

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    Swimsuitapalooza

    Having already experienced a few weeks of hot summery weather so far, the beach/lake/river has been on my mind a lot recently. My swimsuits have a mysterious habit of disappearing in the shuffle between my house and my family's cabin every year, so I've been on the hunt for some new ones.

    Figured I'd post up some of my findings since I'm sure I'm not the only one looking.


    Birdwell 310

    I can't remember how I stumbled on this brand, a long-standing name in the surfing community that still makes their products in California. At $80 a pop these are not cheap.

    The 310 is their classic board short updated with a more modern fit (i.e. slightly lower rise), a button fly, and a short length. This style also comes in mid and long length versions. I haven't measured the inseam but it's comparable to other shorter-length trunks on the market, maybe 4".

    The material is two-layered nylon for durability. It has quite a high sheen and almost no flex/stretch. The closure has little or no adjustability to it. Combined with the lack of stretch in the material, this means you really need to get a perfect fit to ensure comfort and wearability. They fit generally true to size - my usual size 31 is just about right.

    I ordered these in a variety of colors (camo, burgundy, navy, light aqua) and will keep the camo ones. Overall these would not be my top recommendation unless you are enthusiastic about supporting American heritage brands or are into surfing or some other watersport where durability counts.


    Lands' End 6" Volley Trunk


    Basic, inexpensive (currently $23 on sale), available in a variety of colors and patterns (plus other inseam lengths). Decent quality. Nothing to write home about. The rise is a little high for my taste. But a solid option in a pinch. Stretchy material and drawstring elastic waist ensure these won't easily slide off in the water.


    Abercrombie Guard Short

    These shorts were a bit of a dark horse. Inexpensive (currently $25 on sale), pretty well made, nice fit, good-looking, simple design. These are similar to Lands' End's 6" volley trunks, but have a slightly lower rise and a tiny bit more give in the hip area, which makes them move better and feel more comfortable for me. I'm a big fan of contrast waistbands on swim trunks so I particularly like this mint stripe color. Like the LE trunks, these have an elastic waist and drawstring to ensure a snug fit.


    Lands' End Canvas Monterey Board Shorts

    Despite the boardshort name, these are a more modern, Euro-style trunk. Nice stretchy material, and even though they appear to have a fixed waist, they also feature a hidden internal drawstring to ensure a snug fit. Sizing is a teensy bit large - 31 is comfortable but slightly loose. (Too loose if not for the internal drawstring.) The zipper and snap button closure are a nice touch that elevate these somewhat compared to similar trunks that use velcro closures.

    The $59 pricetag is a bit steep, though, considering how simple and basic these are. They are Lands' End Canvas, so they will be excluded from promos but subject to whatever the LEC member pricing is. The aqua ice color is nice but the design is just a tiny bit too boring for me.

    More to come.... Plus feel free to add your picks.
    Ben

    #2
    I'm a big fan of Chubbies swim trunks. Shorter inseam (pretty sure its 5-5.5"), some pretty great patterns (ranging from fun to extremely garish). Not cheap, ranging from $50-70, depending on the particular model, and free shipping/returns is nice for trying them out.

    https://www.chubbiesshorts.com/colle...he-swim-trunks

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by hornsup84 View Post
      I'm a big fan of Chubbies swim trunks. Shorter inseam, some pretty great patterns (ranging from fun to extremely garish). Not cheap, ranging from $50-70, depending on the particular model, and free shipping/returns is nice for trying them out.

      https://www.chubbiesshorts.com/colle...he-swim-trunks
      I actually have the Midshipmen in small and medium on the way to try on.



      Earlier this year I tried on the Gazillionaires and the Vidas but wasn't totally satisfied with the fit on either. A problem I've had with Chubbies is that size small seems to fit me the best overall, but has a shorter rise than I am totally comfortable wearing. I like something between a low and a mid rise for swim trunks.
      Ben

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
        I actually have the Midshipmen in small and medium on the way to try on.

        Earlier this year I tried on the Gazillionaires and the Vidas but wasn't totally satisfied with the fit on either. A problem I've had with Chubbies is that size small seems to fit me the best overall, but has a shorter rise than I am totally comfortable wearing. I like something between a low and a mid rise for swim trunks.
        Nice -- I haven't tried the newer version 'performance' shorts, but want to... I just can't justify more swim trunks at this point, I think I have 3 from Chubbies, plus 1-2 others that are perfectly fine. I like how they fit me, but that's rare relative to most swim trunks I find, so not surprising it's vice versa for you/others.

        I got an email from SuitSupply recently (over the weekend?) on a new line of swim trunks from them -- $89, but look pretty classy if that's something you're interested in: http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/swimshorts. Reminds me of Orlebar Brown trunks, but less than half the price.

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          #5
          Swim trunks are one thing I do not pay for. Sonoma from Kohls is my go to

          Sent from my VS820 using Tapatalk

          Comment


            #6

            Original Penguin Engineer Swim Trunks

            Original Penguin makes a number of styles, but I wanted to try something with a fixed waist. This is one of a couple of their styles I've tried on, or have on the way. Overall these are nice trunks, though a bit too long in the inseam for me. Mesh lined, velcro and snap button closure, no waist adjustment options. Sizing runs pretty loose - I got my regular 31 but would have to return these for a 30 if I were looking to keep them.

            For the $69 retail price I'm not too impressed. Although Original Penguin has the benefit of more interesting pattern options, so far I would rather go with the Lands' End Monterey for this particular style of trunk. The LE option is less expensive and has better features (zip closure instead of velcro, hidden drawstring).

            The other pair of Original Penguins I have incoming is a slightly different style and on sale for $35 so those might fare better in the overall scheme of things. I've also seem some cool Original Penguin trunks for $30-40 at Nordstrom Rack that would probably be a good deal, but didn't come in my size.


            Birdwell x RVCA trunks

            At $120 this Birdwell x RVCA collaboration is a crazy splurge for swimwear. But they ticked a lot of boxes for me... awesome navy/orange/yellow colorblock colorway, contrast waistband, American heritage brand, US-made, not too long an inseam. Aside from price, the main caveat I have with these is that the black and white patterned lining does show through the yellow and orange exterior material a tiny bit, giving a vaguely leopard print appearance. I haven't gotten them wet so I'm not sure if that exacerbates it.

            But they are just soooo coooool.... And satisfy some weird closeted LARPer/historical reenactor soft spot I have for parti-colored hose.
            Ben

            Comment


              #7
              I picked up a pair of the Swim-ology shorts off of ebay for $55 (MSRP $130). I've been very happy with them, but you need to size up (I'm a 32"-33" and I needed the large).

              Here's a link to a pair in medium.



              I'm not sure if those LE Canvas shorts are the same as the regular LE Montereys, but if you're over a size 34, you can get the old ones for about $17 right now in different colors/patterns:

              Men's 5" Monterey Board Shorts (pale blue)
              Men's 5" Monterey Board Shorts (patterns)
              Men's 5" Monterey Board Shorts (black)

              Comment


                #8
                http://www.landsend.com/products/men...uery=451401OHX


                Going with these this year. No elastic waist, but it does have a draw string, not the most exciting color/design, and also a touch long for my tastes. However it does have a great 4 way/quick drying fabric that I haven't been able to find except in board shorts that are way longer.

                Last Year I've went with:
                https://factory.jcrew.com/mens-cloth...name=dark-navy (in seer sucker)
                I like the look and length of these better, but the fabric isn't nearly as good. Takes forever to dry.

                Year before:
                https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/...1522/71522.jsp (in Blue)
                These were good, however I got a 31, which I normally wear in pants and these ended up being too big and constantly falling down. I ended up getting them taken in at the waist, (They were sold out by the time I noticed this) and I find them uncomfortable where they are stitched together. Also, I constantly got comments about their shortness (Your choice whether this is a good or bad thing.) Fabric was ok, but not 4 way stretch or anything like that.

                For those with the Chubbies, what kind of material do they use?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Excellent posts guys, keep them coming. The timing couldn't be better as I've been in the market for some new swimwear but can't find anything I like so far this season.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My swim trunks, which I would recommend, are from Kent Wang:

                    http://www.kentwang.com/misc/swim-shorts-dark-blue.html

                    They are pricey at $75 but they had all the features that I wanted. I've never liked string tie shorts so the combination of button closure with side cinchers was a must have. The trunks easily transition to shorts if you don't want to bring a change of clothes if heading out to dinner after the beach.

                    One thing that can be improved is that there are no drainage holes in any of the pockets so I've got to dump out the water balloons from the side and back pockets whenever I get out of the water.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mike B View Post
                      The trunks easily transition to shorts if you don't want to bring a change of clothes if heading out to dinner after the beach.
                      Hmm, I tend to prefer the opposite. I like a swim trunk that isn't shy about looking like a swim trunk - shorter length and lower rise than I would wear in regular pants/shorts, plus brighter colors, patterns, contrast waistband or piping, etc.

                      But the culture here in summer is so casual and outdoor oriented that there's really nowhere you can go after a day on the river where swim trunks would look out of place but ordinary shorts would not. In many venues you will look overdressed in chino shorts, boat shoes, and a polo.
                      Ben

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I bought two pairs of Saturdays NYC trunks during the Mr. Porter sale:



                        Really nice shorts. I especially loved the red ones.
                        However, no mesh lining inside, and real vanity waist sizing.
                        I normally wear either a 33 or 34 for swim trunks. When fully tightened, the 34s were at my ankles with just a slight tug down, and the 33s were sitting at indecent exposure height.
                        Sadly returning these.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Last summer I bought a pair of the JCF navy seersucker board shorts, but haven't been a big fan of them. One size was too small, but the next up was slightly too big. The fabric also isn't great.

                          Over the winter I picked up a pair of these Lands End 5" Heritage trunks and they've been great. I got them in This color:

                          http://www.landsend.com/products/men...unks/id_299794

                          I like the look of those Abercrombie trunks though! Similar, but I like the elastic waist. Would probably be a little more secure for more active water activities.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I need to head down to the Gap when then they have a 40% off sale and pick up a pair of trunks. The boardshorts I've been wearing for a couple of years now are starting to go a bit long in the tooth. Anyone have any experience with GAP trunks?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Grr... just after I ordered those Chubbies swim trunks last week, they released a style this week that I like a little better.

                              Ben

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