Putting Buns on Beaches: Men’s Swimwear 2013

Tosh Yanez

Gentle reader,

As distressing as it’s been to hear of the torrential downpours and devastating tornadoes that much of the country has been experiencing, I’m happy to announce that in Los Angeles, at least, summer is officially here.  I know it’s official because I went to a gloriously awesome gay pool party on Sunday and that shit only goes down in the summer.  Let me start by saying that I had a few too many mimosas at brunch and tried to counteract that by nibbling the corners off a friend’s Adderall and replacing my customary vodka-cranberries with vodka-Red Bulls once I got to the party.



Yeah, don’t do that.  It doesn’t make you less drunk.  It just makes you drunk with a rapidly beating heart, which is very disorienting.

Our friend Mark Newman-Kuzel was one of the hosts so we knew it would be a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  There was sun and cocktails and a big pool in a beautiful garden setting.  I’m a bit foggy on what all the guys were wearing, as I am on some of the other details, but I’m sure they really thought about their choices because, duh, they’re gay.

All this brings me to this week’s meditation on the current men’s swimwear trends for 2013.  This isn’t groundbreaking stuff.  Whatever we wear will hopefully cover our asses and have two holes where our legs come out.  In general, though, I believe that, apart from the die-hard surfers and Mexican gang members clinging to their board shorts, we are moving to cleaner and more tailored looks.  Think of vintage shapes from a Sean Connery-era Bond movie.

Men’s shorts have been getting shorter for a few seasons now and I’ve heard a couple of people recommend wearing these luxury swimsuits in their stead but I’d personally do that only within a block or two of any beach.

One should be able to find something like this at any place one buys swimwear, though French brand Vilebrequin is something of a gold standard.  Their famous “Moorea” silhouette comes in a huge range of classic prints and colors and runs about $250.  British clothier Orlebar Brown is also known for luxury square cut trunks and has a novelty range this year in fun photographic prints of Instagram-ish swimming pool scenes that go for $350, though their basic, well made swimsuits are a bit less.



If you’re starting to wonder at what point purchasing a pair of swim trunks began requiring a home equity loan, you can relax.  Judging from the couple of pair I have, the fun suits by Parke and Ronen are pretty well made and start out at $95 and run from board shorts to the skimpiest Brazilian-style briefs.  If skimpy is what you’re looking for, there’s also an adventurous San Diego brand called Rufskin that has more provocative shapes.  Keep in mind that you’ll never be able to wear these on a family holiday, unless that holiday is to Rio and you are an underwear model.  I own a pair of their most modest square cut trunks and I can’t even wear those without constant fear of a wardrobe malfunction.

I guess the important thing is that you feel comfortable.  A good spray tan doesn’t hurt but it will never replace diet and exercise.  And there are plenty of swimsuits out there that can fit our individual style and keep us looking current without showing the goods.  On the other hand, if you’re comfortable being slutty, go for it.  Someone has to!

Much love,


Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown

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