Summer’s half over, but the heat isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With daily temps topping 100 degrees, Jim Duran tackles the timely task of shopping for men’s swimwear. Read on for the revealing details of his hunt.
Shopping for swimwear is no easy task.
As I prepare to bid adieu to my twenties, selecting the ideal suit becomes more complicated. There are so many variables to consider: color; cut; what looks best on my nearly-30-year-old body type; and, importantly, am I too old for a Speedo?
I hit NorthPark Center to consider my options, and I found myself not only shopping for a new swimsuit, but also contemplating this very sensitive, transitional time in my life. I’ll be saying goodbye to the carefree years, the days when I could wear a swimsuit and eat a cheeseburger at the same time. Right now, it’s all about carrots and treadmills.
But I digress. Back to the swim hunt.
First, I stopped into Diesel. This late in the retail season, the selection was small, consisting only of deck shorts and board shorts. I grabbed a pair of each and headed for the dressing room.
Board shorts (above, left) are knee-length suits made popular by surfers. When I tried on Diesel’s version, I liked the print, but at 5’6’’ and 135 pounds, I looked like I had on my older brother’s swim trunks. For most men my size, board shorts will only make you look shorter than you really are.
Next up, the deck shorts.
Deck shorts have been the craze amongst designers lately, falling slightly higher than mid-thigh, with a low waist. The cut is sportier, typically with drawstrings. Diesel’s pair was the perfect length, but in black, it was not the bright color I was seeking. I asked the sales associate to hold both pairs and I headed to Original Penguin.
NorthPark’s Penguin still has a great selection of colorful swimwear in solids and playful prints. I also discovered the box cut (shown here). Similar to a deck short, it falls mid-thigh, from the true waist. Because the box cut tapers, however, it is not for guys with “soccer thighs”.
I liked the box cut, but I still wasn’t sold – and I was feeling bold. I drove across Park Lane to Dick’s Sporting Goods to try on Speedos.
Call me Captain Obvious, but I must reiterate that wearing a Speedo makes a strong statement. I recommend toning things down by choosing a solid color over a print. For research purposes, I grabbed a small and medium in classic blue, and headed for the fitting room.
Listen, I am by no means a large guy, but in less than a square foot of fabric under those dreadful florescent lights, I found myself analyzing every inch of my body. I had to wonder if I am beyond the Speedo stage of my life. Could I really pull this off?
The answer came in waves.
First, when turning 30, one naturally inherits a new sense of maturity that may not be conducive to wearing a Speedo. True, Oprah tell us to be comfortable in our skin, and I take that advice to heart. However, when it comes to personal style, there are certain rules that I will always follow.
Clipping that tiny suit back onto its diminutive hangar, I came to realize the Speedo is no longer for me. Leave it to the outwardly confident, 120-pound twinks. In the end, a sporty deck short in black from Diesel was my choice. It is comfortable, chic, age-appropriate, and I’ll still look hot when I celebrate the big three-oh!