Magnificent Bastard

Saturday, October 25, 2014

swimwear

Ask the MB: Swim Shirts (and Swim Shorts)

Calder Trunk via onia.com, $140.00
Calder Trunk via onia.com. $140.00.
Q: MB, Seeing as how swimsuit season is quickly approaching, what's your take on compression swim shirts? Not all of us have the chiseled physique of Fight Club-era Brad Pitt. I'm not overweight, but keeping certain parts constrained could be a positive thing this summer.
—George


A: Unless you're scheduled to compete in a 4x100 relay we say leave the compression swim shirt at home. Wear one while you're swimming in a non-Olympic-size pool, and you're basically transmitting one of the following messages, or even worse, maybe both: 1) You have a third nipple, a gut, or an unfortunate tattoo, and you're very self-conscious about it. 2) You really really want to beat that third-grader in a race to the deep end.

In other words, wearing a compression shirt in a non-competitive environment is like Donald Trump's combover, except worse. In both cases, the cure is worse than the disease.

As for swim shorts, we like Onia this season. Super simple, solid color and subtle print trunks and board shorts made in New York City from top-notch Japanese technical fabric. The fitter you are, the better they'll look, but they are somewhat more forgiving than, say, Parke and Ronen while staying safely away from the sort of baggy, over-the-knee style favored by The Situation.

Use the code onia20 to get 20% off your order. Here are some more pics for a closer look.

Ask the MB: Parke and Ronen Swimwear

Giant Gingham Boardshorts via parkeandronen.com, $98.00
Giant Gingham Boardshorts via parkeandronen.com. $98.00.
Q: What are the MB's thoughts on parke and ronen swimwear? Now that summer is quickly approaching I'm looking for new poolside/lakeside options.
--Kyle


A: Parke and Ronen swimwear is only recommended if you've spent the winter doing crunches and dining on steamed steroids. But if you can wear them and still look straight, every woman within eyeshot will be easy prey.

(This giant gingham 8" inseam model is currently sold out, but it's worth waiting for a replentishment.)

Ask the MB: Resort Swim Trunks

Ask the MB: Resort Swim Trunks
Q: I'm headed to the beaches of Mexico and my wife has put her foot down on knee length surfer-dude shorts. I'm in reasonable shape for a 40 year old but I'm not quite ready to don the James Bond short shorts. What do you recommend in a mid-thigh model?
--Matt


A: Anglophilia definitely has its limits, especially as the inseam approaches zero (top). While at the other end of the inseam spectrum, we're with your wife about not looking like The Situation and Pauly D. (Note to The Situation: give the biceps a rest and work those anemic calves.)

If an MB is in reasonable shape, even at your advanced age, our general rule is to go with the shortest inseam you can wear with confidence. With the right cut they're not only comfy but allow room for a few extra cervezas -- and they put you many miles away from Jersey Shore. Our perennial favorite is Penguin, like this 5" inseam caviar/light blue "Mr. Splash" option that gives a nod, however slight, to Mr. Bond.

Note: Original Penguin is one of the brands on sale at Giltman.com today. We consider this a sign.

Ask the MB: Pre Surf, Surf, Post Surf

Ask the MB: Pre Surf, Surf, Post Surf
Q: Here's the plan: my friends and I have rented out a house in Nosara, Costa Rica for a month. We will all be surfing. What style is appropriate for:
a) Pre surfing?
b) when surfing? (we are beginners)
c) post surfing?

We are all in our early to mid twenties (23-24 years old). Thanks a lot for any suggestions MB!
--Eric


A: Eric, we think you're planning at least one too many costume changes -- you're going surfing, not performing in a Cher concert (she'll be at Ceasars in September). 5-7" inseam boardshorts are what's needed here for all three scenarios (see our swimsuit length graphic). Except for the apres surf we'd recommend pairing with a terrycloth cabana jacket or robe, just like what Paul Newman would do (pictured).

Ask the MB: Swimming Suit Recommendation For Real

Ask the MB: Swimming Suit Recommendation For Real
Q: I'm trying to find a swimming suit. Do you have any suggestions?
--Matt


A: Now that it's April 2nd, Matt, we can seriously answer your question. (See the April 1 version.)

First of all, we don't care what Vilebrequin is showing this season (or any other): elastic waistbands are universally unflattering and should be reserved for pre-K MBs in training. Beyond that, swimsuit length is the key determining factor. Using da Vinci's Vitruvian Man as a model, do your best to stay in the green zone. Yellow is OK but not recommended. Red is definitively toolbag.

Ask the MB: Swimming Suit Recommendation

Tommy Bahama Hold 'Em Swim Trunks via Saks Fifth Avenue, $51.90
Tommy Bahama Hold 'Em Swim Trunks via Saks Fifth Avenue. $51.90.
Q: I'm trying to find a swimming suit. Do you have any suggestions?
--Matt


A: Normally we bag pretty hard on Tommy Bahama ... after all their shirts are #5 on The Toolbag List. But you know what? They are really good at swimming suits, like these hibiscus printed "Hold 'Em" swim trunks. The elastic really grips your waist and is surprisingly slimming.

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