Men’s business: the swim shorts

Author Guido Luciani contributor
Amount of Images 2 Immagini
Calendar 23/07/2018
Time passed Tempo di lettura 3 min

If you close your eyes, you’re already there. The melody of the waves in the background, a blue boundless expanse in front of you and that levity that only a summer on the beach can give you.

We’re Italian after all. Or more accurately, first of all. And even if you are born in a small city far from the Mediterranean coasts, for us summer means seaside or swimming pool, lake or river, every body of water in which we can melt the stress after the end of a working year.

But the same question comes to your mind every year, just before you go on vacation: which swimsuit am I gonna wear? That’s why we’re here to help today.

The first, unnecessary, question is always the same: swim shorts or speedos? A refined man, a man who wants to maintain his elegance wherever he goes, should know that this question shouldn’t be asked.

“The only choice for an elegant man, as you surely know, is to wear a pair of swim shorts.”

But let’s be specific because not every swim short is fine and admitted. There is the American type, the Bermuda shorts, popular in the nineties, even in Europe, whose length goes under the knees.

There are also the slinky swim shorts, popular in the 2000s, very short, a tad too short to be worn by an elegant man.

“That’s why neither of these two types is admitted for this summer (and many following): choose a swim short with a medium length, above the knees and sufficiently loose-fitting in order to guarantee comfort and charm.”

In this case, we’re lucky. Fashion standards, in the last years, after the disaster of bermuda shorts and slinky ones, are now looking once more towards the past, to that classical swim short look, that from the sixties to the nineties, was considered perfect for sunbathing without overdoing it.

The first wonderful reference model is from an Italian cult movie, Swept Away (1974), in which a young Giancarlo Giannini played the role of Gennarino, a sailor who on the romantic beaches of Sardinia, starts a love affair with the fascinating Mariangela Melato.

A Million Steps

Presented as a rude and passionate character, Gennarino elegantly rocks the perfect swimwear: monochromatic, perfect length (10 centimeters over the knees), sufficiently loose-fitting in order to let him move with agility on his desert island.

Perfect, just like the swimming pool look of Alain Delon, legendary star of the sixties and seventies, adored icon (especially in Italy), who in La Piscine, a classic movie filmed between Liguria and Cote d’Azur, wore swim shorts with a wonderful geometrical pattern.

“The length, once again, is the same: elegantly above the knees.”

Another example, more recent than these, is Call Me By Your Name (we wrote about it a short time ago), a big success by the Italian filmmaker Luciano Guadagnino, awarded by critics and audience during this last film season.

Set in the eighties, the movie presents a very refined selection of refined scenes. Also refined are both the protagonists that wear swim shorts at the aforementioned ideal length, sometimes monochromatic, other times with geometrical patterns.

A Million Steps

Pay attention, then, to the fabrics: quality cotton is still the best choice. Technical fabrics (comfortable and fast to dry) are fine but it can give you a less elegant look. Avoid spongy fabrics at all cost.

So, if you go to the Amalfi coast, the Eolian Islands, Sardinia, exotic beaches faraway from Mediterranean sea, to the nostalgic Romagnola Riviera or to fashionable Salento, please, remember not to overdo it.

Beauty, in this case more than ever, is in the right measure.

Opening photo from ‘La Piscine’ movie and in-text photo with Giancarlo Giannini by Courtesy Everett Collection/Contrasto, and photo from ‘Call Me By Your Name’ movie by Sony Pictures Classics

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