Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

This Season’s Swimtrunks

(Close, although a 7″ – 9″ inseam would be a bit more understated.)

Long time readers know about my obsession with finding the right swimtrunks. I thought I’d finally go a season without having to continue the search as the B² version is a peach. I hadn’t counted on the slightest weight fluctuation and found, to my dismay, that the two pounds I’ve lost rendered the trunks unwearable as they now gape a bit. That’s the issue with non-elastic waistbands, which are the only sort that almost anyone over the age of 30 should be wearing. At least in my opinion.

Brooks Brothers didn’t reissue the suit this year. Naturally. This is what happens when purchasing is controlled by two women in Italy. Sure it’s nice to have the trimmer cuts, but there’s a place for the classics, too.

So it was off to the races.

My first stop was Land’s End. Nada. Next up LL Bean. Nope. Zappo’s. I refuse to pay that kind of money for a swimsuit that hasn’t been made for me. Most of what I saw was either A) far too young looking (flames, skulls, flowers, knee length or beyond), or  B) had an elastic waistband.

To my surprise, J. Crew appeared to have something that fit the bill. 7″ Boardshorts. USD$54.50 (which I thought I got on sale… hmm…)

I ordered a size down for these as they ride at the hip like all contemporary clothing. They’re a little young, but they’ll do until The Brethern come to their senses or I put the weight back on.

Relatively happy, I was fortunate enough to check in with Tintin at The Trad who had uncovered the mother lode of  swimtrunks for adults.

(Swim trunks in Breton Red via O’Connell’s Clothing where it appears to always be 1963!)

Of course I didn’t take into account that these would sit, as they should, at the natural waist or just slightly below and ordered one size up from the J. Crew model. Now I’ve got five pounds to lose. Another pair in a truer (for me) waist measurement is on the way and I’m restraining myself from ordering three more in various colours and a madras or seersucker to boot. All I’ve got to do is stay in shape and I can wear these forever. That’s incentive.

(Endless Summer, 1966)

6 thoughts on “This Season’s Swimtrunks

  1. Looks great Chris, good taste!! I just got two new very classic back maillot style suits, different designs. Love them!

    Art by Karena

  2. Chris:

    I am strictly a Birdwell man. Made in the U.S.A. Reminds me of my youth in the South. Cool, quirky company. Tons of selection. Last forever – plus they come in all sizes.

    My two oldest sons, ages 7 and 4, have only worn Birdwells. My 13 month will soon transition into what the two oldests boys call their “Birdies”. People always marvel at our trunks and are amazed you can still buy Birdwells.

    Nevertheless, I am ordering a pair or two from O’Connells. What a great store. Thanks to you and Tintin for the tip. Have a great 4th.


  3. You think the thong will ever become a mainstay? Come check out my pool closet; I might have the swim togs you are searching for.

  4. TA, I certainly hope not….

    Trey, I’m always tempted to order a pair of mid-thigh Birdwell’s. It’s been years.

    Karena, just saying “maillot” makes me happy.

  5. True to your form. I love the white stitching and the pocket. Note to self, to find vintage illustrations of men sporting bath robes on the Riviera and bain de maillots.
    (my sons call them banana hammocks and cringe when we go to France and they have to wear them to the indoor swim clubs)

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