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Hitting the surf in style: your guide to 2012’s hottest mens swimwear

So maybe you're escaping to tropical climates or you're heading to the pool and you're in need of some advice on buying the latest styles of mens swimwear? You've come to the right place! 

Swimwear is a constant on the spring/summer fashion designer catwalks and online retailers have mountains of cheap and cheerful swimwear in a kaleidoscope of colors and prints. 

If you're feeling a little lost take our hand and let us guide you through the latest styles, designers and brands and the best offers and deals our online emporium has to offer. Our shopping pages and comparison tables make shopping for your mens swimwear and beach clothes a total (sea) breeze!

2012's hottest mens swimwear styles

Boardshorts Boardshorts (or boardies) are a popular choice with younger men and come in a wide range of colors and patterns to fit your taste. Boardshorts are loose-fitting, usually reaching the knees, and with inbuilt mesh for support. These are the perfect choice if you’re shopping for mens swimwear to take you from the sea to the sand to the bar and they’re brilliant if you’re more active than your typical beach bum. Boardies offer the most coverage and are a good choice for the slim and slight surfer dude.

Boxers Boxers are an all around good choice because they fit everyone (yep, that includes you!) and they’re often considered the most comfortable too. They feature built in mesh for support and usually reach the mid thigh. Shop for boxers with a drawstring at the waist to avoid flashing unsuspecting beach-goers, unless that’s what you’re into of course…

Trunks Trunks, arguably the classic mens swimwear fashion and designer aftershave advert favorite. They are tight fitting and leave little to the imagination. They can vary in length but are similar to cycling shorts and are a great option for swimming, unlike boxers or board shorts, and perfect for any beach sports. If you’re of athletic build or erring on the side of slim then these will be a great addition to your swimwear collection.

Speedos/ thongs Ah - speedos, budgie smugglers, banana hammocks, slug huggers, ding-a-ling-sling…whatever you call them they tend to be the butt (excuse the pun) of jokes. Popular in Europe - but less so in the UK and America – the speedo is tight fitting and shaped like a brief. The thong is even more minimalist so it's not a popular choice with conservative (ahem!) Men- Proceed with caution!

Fabrics

Nylon The gold standard of cheap and designer mens swimwear alike, nylon offers the best fit, feel and durability. It’s pretty rare to find 100% nylon swimwear these days since nylon/spandex/lycra blends became popular.

Polyester Polyester mens swimwear will typically last longer than traditional lycra blends and will have more durability and water resistance. Another advantage of polyester is its excellent stretch. It’s also long-lasting and can be cheap to buy.

Blends Most board shorts and boxer styles are polyester or a blend of cotton and polyester/nylon and can be washed normally with your laundry. Trunks and briefs are usually made of nylon/spandex blends and need to be taken care of more carefully than polyester blends. Here’s how:

Taking care of your new swimwear for men

  • Take a shower before putting on your new mens swimwear; this will eliminate any dirt, grease or creams from your body that could deteriorate the fabric, especially on cheap mens swimwear. 
  • Avoid getting oils, grease and suncream on your swimwear.
  • Rinse your swimwear in cold water after using it. 
  • Never wring, iron or dry clean your swimwear. 
  • Keep nylon/spandex blend swimwear out of hot water e.g. saunas, steam rooms and avoid heavily chlorinated pools.
  • Hang in a well-ventilated area with lots of fresh air. 

Which style of swimwear for men will fit my body shape?

Athletic Lucky you – all styles of mens swimwear fit your athletic frame, just make sure you pick a color that flatters your skin tone (see our guide below)

Heavy set Stick to darker swimwear with less patterns and avoid overly baggy styles. If you want to detract attention away from your torso steer clear of boardshorts because they have a tendency to highlight rounder bellies. 

Skinny To add bulk opt for bright and light colors and striking patterns. Swimwear that features pockets, zippers and other detail will also add to your frame, making you look bigger. Boardshorts are a good option for you but make sure they’re not too baggy because this will make you look even smaller. 

Short Avoid board shorts or long boxers because these will make you look even shorter. Stick to short shorts or boxers or anything high-cut to elongate your legs. 

Big stomach Stick to mens swimwear in block, dark colors and steer clear of patterns at all cost. Boxers and short styles will be most flattering on your physique.

Which color mens swimwear will flatter my complexion?

Bright colors look great with a tan, so do white and cream (just make sure they don’t become see-through when wet!) Your complexion, hair and eye colour are key factors in determining which hues will best fit you and flatter your coloring. So to find the best mens swimwear for you, compare our color guide below:

Deep complexions You have blue, red or pink undertones to your skin and you are generally brunette with dark eyes. Bold, clear colors look great on you – think white, black, blue and red - whereas neutrals, beiges and biscuit tones are best avoided.

Warm complexions You have golden or yellow tones to your skin and usually have red or brunette hair and darker skin. Your perfect color match will mimic the warm tones in your skin – camel, beige, orange and gold look gorgeous on you whereas cool tones such as blue are no-nos.

Light complexions Your skin has golden undertones and will often be a creamy white or peach color. Strawberry blonde hair and blue or green eyes are characteristic of light complexions. Warm, orange-based colors and dirty tones fit you perfectly.

Cool complexion Blue, red or pink undertones characterise a cool complexion. Your skin is often pale or pink and you have blonde or brunette hair with light-colored eyes. Pastels and lighter tones look fantastic against your skin. 

Delivery and returns 

It is always best to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before buying mens swimwear online. Many retailers will not accept returns on swimwear if the hygiene strip is removed so double check their online policy before you commit to buy.