Swim trunks for the businessman

Q. I have an upcoming sales meeting at a resort that has a swimming pool. What do guys wear with a swimsuit these days?

A. More important than what to wear is what not to wear. Beware of looking too pulled together. No grandfatherly swim-trunks-and-matching-shirt sets, please. Their time has come and gone – a long time ago; it is a geriatric, retirement community look, one to be avoided. Even worse is wearing a swimsuit and dark socks, either with or without sandals – a combination popular with the early-bird dinner crowd. White tube socks are somewhat better, but no socks are really the rule. If there is ever a place to go sockless, a pool/beach is the perfect choice. If you don’t wear sandals, then flip-flops, moccasins, or deck shoes will do nicely.

Above your feet, the basics are equally straight-forward.

Patterns and colors for the trunks range across the board from solids and nautical stripes, through colorful geometric designs, to Hawaiian-tropical prints. Neutral colors are safer than super bright, attention-grabbing styles, but not an absolute. The better shape your body is in, the bolder your choices can be.

Lengths range from boxer and mid-thigh to a few inches above the knee (these are similar to other shorts). The extra-long, baggy basketball style that was popular a few years back is definitely a thing of the past. The newer look is a first-class fit, a shorter, ‘50’s-retro boxer that is well tailored and trimmer (not too wide at the bottom of the leg). Cut a lot like plain-front pants with less fullness and no pleats, these swim shorts work for the same style-aware guys who currently wear flat-front trousers. The real no-no is wearing anything resembling European-influenced briefs. Those skin-tight styles are not only an embarrassment to the one wearing them, but also to his wife, kids, colleagues, clothing advisors, and strangers.

Tops: The perfect team-up with a swimsuit is a nice cotton knit three-button polo shirt with a small collar, either with or without a logo. The familiar little polo player, the green crocodile, or something similar is simple and unobtrusive enough to wear without making you look like a walking billboard. A neat T-shirt works for younger men. Of course, it’s best to avoid a color clashing combination such as a burgundy polo shirt with a pair of orange trunks. Any generic button-up-the-front shirt also works when worn unbuttoned/open as a jacket. It doesn’t have to be color-coordinated; but, again, it should not be a clashing combination that assaults the eye in terms of mixing colors and patterns.

I feel it is essential to mention that, while you are there, keep your health in mind. The well-turned out swimmer or “pool-potato” takes precautions against too much sun with something to cover his head, particularly if his hair is thinning on top. Important accessories this year, and every year, are sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. No longer considered affectations, they make sense for men of all ages – combining youthful style with healthful discretion.

Categories: Male Call