Swim Trunks


The water may feel great, but we can’t stay submerged forever. Because, you know, biology. And so we find ourselves at a critical juncture:

What’s the move after swimming? Pool to party? Beach to bar? 

And will the policy be the industry standard no shirt, no shoes, no dice?

This transition involves considering packable layers–and to inspire you to make it smoothly, we present this animation of a well-prepared dude, made by our ace squad at Studio N.

Photographer: Matthew Sumi
Model: Brandon Tobiassen
Stylists: Morgan Dillon and Chad Christensen
Art director: Brett Wiseman

Shop: Vans slip-ons | Sol Angeles tee | Ambsn woven shirt | Ambsn shorts | Armani swim briefs | Herschel duffel | Schwood sunglasses


The above images from our recent catalogs (yes, by the way, we put out the occasional swimsuit issue… and lingerie catalog, if you’re into that kind of thing)—coupled with the fact that it’s 72 degrees but steadily drizzling here at our Seattle headquarters—have made it quite apparent that, in order to squeeze the most out of the last weeks of summer, an epic vacation may be in order.

As indicated above, your fastidious better half is likely to have her vacation game all buttoned up. Make sure you’re worthy, starting with the nucleus of every man’s tropical travel bag: an up-to-date, well-fitting swimsuit (or three). Also: sunscreen. And: a few travel tricks up your sleeve (what sleeve?).

Tip: Take her somewhere she hasn’t been. Read on for three lesser-traveled destinations, courtesy of Nordstrom PR pro and resident paradise-seeker Brie Cross. (If you missed it, read part 1 of this post for Brie’s favorite spots in Cali, Panama and Mexico). Then, keep scrolling to check out our favorite swimwear.

1. Cartagena, Colombia. “Colombia’s hottest party city on the coast. Stroll the colonial town, stay out late and soak up the vibrant Colombian culture. Panama hats required. Stay at Hotel Casa Pestagua or Alfiz Hotel. For longer stays, try to sneak in a couple days at Tayrona National Park and stay in the Ecohabs—or do a day trip to Islas del Rosario.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @anajumelo | @rafaelgsterling | @gabrielagabrielaa
@xiomilozanog | @lizzienichuipeir | @luivybaldom]

2. Andalusian Coast, Spain. “A couple hours south of Seville (arguably one of Spain’s prettiest cities), you’ll find the Andalusian Coast—packed with tiny towns, each more charming than the next. Go inland to the white-washed Vejer de la Frontera for a day trip, but be sure to soak up Spanish holiday life in the many beach towns. The rustic El Palmar is a favorite surf spot amongst locals.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @thalia_marin | @silmarse | @rusian_roulete
@davidbujalance | @churumbele | @lidatrujillo93]

3. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. “Visit this quiet (-ish) surfer town on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica for ultimate, laid-back pura vida. Jump off waterfalls in the next town over, or hit the waves morning and sundown at one of the world’s smoothest surfing spots.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @byemilyb | @lauraquirosortiz | @kimberlynsb
@jonburke | @brookieobx | @courtneyallison]

—  —  —

Now that you know where you’re going, let’s talk about what to wear. Check our previous post for the pros and cons of swim trunks vs. board shorts, and shop our Editor’s Picks below—ranging from understated solids to prints that’ll ensure your travel partner is not distracted by the “scenery” (by which we mean the European guy in a thong on the next beach blanket over).

Tommy Bahama | Ted Baker | Zanerobe [floral] | Hobie
Zanerobe [spots] | 55DSL | Lightning Bolt | RVCA

Digging prints? Try these trunks by Topman—they fit great, and the price is nice ($22 to $52 each).
From left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5





Now that we’ve got your attention: There’s plenty of summer left. (In fact, it’s only just begun here at our Seattle HQ.) If you haven’t already, it’s high time you plan an epic, romantic, once-in-a-lifetime getaway for you and your significant other. Forget bringing home flowers and wine once in a while; a tropical trip (especially a *surprise* one—ladies love that stuff) will put you in the safe-zone of her (or his) good graces for an entire month or two—bare minimum.

Once the tickets are booked and you’re firmly ensconced in paradise, you can be sure she’ll bring her A-game to the beach (see above). Make sure you do the same (see also above). Before we dive into what to wear, though, here are a few thoughts on destinations she’ll love—courtesy of Nordstrom PR pro, and resident travel junkie, Brie Cross. To illustrate Brie’s suggestions, we crowd-sourced photos from our favorite all-encompassing, ever-growing treasure trove of excellence: Instagram.

[A note on the photography up top: Gratuitous Kate Upton shots are a dime a dozen these days…and for that, we are thankful. However, we felt our highly refined readership would prefer to draw vacation inspiration from these artful swimwear images of model Monika Jac Jagaciak, shot by Greg Kadel for German Vogue.]

1. Big Sur, California. “If you want to stay domestic, visit one of Cali’s most beautiful beaches. For the ultimate in West-Coast luxury, stay at the Post Ranch Inn. [Note the infinity pool, top right.]”

[Photos by Instagram users: @gaelcl | @deemoran6 | @postranchinn
@heavyyymaiden | @random_slaps | @r1chmiro]

2. Bocas del Toro, Panama. “Central America’s latest it destination. One look at the bungalows on the water, and you’ll be ready to book your tickets. You’ll also be close to the Costa Rican border for a mid-trip getaway to Puerto Viejo.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @amiluk | @misspatacon | @kristinpanke
@lacyjayde | @renatass | @breedle_]

3. Tulum, Mexico. “A beach oasis on the Yucatán Peninsula, with perfect white sand and turquoise water. Stay at Coqui Coqui or Posada Margherita for posh beachside accommodations, or Coco Tulum for minimalist cabanas on the sand. Tulum Strip is packed with excellent restaurants (Casa Jaguar is a favorite for ambiance, food and the occasional celeb sighting) but head to town for nightlife, too. Make time to visit the local Mayan ruins of Tulum and Coba, and Chichen Itza for a day trip. Swimming in some of the approximately 3,000 nearby cenotes is a MUST.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @raphreponty | @ashleekerford | @d_taylor77
@griselleme | @ashleekerford | @zoranaj]

—  —  —

Unless you really want to get ‘international,’ you’ll likely need something to wear at most of these beaches. Start with our Editor’s Picks for two styles of swimwear essentials: Swim Trunks and Board Shorts:

Swim Trunks: The Classic. They can run a variety of lengths (we highly recommend above the knee, for the best looking proportion)—but the defining characteristic of all swim trunks is their elastic waist. It’s the most flattering on a variety of physiques—and the most forgiving, if you finish of your date’s taco platter at lunch.
L-R: Boss Hugo Boss | Volcom | Marc by Marc Jacobs | Brooks Brothers
Shop All: Swim Trunks 

Board Shorts: Ready for Action. Developed in the 1970s for surfers, board shorts are still a smart choice if your idea of a day at the beach includes action sports more rigorous than snoozing, reading, and applying tanning oil to your partner in crime. (Their lace-up waist keeps them from staying in the water after you get out.)
L-R: Brixton | Patagonia | Sundek | Lightning Bolt
Shop All: Board Shorts 




[Intro photos by Greg Kadel for German Vogue. Instagram images by the individual users as noted; if you see your photo and would like it removed, please contact us via the ‘Email the Editor’ link to the right.]