The way things work in the Southeast is that we kind of skip the 70-degree weather days. It's just a satanic transition from the 50s to the 80s, which basically means we're now in beach season. Hopefully you guys have been taking care of your bodies during the winter. I know it's tough and extremely unfun. But there are grand dividends and one of them is being able to properly pull off this next essential: "man trunks."
You don't have to be ripped to the max, but it does help if you're in decent shape like this 35-year-old Sean Connery. And even if you have a few soft spots around the midsection, I still think these can work for you.
A few important things to keep in mind:
1. Don't be afraid to show some leg. Trunks that stop around mid-thigh are perfect. They make your legs look longer which makes you look taller which makes you look leaner.... that's a pretty good combination.
2. Avoid elastic waistbands at all cost. Can you say instant muffin top? What about super back fat? Plus, they do this whole parachute thing that is extremely unflattering, especially if you've got soft spots. Instead, you should look for one that are cut in a straight line, almost looks like a pair of pants would; like all the ones I picked out.
3. Lastly, try to kill two birds with one stone. It's not a must, but if you can find one in a neutral color like navy or khaki, then they could double as walking shorts. It would help to cut down on packing if you could wear the same trunks in the ocean and at the seaside restaurant and not have to change.
J. Crew, the place to go to find simple examples of everything and a relatively affordable price. These 5'' portofino trunks are the perfect start, and they come in about five different colors. If you're on a budget and don't know where to look, these would be your best bet.
A surf shop born in Manhattan? Sounds crazy, but these guys do a jam-up job at it. The company is only about four years old, but they've already made a strong name for themselves in the swimwear industry.
I was turned onto Sundek a few years ago. They had their hayday back in 70s, but are relevant again delivering shorts in the same rainbow stripes that made them famous over 40 years ago. If classic retro design is your thing, then these are for you.
If money is no object then your search should begin and end with Orlebar Brown. These guys really get it. Extremely simple design and a tailored fit. Made with 100% polyamide, an extremely quick-drying material that absorbs less water and dries up to six times faster. You know how you normally feel about 40 pounds heavier when you first step out the water? Well, you won't feel it with these. And in this Navy color, they can pass as regular shorts so you can wear em all day long (a la tip #3).
**No basketball shorts!!! I repeat, NO BASKETBALL SHORTS!!! You're an adult now. Act like it**