Hang Loose: Swimwear Makeover for Men

05/17/2017 10:21 am ET Updated May 17, 2017
Dark Green Beach Photo Cargo Pocket Elastic Swim Trunks
Banana Split
Dark Green Beach Photo Cargo Pocket Elastic Swim Trunks

With the weather heating up it’s time to head to the pool, but ever feel like your guy might need a swimwear makeover? On a recent Rachael Ray episode, viewers submitted their favorite dudes, and three willing candidates underwent a swimwear intervention live on set, with Rachael and celebrity chef Bobby Flay weighing in!

Here are tips on some common swimwear dilemmas, suit styles and body frames to keep in mind when shopping.

Problem #1: wears workout clothes in the pool.

The funny thing is—we know he is not alone. I’m sure there are tons of other guys out there with the same philosophy, thus embarrassing their families at the pool, dunking in the deep end in their gym clothes because it’s simply easier: why change?

Solution: board shorts

 Deepwater lido block board shorts
Volcom
Deepwater lido block board shorts

He’s a prime candidate for board shorts because these surfer-performance shorts are longer in length just like his gym shorts so he should feel right at home. But, he’ll be even more comfortable because they are ultra lightweight, fitted in the leg, made of synthetic material for quick-dry wicking (no more wet, sopping pants to pull up!), and come in some killer, on-trend colors and patterns.

Tips:

  • If you are short, don’t go too long on the board short: try to keep it at the knee. Otherwise the length with swallow you up and make you look shorter than you are.
  • Board shorts tend to have a slimmer leg opening.
  • Just like pants, if your leg opening is too wide, your legs will look really thin, like a pencil in a paint can so keep the width of the leg opening in mind.

Problem #2: wears camouflage everything, and has worn his camo swimwear to death.

First, kudos: he likes prints and he’s consistent. But perhaps it’s time to bust free from this hunter-in-the-pond look and uncover a fresh seaside staple.

Solution: At-the-knee swim trunks in a new color/print

Orange Stripe Color-block Cargo Pocket Elastic Swim Trunks
Banana Split
Orange Stripe Color-block Cargo Pocket Elastic Swim Trunks

As this model is a little more top heavy with fantastic, muscular legs, I put him in swim trunks with a looser fitting leg opening to help balance out his frame. A solid bright color or an ombré hue that focuses the eyes downward brings lots of attention to his lower body and calves, which is his best asset. A combination of an elastic and drawstring waistband allows for ultra comfort and fit in the waist.

Tips:

  • A wider leg opening counterbalances a bigger torso.
  • Make sure the waist fit is snug: once in the water, things only get looser and you don’t want your shorts to fall off.
  • Make sure patterns optically draw eyes where you want them to go.

Problem #3: weight loss has rendered his old swimwear too big.

No need to cling to old clothes that no longer fit and this includes swimwear. You earned your new body and it’s time to celebrate! The current length and width of his swim shorts from last summer dwarf him and it’s time to feature his new body.

Solution: Mid-thigh, square-cut shorts

Blue Stripe Swim Trunks
Banana Split
Blue Stripe Swim Trunks

A shorter style works when you have legs to show off and I aimed for an overall fitted design to align with his slimmed torso. The more skin you reveal on the legs helps to elongate them and make him look even taller and thinner than he is.

Tips:

  • Generally, wear trunks that hit between two to four inches above the kneecap. In this instance, it was the latter.
  • Give shorter shorts the sit-down test in the dressing room: making sure the hem doesn’t dig uncomfortably into your thighs.
  • Right now retro prints, pops of neon and color blocking are all popular…as are short shorts if you dare!
With models, Rachael Ray and guest cohost Bobby Flay.
Rachael Ray Show
With models, Rachael Ray and guest cohost Bobby Flay.
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