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Choosing the perfect swimsuit can be difficult. When summer comes along, you want to rock swimwear that fits your body type and your personality. From briefs and board shorts to trunks and super-skimpy swaths of fabric, we know it can be a daunting task to pick the best suits from the many labels offering up by-the-pool and on-the-sand options.
When beginning your swimwear hunt, first give some thought to where you’ll be sporting your new suit — A pool party? The beach? Your next water polo match? Then decide on the style and fit that — no pun intended — suits you best. If lounging on the beach is your thing, for instance, a stylish suit without all the bells and whistles may do the trick.
Guys with slender and athletic bodies typically look great in any style of swimsuit. Those of us with medium or large builds often find that shorts or trunks look best, but ultimately you should let your personal style lead the way.
Our favorite swimsuits of summer 2017:
In his hit song “’03 Bonnie and Clyde,” a duet with Beyoncé, Jay-Z declared that his wife only wears Burberry when she goes for a swim. We like the way she thinks.
Famous for its signature check pattern, Burberry has been a fashion powerhouse since the 1870s. While known for its iconic trenchcoats and cashmere scarves, the label also makes a few classic swimsuits. For the conservative guy seeking a traditional trunk with a fresh twist, Burberry’s swim short is the perfect choice for hitting the pool or the beach. This style flatters all body shapes and has a breathable lining for comfort and a drawcord waist with a back pocket for functionality.
$295 at burberry.com
Charlie by Matthew Zink
Matthew Zink is an Ohio native who worked for Tom Ford and Carolina Herrera, then launched his own signature swimwear collection to huge fanfare in 2010. With its fabrics made and printed in Italy, Charlie by Matthew Zink reigns supreme in fit and quality. You’ll find everything from seasonal styles to animal and geometric prints. The label also has a classic collection that’s timeless and versatile for all seasons.
The Charlie Lifeguard Brief, one of those classic styles, is perfect for all occasions. Cut in a sexy low-rise style; it hugs your ass nicely with fabric that features 20% elastane. Also lined in the front, this lightweight swimwear moves with your body underwater. If you prefer a more modest (but still sexy) cut, check out the Charle Trainer, which nails all the proper proportions.
$125-$195 at charliebymz.com
Aiming for a younger, athletic customer, this brand is edgier and modern compared to the Giorgio Armani signature brand. Emporio Armani is a great option for fashion-conscious guys looking to lounge around the pool.
The label’s briefs and square-cut shorts are two outstanding styles from its summer 2017 line. The fully lined brief has a two-and-a-half-inch side seam that hugs your hip nicely. Its lightweight, stretchy, quick-drying material also makes it a functional suit that’s comfortable to wear in and out of the water.
If you prefer more coverage, these square-cut shorts are a good choice. Also fully lined, this style has the same features and exudes the same sexiness as the brief.
$75-$95 at internationaljock.com
RuPaul’s Drag Race royalty including Alaska, Adore Delano and Raja have walked the Marco Marco runway in his bold creations. Known for his dynamic use of color and prints, and meshing different materials in his underwear, Marco Marco conjures excitement with his creations.
Equally impressive is Marco Marco’s swimsuit collection. With a similar design aesthetic to his underwear and women’s wear, Marco Marco’s suits exude sex appeal. Their geometric prints in bright colors are made with tricot knit spandex. The fabric provides superior stretch and structure for a perfect fit. Besides making you look fabulous, these swimsuits also keep you comfortable.
$45-$65 at marcomarcounderwear.com
If you want to sport designer swimwear without breaking the bank, Diesel offers both style and affordability. This stretch nylon brief has a front panel liner and drawstrings for a secure fit. The waistband with stitching detail gives good coverage around your waist, making this style perfect for lounging around the beach and equally functional for laps around the pool.
$50 at internationaljock.com
A London based fashion e-commerce site that has a strong millennial base, ASOS (pronounce ACE-OSS) sells both other brands and its own products. It’s a great place to find fun fashion.
This site itself is a one-stop shop for activewear, shoes and accessories, but it also has a great swimwear selection. Its own branded suits come in a variety of styles. From boardshorts and trunks in different lengths to square-cut shorts, ASOS makes swimwear with bold prints and solid colors at a reasonable price. The label also offers styles in ‘tall’ and ‘plus’ categories to accommodate a broad range of body types.
$19-$33 at asos.com
For the active athlete, Speedo is synonymous with functional swimwear. Known for its innovative technology like its lightweight fabric and four-way stretch material, Speedo has dominated swimwear since 1928.
But in addition to its performance-driven suits, Speedo also has great swimwear selections, including boardshorts and briefs in vibrant colors and prints. We’re particularly fond of its paradise floral boardshorts; the print looks fresh, plus its innovative fabric offers UV protection for a long day at the beach.
$44-$58 at speedo.com
Slick It Up
For the guy with a sense of humor who doesn’t take life too seriously, New York City-based brand Slick It Up produces cheeky apparel for gay men. The label may be known for its over-the-top neon spandex bodysuits and harnesses, but it also offers some of the season’s hottest swimwear. Head down to the pool like the superhero we know you are!
Among this year’s Slick It Up swimwear collection are the Coconut Grove, Pink Panthere and Patriot brief swimsuits.
$68-$74 at slickitup.com
Top Man, a London-based fast fashion company, offers on-trend pieces for its millennial customers. If you’re hunting for solid-color or wild print shorts in varying lengths, Top Man has a good selection of suits.
With inseams from 12 to 19 inches, Top Man’s true-to-fit swimwear fits most body types well, and most feature drawstrings to further secure the fit. Many also have side and back pockets with mesh lining for coverage and protection.
$40-$45 at topman.com
This Australian brand has had a strong worldwide following since 2001. It began by bringing back the classic Speedo-style Aussie cossie and introducing digital prints and other vibrant designs to swimwear.
But aussieBum also has a great selection of surfwear for the guy who loves to catch waves. The brand uses innovative materials like lightweight stretch fabric with a silicon grip texture on the inside, so these boardshorts won’t ride up while you’re out in the surf. This swimwear is equally good at grabbing people’s attention, thanks to one-of-a-kind prints, like the fun superhero collection.
$47.50-$51.25 at aussiebum.com
Featured image by DaniloAndjus via iStock