It's A Guy Thing: Suiting Up for Summer
Posted by Guest in Loving Our Bodies
Guys want to look great in swimsuits, too
image by adriagarcia

Summer is a time for two things: taking leave and swimming. And this column will feature a bit of both. I’ve been proud to be associated with The Fat Girl‘s Guide to Living for the past several months, but sadly this will be my last column. I thank the editors for their hospitality and all of you who’ve read and commented on It's A Guy Thing.

As for the swimming, it might be a surprise to learn that men also face challenges when selecting flattering swimwear. As a teen in the 1970s, I remember that the pattern choices were ugly as a bag of rats and that suits designed for “chunky or “husky” guys were no less shaming than if they’d just been called “Fat Boy Trunks."

But times do, thankfully, change. I recently took the opportunity to check in with a few male friends and ask what goes into their choice of swimwear. I left my questions open-ended, but directed the topics toward the terms of style, fit, appearance, and functionality.

(A: Married, dad)
"To be honest, the only thing I think about (and I think most men should think about) is my wife's opinion. She's the one that's gonna see me in it most, plus she watches those shows and knows what's in fashion. Now before the wifey days it was all about loose, low-hanging and whatever made my package look good when wet."

(B: Married, dad)
"Solid colors. Styles my come and go, but solid colors never go out of style. And if you’re a dad: pockets. Even better if your bathing trunks can double as shorts. And they should be baggy enough to hide a hard-on if a hot girl walks by."

(M: Single)
"I think that the first thing I look for is fit; I don't want them to be too short, and I certainly don't want them too baggy. Also, at my age, a pair that makes it appear that I still have a butt is always nice. Beyond that, I usually look for shorts that dry quickly and have pockets since, here in Miami, we tend to wear them as shorts a lot. I suppose that the pattern is somewhat important as well. I don't go for too wild of a pattern or design, but more classic, i.e. Hawaiian prints, etc."

(K: Single)
"If I am in shape, a brief, trunk, or Speedo type is okay. When I am sporting a belly, which I do now, I go for boardshorts. So I buy based on current body shape for the most part."

(S: Married, dad)
"There is one ability that most women seem to have that I am completely lacking: I don't know what my positive and negative physical features are. I pick out a bathing suit because it has what I consider at the time to be a neato pattern or because the price is good or because Jude Law was wearing one in a movie I saw. If I knew what my best features were, I'd probably be able to obsess more about the whole issue, but I can't."

So what did I learn?

* Guys worry less about how our “packages” look than one might expect.
* Dads think more about functionality than style.
* Speedos are not for the faint of heart.
* Baggy suits might not make guys look thinner but they do make us look hipper (let us have a delusion or two).
* Simplicity and comfort rule.

Again, my thanks to the editors and readers of FGGL.

Girls, care to weigh in on this topic, or to send a farewell note to Charlie? Have you discussed swimsuit do's and don'ts with your man? Share your thoughts - or ask your special someone to share his - in the comments.