The clearest indication that spring 2018’s fickle weather was turning was the sight of young men (around my age) jogging in shorts. It was this adorable sight that made it clear: The spell of winter had been lifted and summer was coming.
I own only one pair of shorts that I wear with any regularity — a white pair from Vineyard Vines that I’ve had since 2008. They fit right in on a golf course. I’ve been suspicious of all other proper shorts and expressed little loyalty to another pair since. The shorter the shorts, the warier I am. In an effort to rectify my shorts woes, I decided to come at it from a different angle and test-drive the notion of swim trunks.
I’ve always harbored a sliver of jealousy when it came to swim trunks. It started when I envied the prints on my brother’s Vilebrequin trunks, which struck me as far more compelling than what the surface design of my tankinis had to offer. The envy only blossomed when I browsed around Fred Segal and discovered a remarkable marriage of photography and swimwear in the form of Dries Van Noten trunks with Marilyn Monroe emblazoned on them.
The premise of incorporating swim trunks into my summer wardrobe was a little absurd (which is why I liked it) but it also posed a lofty though possible solution for a jort-fearer like myself. A whole new market to explore that I had never previously considered for myself! At worst, the whole endeavor would be a vaguely amusing experiment and a slideshow of ill-fitting swimwear. By virtue of being a landlocked Aquarius, I felt optimistic: If these swim trunks looked and felt good, I’d be ready to dunk into the East River or run through a city sprinkler at any given time all summer long. In a plot twist I never expected from garments not designed with my body in mind, swim trunks reignited my love for shorts.
Flip through the slideshow below to satiate any curiosity you may have re: five ways to don swim trunks, then scroll down for my key takeaways.
My main takeaways from road-testing a slew of swim trunks:
1) I was thrilled with the multifunctional capabilities of trunks — I like the fact that by design, they encourage spontaneity in New York’s thick humid heat. Though multipurpose, trunks look more becoming than gym shorts.
2) They add an element of surprise to an outfit.
3) The interior mesh was not as cumbersome as I imagined it might be.
4) These trunks hit my legs at the sweet spot between short-shorts and Bermudas, a better landing pad on my thighs than most women’s shorts I’ve encountered. Huzzah.
5) Not related but not not related: I would like to buy everything Horror Vacui has to offer; their fabric blend is compatible with my skin like an Aries is with a Scorpio.
Photos by Edith Young.