“If I see the stereotypical Speedo they’re either usually on someone who really knows what they’re doing in the water, and looks like it, or is over the age of 50 and really know what they’re doing in the pub.”
That’s the not-bitchy style writer and photographer Karlmong Tang, talking to How Stuff Works for their alarmist article “Why Is the Speedo Disappearing From European Beaches?”, a rather exhaustive investigation into why the Lycra-clad minions are no longer rocking swim briefs in the summer and what they’re choosing to wear instead.
According to Chris Opfer, the article’s author, Speedos have always been in short supply on American beaches — no argument there — but “lately even the Europeans are adding a little extra coverage to their trunks.”
Russell Smith, the author of “Men’s Style: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Dress,” thinks square-cut swim trunks are coming into vogue much like boxer-briefs eventually quashed the never-imaginative, never-not-annoying question, “Boxers or briefs?”
“Currently stylish men, and the ones who are fit enough, are wearing boxer briefs – short fitted shorts, also made with some spandex content,” Smith surmises. (And really, only an expert could make such a fecund observation.)
“These look a lot like men’s swimsuits of the late ’50s and early ’60s,” he says of the square-cut swim trunks. “Think James Bond.”
Opfer claims you needn’t look any further than some of Europe’s most popular fashion houses to prove that “the Speedo is moving toward the sunset,” citing the likes of GQ‘s British edition as rock-solid evidence of the phenomenon.
While not quite as bunchy and unapologetically dorked-out as the board shorts preferred by Americans, these selections overcompensate for their more conservative cuts with a variety of kicky patterns featuring cacti and tropical prints and swirlishly swirly swirls that swirl.
And yet, while journos have spilt more ink than octopi on the subject of Speedos, we’re having a hard time believing people are just going to abandon swim briefs forever and never look back.
But we’re intensely curious as to what you, the loyal Queerty reader, might have to say on the subject. Is it time to embrace square-cut trunks, or should everyone shut up and let you wear your goddamn Speedo in peace? Sound off in the comments below.