(Swim)Suit Up!

Memorial Day has come and gone, and pool/beach season is finally here. Now, before you befriend basically anyone with an apartment pool, you need to go into this season prepared. No, we are not talking about your winter workout program that you’re just now starting, we are talking about a proper swimsuit.

Swimsuits are one of those seasonal items that tend to be overshadowed by other summer apparel. Unless you are living on the beaches of Miami or Ibiza, you are really only going to use a swimsuit a few dozen times a year. Since they are completely seasonal, it is comfortable to roll with the same swimsuit for years. This can lead to you wearing the same swimsuit that you wore to beach week senior year, which is why it is important to go into this summer with the right swimsuit.

When it comes to picking out a bathing suit, the most important factor is inseam size. Inseam size is the length of the bathing suit and commonly ranges from three to 11 inches. Since, we are trying to avoid the senior week swimsuit we recommend avoiding the 11 inch inseam. We also would avoid the three inch unless you plan on appearing in the next Magic Mike sequel. This leaves us with the five, seven and nine inch inseams to work with.

5-Inch Inseams

Five inch inseam swimsuits are designed to hit at the middle thigh. They are short, but that is what you should expect from a modern cut bathing suit. If you are on the shorter end and do not skip leg day, then the five inch inseam may be the cut for you. In fact, the shorter will accentuate your legs, making you look taller. With far less fabric than longer cuts, feel free to get loud with the designs, since it will not be as overpowering compared to a longer swimsuit. Here are some of our favorites:

Bonobos Surfside Board Shorts Blue Daylight Floral 5” -  $88.00 - Known for making great pants, Bonobos also makes some exceptional bathing suits. In a shade of blue, featuring a bold daisy print, it’s summer ready. Take 20 percent off if you’re a new customer or create a new email to become a “new customer.”

Saturday’s Colin Boardshort - $75.00 - With stores in New York and Japan, Saturday’s Surf NYC makes high quality classic and fashion forward boardshorts. This pair is not any different. It is definitely bold, bordering on annoying, but that is why we like it. It has an inseam of five-and-a-half inches so it is going to be a bit longer than the others. Some swimsuits can be as versatile as a loincloth, so the back pocket is a welcome feature when you step off the sand.

7 Inch Inseams

As modern as their five-inch counterparts, the seven inch is a bit more conservative, hitting on the lower thigh. The seven inch still accentuates more of your legs and physique, so make sure that you are comfortable pulling these off. We think the seven inch is the perfect fit for swimming suits of today, not too long, not too short. As with the five inch, feel free to get playful styles with the seven inch.

Onia The Calder 7.5 Tomato Puree - $130.00 - At $130.00, this swimsuit is a splurge, making it best suited for those that can actually make the trip from Miami to Ibiza. Even though it is not patterned, the red color is warm and makes for a great summer swimsuit. The elastic waistband also conforms to your body better than drawstring waistband alternatives. Made in Portugal, this swimsuit should last you for summers to come.

Jack Spade Floral Grannis Swim Trunks - $98.00 - Not nearly as much as a splurge as the Onia, this Jack Spade bathing suit is still a splurge at $98.00. However, this micro-floral print plays perfectly for a summer setting.

J-Crew 6.5” Tab Swim Shorts in Geometric Kimono Print - $75.00 - Our first entry from J. Crew features a summer friendly seersucker stripe. It’s another loud one and apparently inspired by a Japanese Kimono? We don’t see it either, but it’s bold and a perfect swimsuit for the summer. Since it’s so bright, we’d recommend the kimono print for people with darker complexions.

9 Inch Inseams

Aside from the five inch and seven inch inseams, you have the nine inch, hitting right above the knee. It is longer than the others, but still maintains a modern look, allowing you to incorporate fun designs. It is a good option for those who are not comfortable showing too much skin before the first date. Here is what we like.

Bonobos Laguna Board Shorts- $88.00 - No crazy patterns here, but we loved the peach color of this one. However, we don’t recommend this one for those who tend to look like Casper in the summer.

J-Crew Factory 9” Board Short In Seersucker - $29.50 - Now, not everyone can pull off the seersucker suit but that is the beauty of the seersucker swimsuit, it is fun but classic. It could even double as shorts when venturing away from the beach or pool. And it’s hard to beat at its $29 price point.

Bonobos Surfside Board Shorts - $88.00 - As much as I hate putting the same company (Bonobos) in this category twice, they make a plethora of great options in a length that is underserved by the more fashion forward companies. It features a more conservative navy color, which should suit those with the who don’t necessarily have the complexion to pull off some of the lighter options.



A lifelong Washingtonian save for a stint at the great Pennsylvania State University, Eric now resides in the D.C. area. While not one for sound financial decisions, Eric enjoys the lifestyle and the appeal of the gentleman. He loves the curiosities of life, nothing interests him like traveling to a new place, a well-made suit, house music, or unexpected adventures leading to memorable stories, that is, if he remembers. He’s also the resident bartender for What Is A Gentleman and has the bartending school certificate to prove it.