Boardshorts: A Brief History

This is Brah History 101 and if you don’t study up, you’re gonna be left behind kickin’ sand while all the hot doggers carve epic tubes on the reef break! First lesson: did you know that the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution originally stated “You have the right to bare-chestedness.”?  It’s true! Most of the original patriots were avid surfsmen and dreamed of a nation where all men were endowed with the unalienable right to “hang ten”. 

Unfortunately, one of the founding fathers that nobody remembers thought it indecent of a man to be in public without cover of a waistcoat and pitched a fit until it was changed to “…the right to bare arms.”. Since just about everybody back then was illiterate, this was misspelled as “bear arms” and its interpretation has been the source of confusion ever since. Bummer.

 From then until the early 20th century, men’s swimwear was pretty lame. Uncomfortable, full-body woolen garments had to be worn to protect innocent eyes from glancing at the burly barrel chests of that time period’s strongmen.  Yes, full-body wool swimwear. Have you ever swum in wool? Of course you haven’t.  You also probably don’t have wooden teeth or attach leeches to your temples to cure headaches. Progress! 

Something had to give, and finally in the 1930s, men of the United States were allowed to let their pectorals breathe. Parades of shirtless bros danced the Lindy Hop down their city’s shorelines and the swim trunk was born!

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1. Rip Curl All Time Boardshorts

2. VISSLA Moku Boardshorts

3. O'Neill Flexin Boardshorts

4. O'Neill Lennox Boardshorts

5. O'Neill Murca Boardshorts

6. Hurley Raglan Destroy Boardshorts

7. Billabong Dominance Boardshorts

8. Quiksilver Manic Camo Boardshorts

9. RVCA Register Trunk

The trunk proceeded to go on an epic run of success that left it unimpeded atop the US men’s swimwear throne for decades. Sure, there were some changes to the inseam length and fabrication content throughout the years as style/technology dictated, but for the most part it wasn’t until the 1990s that a worthy challenger appeared; the boardshort.  Fueled by angsty alt rock and puka shell necklaces, ‘90s youth shifted away their grandpappy’s swim trunks and gravitated toward something with a little more ‘tude. Boardshorts quickly captured the hearts, minds, and lower bodies of dudes everywhere; but why?

Simply put, boardshorts perform better and are stylistically more modern than trunks. Trunks are normally fabricated from non-performance materials such as cotton, while boardshorts are almost always either quick-drying polyester or nylon. This means that after hopping out of the pool, you don’t get mistaken for a soggy bottom boy--and that’s a good thing!

Boardshorts also typically have significantly more stretch and flexibility than trunks so that you can move freely both in and out of the water. You’ll really only find elastane or spandex in the waistband of swim trunks, whereas boardshorts have fitted waists with surf tie front closures to keep them in place. Boardshorts typically have longer inseams (although shorter inseams are becoming more common these days), UV protection, zippered or hook-and-loop pockets, and bolder prints that speak to those looking for something more eye-catching. They also ditch the mesh linings that swim trunks have so take that under consideration if you’re uncomfortable going commando!

Are boardshorts for you? Well, if you’re under 40 years old or are buying for someone under 40, probably. They’re just so dang rad. They’ve been the go to for casual men’s swimwear for nearly 20 years now for a reason. Try some out and see how you like them! Zappos.com carries boardshorts by popular surf lifestyle brands including O’Neill®, Hurley®, Rip Curl™, Billabong®, and Quiksilver®, so get searching and find some boardshorts you dig. Shibby!

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New Brand Spotlight: Seafolly

new brand spotlight, seafolly, seafolly swim, seafolly australia, seafolly swimwear, seafolly swimsuits, seafolly bikinis, swim,swimwear, women's swimwear, fashion swimwear,Australia is globally renowned for its spectacular beaches and relaxed lifestyle. As Australia’s number one swimwear brand, this is the essence that Seafolly encapsulates and brings to the world. Seafolly has been creating stylish, innovative swim and beach wear known for exceptional fit, and has become the Australian beach ‘go-to’ brand and an Australian fashion icon.

Seafolly recognizes that women are all shapes and sizes, and they want high quality swimwear that reflects their passion for fashion, but also makes them look and feel their best. Ultimately, Seafolly believes it’s about providing exceptional fit . . . driven by a commitment to trendsetting design, the use of innovative, high quality fabrics and immaculate garment construction.

Producing exceptional summer style and their sought-after fit that allows their customers to continue to live life with Seafolly.

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New Brand Spotlight: MIKOH Swimwear

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Raised in the cozy beach town of San Clemete in Orange County, California, Oleema and Kalani Miller grew up in the waves, on the beach, and in the sun. Oleema was born with a love for all things fashion and used the sewing skills she learned from her mother to create her own individual and unique wardrobe. Kalani spent her childhood with a paintbrush in hand, and her eccentric and talented designer parents encouraged her love of art, painting, writing, and learning.

Finding inspiration in travels to foreign beaches and distant customs and cultures, the girls decided to embark on a new adventure—creating a collection of swimwear that would reflect their love of travel, passion for one-of-a-kind statement pieces, and their appreciation for that perfect bikini.

MIKOH was created for the confident, chic woman who wants to stand out and make a statement no matter where she is. The brand is synonymous with femininity, strength, and beauty. MIKOH swimwear is a fusion of statement colors and prints inspired by the world around us, luxurious fabrics, and the perfect-fitting pieces. Seamless and hardware free, the collection’s mix-and-match pieces are truly one of a kind.

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Luxe Resort Picks

Escape the mundane and dive into resort season in full luxury with a few of our favorite indulgences. Whether it’s partying in Miami, sunning in Maui or relaxing in Palm Springs, your much-anticipated winter getaway could definitely use a dose of couture!

Check out some of our top picks from swimwear to sandals to accessories and get ready to live the good life--poolside!

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1. Jean Paul Gaultier String Bikini, 2. Diane Von Furstenberg Kyra, 3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Colorblock Solid Peplum Maillot, 4. Kate Spade New York Berry Street Grayce, 5. Michael Kors Byzance Solid Bandeau Hipster Set, 6. Eugenia Kim Max fedora, 7. Kate Spade New York Flats Necklace, 8. Salvatore Ferragamo Senia Blanco, 9. Tory Burch sunglasses

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3 Ways to Wear a Sarong/Pareo Wrap

The sarong (or “pareo”) is a versatile and must-have accessory that will serve you well during beach and pool season. They’re perfect for throwing on over your swimsuit while grabbing a bite to eat or a drink at the pool bar.

Check out these three easy ways to wear your sarong wraps this summer!

Sarong/pareo featured in this video: UGG Fray Ikat Pareo Wrap

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Go "Slimming" with Spanx Swimwear!

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1. Spanx Whittle Waistline Belted Bandeau, 2. Spanx Long and Lean Halter One Piece, 3. Spanx Blue Nile Bra-llelujah! Swim Dress, 4. Spanx Blue Nile Bra-llelujah! One Piece

Most women find swimsuit shopping about as pleasant as a trip to the dentist…for a root canal. So we’re so happy that Spanx has this amazing line of swimwear that not only looks sexy in a classy, ultra-feminine kind of way, but also doubles as shapewear!

These fabulous pieces lift, control and smooth your body to pool-ready, even if you haven’t seen the inside of the gym since pre holiday. It’s all in the fit and proportions, and Spanx swimwear flatters a woman’s body while camouflaging problem areas. You’ll feel confident and sexy at the pool or in the beach—and you’ll look the part!

Check out these real women talking about their amazing Spanx swimsuit makeovers:

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New Brand Spotlight: Maaji Swimwear

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Inspired by the charm, beauty and diversity of their home country of Colombia, sisters Manuela and Amalia Sierra started Maaji Swimwear. Their swimwear is designed to make women feel pretty and delightful in their own skin.

Maaji never stops surprising with its swimwear collections inspired in magically surreal stories that are the result of a long creative process. A team of designers, garment manufacturers and pattern developers blend together all their ideas to create these little art pieces. Innovation is the hub of this world full of fun, eclecticism and attitude where the Maaji team works to achieve a perfect fit and constantly improve the slightest details.

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Mix n' Match Bikinis

Whether you’re going on spring break, or just getting away for some fun in the sun, there’s no denying that bikini season is upon us once again. We love mix n’ match options for swimwear because it allows you to not only get creative with your bikini pairings, it makes it easier to find a custom fit for both top and bottom!

Check out a few of our current faves, available in different cuts, colors and prints for you to mix n’ match to your heart’s desire:

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1. L*Space Audrey Fringe Halter & Deja Vu Bottom  2. Body Glove Smoothies Betty Top & Smoothies Surf Rider Tie Side Bottom 3. Volcom Ameristone Bandeau & Side Tie Skimpy Bottom 4. Roxy Penny Lane 5. Roxy Flora Paradiso  6. L*Space Desert Heat Cleopatra Top & Estella Hipster Bottom