From baggy to boring, avoid these big beach fails, so you'll look your hottest when you soak up the sun.
Olympians like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte make a splash when they hit the pool — literally.
But if you're the kind of guy who doesn't know the butterfly stroke from that winged insect that flutters around the garden, you can still make a gold medal-worthy statement when you suit up for a day of swimwear-mandatory activity. And looking hot can be as easy as a lap around the kiddie pool — if you avoid these mistakes that fizzle with the bikini-rocking ladies you may be trying to impress.
"A guy's swimwear choices say a lot about his style and level of confidence," Zappos.com Style Editor Marie Kojitani tells Yahoo! Shopping.
You're already getting off on the right (flip-flop-clad) foot: "The biggest mistake men make when shopping for swimsuits is not shopping for swimsuits," Bloomingdale's Men's Fashion Director Josh Peskowitz explains. "Guys tend to not plan it out in advance and only when it's necessary. Just the other day I was at the beach, and a friend said, 'I need swim trunks.' But we were at the beach!"
Cue the lifeguard: Yahoo! Shopping is breaking down the other fashion fails otherwise hunky dudes make when they come close to baring it all. Summer may be winding down, after all, but you still have plenty of time — and beach days — before you have to trade in your swim trunks for your warmer winter wardrobe.
Forget the Summer Olympics. We're talking about an original fairy-tale: the saga of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, in which a slick intruder strives for porridge perfection.
"The most common mistake men make is buying the wrong size," says Joshua Carter, Target spokesperson. "Find one that fits your body best."
Taking a cue from Miss Goldilocks, you'll need a suit that's just right, like this Diesel "Dolphin" medium-fit trunk (Above; $40, Piperlime.com). Avoid a baggy silhouette, cautions Kojitani. "Oversized shorts tend to make you look like a teenager," she says.
But that's not an excuse to size down.
"On the flip side, guys should avoid anything too tight or revealing at the beach," Kojitani explains. "Leave a little something for the imagination, and pick a pair that flatters your body type without showing off too much."
But Short Can Be Sweet
It's your last chance to show some skin before you have to bundle up again, so embrace the less-is-more mantra (much like you encourage female beach-goers to do).
Whether your body type reflects months of hot-weather prep at the gym, or a little snowstorm-induced hibernation, "buying a trunk that is too long will make you look shorter and stockier than you really are," Kojitani says.
Another plus: A shorter cut, like this solid Penguin trunk ($65, Zappos.com), adds height.
The most universally figure-flattering style hits right above the knee.
Think About It
Sometimes you feel like catching a wave — and some days you'd rather just catch some rays. Don't pick out a bathing suit solely for its design; consider what purpose it has to serve, Carter says.
"If you're headed to the beach, board shorts with pockets are the best and most functional choice," he says ($19.99, Target.com). "If you're looking to swim laps, a slim-fitting short is a great option."
Double or Nothing
Plan on taking your swimwear get-up from the water … to the boardwalk bar? Opt for a polyester suit. "It's light, dries fast and is very comfortable," Carter says, so you won't be making the wrong kind of splash among fellow happy hour-goers.
Guys shouldn't strictly think of their bathing suit as a beach day-staple. Get double the bang for your buck — ahem, more money to put away for a tropical vacation — when you invest in a pair than can pass for shorts, such as this Theory trunk's trouser-waistband style ($145, Bloomingdales.com).
"Not only can you wear them in the water, but you can pair them with a tee when hanging out on the beach or, better yet, with a nice linen shirt when it comes time for happy hour," Peskowitz says of the trouser-cut.
Another perk of this waistband, for the gentlemen who'd rather trudge through the snow than strip off their shirts at the shore: "As long as you get the right size," adds Peskowitz, "they offer a forgiving fit that almost all guys can feel comfortable in."
Color Me Fun
If your office-dress code requires any form of tie (or if you're already dreading the stuffy sweaters you'll need in no time), now is your time to shine — so how does bright orange sound? Grab a print-happy one by Tommy Bahama ($62, Zappos.com).
"Don't be afraid of color," Peskowitz says. "Especially for guys who don't have a lot of color in their wardrobe, this is a great opportunity to infuse new hues and patterns." (Here's another summery dare: If you're feeling brave, and tan, show off your sun-kissed skin in a white suit that will make your glow pop.)
And that might be enough to catch the eye of a special someone.
"My biggest pet peeve is when men are afraid of vibrant colors and prints. Be adventurous," Kojitani says. "You're hanging out at the pool or the beach, so don't be shy and have a little fun."
She adds: "If [a guy] shows up at the pool wearing a bold-colored swim trunk, it conveys that he's stylish and not afraid to be seen."