Dick stickers, banana hammocks, budgie smugglers, lolly bags . . . whatever you call the humble speedo, is it acceptable beach attire this summer?
Tony Abbott, those nine pork chops who got arrested in Malaysia, that old bloke at the pool who should’ve retired the tiny togs 30 years and 40 kilos ago — speedos don’t have a great reputation. Most men grow up in speedos learning to swim until they cover up with boardies in their early teens, scarred by the hormonal curse of ‘no reason boners’ . . . and that crippling embarrassment never really goes away. Until the recent (and welcome) trend towards stylish above-the-knee boardies, men have hid behind billowing curtains of material while women’s swimwear gets smaller and smaller.
Budgies or boardies
Popular on Australian beaches until the 1970s and ‘80s when American surf culture took hold and introduced board shorts, smugglers have made a comeback in the last decade among 20-to-30-year-olds, perhaps spurred by Daniel Craig’s sky-blue bathers in his Bond debut in Casino Royale in 2006. More modern men are choosing the elegant European option — a trend that will continue again this summer — rather than another export from the country that’s given the world the Kardashians, Trump and morbid obesity.
Speaking of fat, don’t let self-consciousness scare you off donning the speedo — after all, a bit of extra fabric below the knees isn’t going to cover your love handles or your beer gut anyway. Whatever you think of the ‘dad bod’ fad, the celebration of bodies that don’t look like they’ve been carved out of granite makes it more acceptable for men of all shapes and sizes to slip into a pair of smugglers — which is only fair, given no one thinks twice about female swimwear letting it all hang out. Sure, if you’re not comfortable flashing a bit of flesh then a smart pair of boardies looks great — but for blokes who love some attention . . .
Styles and patterns
. . . a loud design can show off as much of your personality as it does of your skin. It’s already a bit out-there to shed the boardies and if you’ve got the confidence to get around in the modern-day fig leaf you won’t mind the extra attention. Sydney swimwear brand Budgie Smugglers offers more designs than you can poke a dick stick at, from polkadots to lucky shamrocks, camouflage to tiger print, and the national flag of pretty much every nationality you can spot sunning themselves at Coogee this summer — whether they’re in speedos or shorts.