The metro

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 May, 2008, 12:00am

In Chinese we have a saying: 'The old cat gets its whiskers burned'. It's used when an expert has had a slip at their own trade. Carson Kressley, former Queer Eye fashion expert and now host of the US edition of How to Look Happy Half-Naked, became one of the old cats last March when the press snapped pictures of him frolicking at the beach with his boyfriend in a pair of pink Speedos.

Speedos look sensational if you have a good body but Carson, Carson ... I hope you did a few laps to get rid of that spare tyre, or at the very least, inhaled and contracted!

There's always the Catch 22: swimming is a great way to get fit, but you're not ready for the swimsuit season until you're fit.

But if you're not in shape, it's okay to don surfer shorts. I'd recommend a pair with a busy pattern to distract attention from your tummy.

Tommy Hilfiger has a pair of dark blue shorts with a pattern of orchids and shells (right) that's a classic colour combination in swimwear for real men.

For boy-men who still have a bit of flab and aren't ready for skinny Speedos, I'd recommend Diesel's bold watercolour floral pattern shorts, which scream out for attention. The black trim rounds off the shape nicely.

While some blokes think their waistline is too wide for Speedos, others have the problem of being too skinny. Yes, it's also unattractive when your Speedos are almost falling off because they have nothing to cling on to. Diesel has a wearer-friendly style of long, grey shiny swimming shorts (left) that are good for slim chaps, thanks to their shape and its metallic trim, which gives them a funky edge. If you've been working hard and attained a gym-sculpted body, the world is your oyster when it comes to swimwear. Go bright and loud with a DSquared yellow flat-hem number (left) for a look that radiates sportiness and playfulness. Another brand good for fit lads is Toot, from Japan, with various cheeky designs.

For fit men (not boys), the Dolce & Gabbana brief in a wavy stripe pattern exudes the kind of charm that only sophisticates can carry off. It's not something you'll wear to the beach to play volleyball - it's for lounging by the pool at an exclusive club or resort with a cocktail.

In such stylish surroundings, tight-fit belted swimming trunks are also perfect. I love belted swimming trunks, as they show a man who loves detail. A great example is on offer from Paul Smith this season, with a horizontal S-shaped buckle (top right) for an extra touch of elegance.

Swimming trunks wouldn't be complete without sandals, of course, and a pair of colourful Havaiana sandals would go perfectly well with that yellow DSquared number.

The main thing to avoid is loud pattern on loud pattern. If you're already wearing floral-printed surfer shorts, do go plain with your sandals.

Shopping List

Diesel Shop 2323-5, Harbour City Gateway, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2117 0418

Dolce & Gabbana Shop G108, Harbour City Gateway, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2956 0833

DSquared Joyce Boutique, New World Tower, 16 Queen's Rd Central, tel: 2810 1120

Tommy Hilfiger Shop 302, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2735 7622

Toot Delay No Mall, 68 Yee Wo St Paul Smith Shop 216B, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2523 5868