5 Hong Kong men’s swimwear labels that’ll help your poolside look for 2016

Whether you like your swimming shorts tight or loose, long or short, these designers have just the things for you

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 June, 2016, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 June, 2016, 12:44pm

Gentlemen, whether you’ve a sculpted bod, a beer gut or a six-pack, your choice of swimwear will make or break your carefully tailored poolside look. Yet, unlike the options open to women (bikini, one-piece, halter top), men’s styles are quite limited – and no, tiny Speedos aren’t usually one of them.

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Hong Kong designers have, thankfully, upped their game when it comes to swimwear, creating styles that pay tribute to the city’s past and present while using materials suited to our ridiculously humid weather. With the retail economy shaky, it pays to go local – and you've no excuse not to now that we’ve rounded up the swimwear options from our five favourite Hong Kong menswear brands.

Float Captain

You could settle for fast fashion, you really could. And we’re not stopping you. After all, we’re talking about a pair of shorts that’ll get soaked in salt water and sand in its short lifespan. Hong Kong brand Float Captain’s designs are as harmless as you can get, a range of blue shades with the standard set of day-out patterns: clouds, dots, lines ... that sort of thing.

What they lack in looks they more than make up for by their sheer affordability. Prices start at HK$250, and there’s nothing here over the HK$300 mark, making this the perfect purchase for those suffering from the city’s sudden downturn.

Mazu

Mazu’s sleek and playful odes to our maritime history will resonate with those of you obsessed by all things Hong Kong. Inspired by both Chinese patterns and colonial British motifs, Mazu’s designs hark back to a Hong Kong of yesteryear. We’re particularly taken by such simple but cool designs as the pink-dolphin-patterned Pearl River, the blue ornamental Qing Dynasty, and the label’s range of shorts influenced by Star Ferry uniforms. Mazu’s shorts don’t come cheap, withe the most affordable pair costing at least HK$800.

Made in Paradise

Maurice Maghnagi is far from subtle. The founder of Hong Kong brand Made in Paradise has stood out for his brash attempts to generate hype, be it through porn star parties or mostly nude fashion shoots. Yet there’s no doubt he has an eye for fashion. His loud and stylish swimwear for men is a stand-out feature of the brand, each pair emblazoned with the symbols of “gangsta” life: the Baller (champagne and gold bricks), Hoodlife (blunts and 40s), Sheik Chic (pharaoh heads and kebabs) and the Kosher (yarmulkes and stars of David). Prices start at HK$500.

Sandbucket

Sandbucket is a swimwear brand founded by Frenchman Romain Pitz. His goal is to create the ideal pair of all-around shorts: not too long, not too short, not too bold, not too dull, made using lightweight material and which can be worn as easily around town as in the water. Sandbucket’s designs are suitably minimalist, a range of mix-and-match primary colours alongside the subtlest of design inflections (dots and tiles, mostly). Its prices befit this middle-of-the-road approach, ranging from HK$450 to HK$690. As the French are wont to say, they have a certain je nais se quoi.

Spy Henry Lau

We said there is only one type of men’s swimwear (and we don’t mean Speedos), but we know some of you hanker after swimming briefs. So we’re including the brand Spy Henry Lau here. The only men’s swimwear Lau designs is the extremely fitted kind – or, as the brand’s online store calls them, “super sexy low-waist swimwear”. They’re available in a variety of shades, from sporty blues and yellows to palm-tree and blue-sky patterns. Prices range from HK$168 to HK$368, but really, you have to consider the cost-to-cloth ratio. That said, if you like your swimwear snug, look no further.