NO matter what your position may be on a man’s bikini (or even the ‘mankini’ — thanks Borat!), there is no doubt that board shorts have taken on the life of Speedos — a change some say is a serious fashion faux pas.
This became more apparent on a recent adventure to Brazil for this year’s Carnival season, in which I was firmly instructed to purchase a “Sunga” prior to soaking up the sun at Rio’s Ipanema Beach.
A ‘Paulistano’ (resident of Sao Paolo city) friend of mine gave me these wise words of advice: “Wearing board shorts to a beach here compares to that horrible family day out at the beach when you’re dad changes into his Speedos.”
According to this friend, ‘gringos’ (foreigners) are repeat offenders . It’s the equivalent of turning up at school on casual clothes day in your school uniform — and I was never that kid.
Dressing like a ‘Carioca’ or native inhabitant of Rio de Janeiro requires bravery. But don’t be fooled, looks can be deceiving and as it turns out, I can safely say the ‘Sunga’ is nothing like the ‘Speedo’.
The far more flattening Brazilian style is several inches wider at the sides and a much looser fit than the Speedo. It’s often made with double-ply nylon, which, if required, can do justice for the ‘not-so-confident down under’.
After three weeks of wearing something that I initially thought resembled a pair of Speedos I had owned when I was 10 years old, I came to the conclusion that Brazil, although a developing country, was actually far more advanced when it comes to male swimwear.
Not only did I leave the sunny mecca of Rio with an even tan, I also found that wearing a Sunga meant I avoided being a target of every panhandler, Acai salesman and potential thief infiltrating the cracks between the crowds of umbrellas.
Our Brazilian counterparts are leading a ‘Speedo-lution’ that bridges the gap between the Speedo, and those unflattering board shorts worn by the average beachgoer disguised as a surfer. Are you game to join this summer?
For the latest trends, check out the Australian clothing line designed by Brazilians at HeLikesSamba.com.au
Image courtesy of HeLikesSamba