Oh no! It’s the re­turn of the Speedo

Those tiny pouches of strain­ing ny­lon are all the rage again. Look away now ladies, says JAN MOIR

Daily Mail - - Life - by Jan Moir

ONLY a cer­tain type of man wears Speedos. A cer­tain type of, shall we say, de­luded ex­hi­bi­tion­ist. The type of man who wants to show you his ba­con and eggs be­fore you’ve even agreed to have din­ner with him, let alone break­fast.

And the bad news is that he and his mini-trunks are head­ing your way with­out de­lay.

For rea­sons known to only them­selves, Bri­tish men are once more gung ho for the itsy bitsy, teeny weeny charms of the Speedo.

I hate to break it to you, but this year our beaches will again thrill to the spec­ta­cle of thou­sands of men squeak­ing along in their 5cm cling-fit Speedos, with­out a care in the world.

Or a care for those who do not be­lieve that the des­per­ate as­sem­blage of a man’s most pri­vate parts in­side a tiny pouch of strain­ing ny­lon, like some sun-dried col­lec­tion of shrink-wrapped fruit, is a good look for the beach. Or a good look for any­where, come to think of it.

Bri­tish men are good at comfy. They cer­tainly know their way around a good car­diora sen­si­ble wa­ter­proof.

Yet they al­ways find dress­ing ca­su­ally for the sum­mer an ex­cru­ci­at­ing chal­lenge — and it is one which few of them are able to meet.

But this lurch to­wards the tini­est beach­wear is some­thing else al­to­gether.

Al­ready this year, re­tail­ers such as John Lewis and Deben­hams re­port in­creas­ing num­bers of male shop­pers opt­ing for tiny trunks in­stead of more sen­si­ble and for­giv­ing bathing shorts.

And else­where price com­par­i­son web­site Ciao says there has been a 400 per cent in­crease in

Yes, they’ve got six packs — in the cool box with the Scotch eggs

the num­ber of searches on the in­ter­net for Speedos in the past six months, com­pared to the same pe­riod the pre­vi­ous year.

Why? God knows. Per­haps an Olympic spirit is surg­ing through the thick­en­ing ar­ter­ies of the UK male, as he plans one last beach hur­rah be­fore old age — or that bur­geon­ing beer belly — fi­nally claims him.

Or per­haps many men re­main in­spired by the girly screams of rap­ture that greeted Daniel Craig when he first stepped out in his pale blue budgie smug­glers in Quan­tum of So­lace.

They thought to them­selves: ‘Hey, any­thing James Bond can do, I can do bet­ter.’ Ex­cept they can’t. Af­ter all, he is 007. In sim­i­lar flimsy beach­wear, they are oh-oh dear.

Those who strain the most — and it is a stretch, in more ways than one — to ape Craig’s wash­board-stom­ach sil­hou­ette will prob­a­bly be or­di­nary blokes from Didsbury or Did­cot, with droop­ing calves, a sun­burned nose and the ra­dio per­ma­nently tuned to the World Cup.

Sure, they’ve got six packs. Of course they’ve got six packs! They’re right there in the cool box, along with the Scotch eggs, the ham sand­wiches and the frozen Snick­ers bars.

Of course, this is not to say that some men don’t look good in Speedos.

In fact, some men look spec­tac­u­lar with just a thin mem­brane of 80 per cent polyamide and 20 per cent elas­tane be­tween them and the bold gaze of the world.

How­ever, these men tend to be pro­fes­sional ath­letes. Or a great big hunk of prime Aus­tralian life­guard. Or mem­bers of an Olympic swim­ming team. Or David Beck­ham — a man who i s to the white Speedo what Aphrodite is to the scal­lop shell. Ph­woaar and dou­ble ph­woaar, as they say from here to eter­nity.

A honed and toned Prince Wil­liam ready to play wa­ter polo can just about get away with Speedos but most men — the mere mor­tals we know and love — can­not.

Who is go­ing to tell them that in­stead of look­ing like a sculpted, nearly-naked Greek god, they look like a ro­dent res­cue worker pro­vid­ing a home for Mummy Ham­ster and her two baby pups? Not me, that’s for sure.

Those rush­ing out to buy their new sum­mer Speedos should note that they are the most un­for­giv­ing item of cloth­ing on the planet, up to and in­clud­ing Katy Perry’s party dresses and Cher’s in­fa­mous cob­webbed Os­car out­fits.

They weren’t built for com­fort or style, they were built for speed — first de­signed to re­duce the drag of an ath­lete in wa­ter.

Now, in the hands of the av­er­age sun seeker, they are the horror of the beach­wear world.

As David Cameron keeps point­ing out, trans­parency is a good thing. And in­deed it is in pol­i­tics, in re­la­tion­ships and in a win­dow.

How­ever, it is most def­i­nitely not a good thing in swimwear, es­pe­cially not when it comes to a tiny pair of man-pants be­ing pa­raded cheek to cheek down a pub­lic beach.

And the horror is par­tic­u­larly acute for a nation which hap­pily be­lieved that the tight crotch ex­cesses of yes­ter­year had been left be­hind long ago, along with medal­lions, rockin’ Rod Ste­wart and Brut af­ter­shave. And now this!

For make no mis­take, Speedos are fright­en­ing things. Even the names of the dif­fer­ent Speedo mod­els can strike ter­ror in the fe­male heart.

They in­clude The In­fi­nite Splice, The En­durance Plus, The Pulse, The Ef­fort Splice (it cer­tainly does), the Her­culean Place­ment (don’t ask, but it has got noth­ing to do with a ta­ble set­ting), The Rome Splice (like the In­fi­nite and the Ef­fort, but with ex­tra pep­per­oni) and The Pel­let (self-ex­plana­tory and a lit­tle bit sad). Of course, the real prob­lem is that Bri­tish men don’t need any en­cour­age­ment to look stupid in the sum­mer.

Hot weather and the UK bloke, like ice cream on the bar­beque, do not go well to­gether. When the tem­per­a­ture soars, men get all con­fused.

They think a foot­ball kit is just the sar­to­rial ticket for a sunny stroll down the dap­pled boule­vard of high sum­mer life.

It is not un­fair to say that many of them lack a cer­tain Con­ti­nen­tal dash, an all-Amer­i­can sporti­ness and per­haps the kind of oiled-mus­cle su­per­struc­ture of their gleam­ing Oceanic cousins. And they are just not used to it.

The av­er­age Bri­tish bloke does not seem to un­der­stand that hot weather does not just mean fewer clothes, it means dif­fer­ent clothes. It means a sum­mer wardrobe.

It does not mean a pair of flip flops from the su­per­mar­ket and a pair of West Ham foot­ball shorts.

Or sawn off den­ims and an old vest last worn to paint the liv­ing room in.

Or, yes, those ubiq­ui­tous, ghastly three-quar­ter length trousers that men in their 50s now wear to B&Q on a Satur­day af­ter­noon — which make them look like over­grown and rather dim school­boys. And most of all — please, please most of all — it does not mean Speedos.

Per­son­ally, I think a good look to go for on the beach is the Fifties big black pants ef­fort, sported by my f avourite goal­keeper, I t al y’ s Gian­luigi Buf­fon.

Boys! It is rather more for­giv­ing on the body and rep­re­sents a prop­erly stylish sea­side bench­mark; the kind of beach bum we all want to see on dis­play this year.

Girls! Beg the man in your life to try on a pair of these in­stead of climb­ing i nto the un­for­giv­ing em­brace of The Pel­let. Yet I fear we are all doomed. The only thing to do is to look away now.

Slip on those sun­glasses and shield your eyes from the un­for­giv­ing spec­ta­cle about to un­leash it­self on Euro­pean sunspots.

We could f i ght them on the beaches, we could fight them on the streets.

But I fear we will never win.

Beach bums: From top, Rod Ste­wart, Simon Le Bon and Prince Wil­liam

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