Vilebrequin's french definition might not exactly translate as "killer beach-trou, bro," but that's what you'll hear all day long whilst sporting a pair. I test-drove this slick import in demanding summery conditions featuring 95-degree scorch, scampering tots, sun-worshipping hipsters, and riparian resplendence along the James River in Richmond, Virginia. The view flowed from blue sky to lush green vegetation, punctuated by a smattering of kayaks that made the panorama look like the scene of a brief paint gun fight. On the rocky beachhead, the afternoon produced a lithe parade of string bikinis, tankinis, and bandinis (sadly, no monokinis). Nearly all of the males wore board shorts of various lengths and tattoos of questionable taste as they reposed on tattered blankets and pulled lotion from beat-up backpacks. The stylish exception shone like a beacon of smartness: my two boys and me in matching Jim & Jam Vilebrequin swimtrunks (those ain't no cute models in the pix, these are our family photos...Brooks & Sebastion with yours truly). If the day were a William Carlos Williams poem, I'd say that So much depends / upon / a blue rabbit / glazed with river / water / besides the white / linen.
Vilebrequin rhymes with "celebs will grin," and anyone who's taken holiday on the gulf of Saint-Tropez will recognize the reinforced double-stitching, spinnaker canvas, and the braided tying cords tipped with engraved zamac, an alloy that will never tarnish or corrode. If you own a bespoke suit, a tailored shirt, or custom cufflinks, this is your bathing suit. I mean, why on earth would you wear cut-off denims shorts to anything other than a costume party, Daisy Duke convention, or a spontaneous dip outside the Diesel outlet? If you don't yet have a shirt-maker on your speed-dial, consider this your entryway into fine duds. Appreciate the couture of hand-cut back pockets for pattern alignment, water wallet for stowing cash and cards dryly, and a signature label upon the rear waistband that's a handsome and subtle, anti-gauche declaration of brand. Add to this garment's quality construction the whimsical, classic, breezy, patterns of tropical flora and fauna the likes of which one might find papering the walls of cabanas in exotic locales, and you've got a helluva reason to hit the surf.