Vilebrequin created boxer-short style beach wear back in 1970, giving rise to pretty much what every guy wears down on the promenade today. Prior to Monsieur Vilebrequin’s vision, inspired by a tablecloth no-less, men wore short shorts. Very short shorts. Or Speedos. Neither were a good look.
Since then, Vilebrequin has continued to churn out the long shorts with various gaudy prints such as bright pink banana’s and orange shrimps with yellow hibiscus flowers. That’s actually one, single design on one, single pair of shorts. The retail value on a pair of Vilebrequins is anywhere between £65 and £125, although there are vintage pairs that fetch three times that. The point is, men keep buying them and I don’t know why.
The prints themselves are laughable. Just look at my effort shown above, created using the customiser on the Vilebrequin page. It looks like the wallpaper I had in my bedroom when I was five. Perhaps they’re meant to be ironic in some way. I get laughed at enough when I show off my pasty-white body on the beach. Imagine that scene when combined with a pair of those eye-melting monstrosities.
The crux of the matter, however, is this: Tony Blair donned a pair back in 2005. This isn’t anything to do with Blair or Labour or the War in Iraq. It’s the fact that he’s a 54 year old man and he highlights the point that that’s who wears these types of shorts i.e. older men with less fashion sense than a walnut. That Prince William wore a pair last year while on holiday only compounds my point: The bloke dresses like his dad. Cravats, anyone?
Seriously, they’re not nice shorts. They’re overly expensive for something that you’re just going to get wet and sandy. There are so many decent alternatives – Aussie Bum, Quicksilver and LRG to name a few. So this Summer, when you’re peeling off down on the beach, ask yourself this: Having the choice, would I rather wear banana-enhancing Speedos or a pair of nuclear-tourist print Vilebrequins? Not an easy one, is it?