Many social gatherings between the months of May and September involve congregating around picturesque bodies of water. During these months, with all the pool parties, beach days and vacation getaways, I find myself wearing swim trunks more than traditional shorts or pants. This is why I start my hunt for the latest and greatest bathing suit to add to my collection in the spring. Too often in the past, the gods of supply and demand have foiled my waiting-until-the-last-minute-procrastination-plan—leaving me to sort through the reject pile when it comes to fit and/or style. Don’t get me wrong, in Southern California you can always find a great bathing suit, but the newest styles in the most sought-after sizes disappear quickly. What do you mean you’re sold out? I called this morning and was told the new line had just arrived? Did the company only make two of them or is everyone in West Hollywood a size 28 to 30?
Like buying shoes, I feel it’s always a bit risky to swimsuit shop online. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to try things on to make sure they fit correctly. What one brand considers a “small” might be another brands equivalent to a medium, so I hardly take my chances unless I know the brand very well. Being a loyal creature of habit, I seem to never go wrong with Orlebar Brown.
Since March 2007 Orlebar Brown’s tailored trunks have been gracing the butts of the stylish elite—offering one-of-a-kind prints and patterns that easily transition from the beach or poolside to a casual lunch or shopping trip out on the town. Founded by photographer Adam Brown, the London based company is heavily influenced by Slim Aaron’s 1960s “iconic pictures of Riviera and Palm Beach life,” (orlebarbrown.com). The archived photographs depicting the lives of high society and the exotic paradises they frolic in while vacationing are memorialized in the OB “Bulldog” and “Dane” swim shorts. While the photos are captivating and skillfully placed in the most visually appealing fashion, the fabric itself is soft and breathable, equipped with pockets and a comfortable mesh liner.
Of the photography prints, I really loved the “Hulton Getty Koloa Beach” trunk. The shorts show men in straw hats standing on boats that float in aqua blue water gently washing up on white sandy beaches while the wind blows through the palm trees and the jagged mountain terrain meets the rolling white clouds against blue sky in the background. When I wear it, I almost wish I could snap my fingers and be transported to one of those thatched roof cabanas.
The photography prints are uniquely wonderful, but that’s not all OB has to offer. Next Monday you’ll see an adventurous print from an iconic contemporary artist OB collaborated with to create a limited edition collection.
You can purchase Orlebar Brown directly from their website or go to Bloomingdales, Fred Siegel or Barney’s among other retailers.