Thursday, April 18, 2013

Online Shopping…….Setter Swim Trunks @ Orlebar

As you can tell from the recent photos from Miami, Las Vegas and Rio I’ve been spending a ¬†lot of time in my swim trunks lately. ¬†My first choice for swimwear the last few years has been these Setter trunks from¬†The ¬†shorter length of the trunks is the number one reason I buy them, but the growing variety of colors and patterns is what keeps me buying more. ¬†I also really like Sundek trunks, but I have to take each pair to the tailor to have them shortened to the same length as the Setter.


Don’t you find the longer length of most surf trunks drag on your legs while running or being active which makes them less comfortable to wear?


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  1. almu

    April 18, 2013 at 4:31 am

    thanks for sharing!

  2. TeMo

    April 18, 2013 at 4:37 am

    You really are the Sartorial Angel! Are you reading my mind??

    I am going to spend this weekend at the beach with the lovely man I am dating. (A lovely man with horrible swim trunks!) Although this weekend cannot be saved, we now have something to work with, ahh..lovely. Thanks.

  3. dab

    April 18, 2013 at 4:41 am

    hi scott,
    i know what you mean, the perfect length of a swim trunk is hard to find.

    for me sean connery¬īs trunks in the 60ies bond films are still a reference:

    cheers from stuttgart/germany,

  4. andreea

    April 18, 2013 at 6:05 am

    they look interesting. special! :)

  5. Ramsey

    April 18, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Spot on about the longer length of surf trunks and the comfortability. And for most guys
    they tend to truncate the body. I definitely like the shorter short and swimwear in varying inseam lengths of 6 to 11 inches and the trend seams to be leaning to that end. Besides I think it makes for a more attractive body line and leg, muscular or not.


    April 18, 2013 at 6:06 am

    The classic one!! it’s prefect!!

  7. LesFleurs

    April 18, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Long Bermuda shorts look awful and frankly, common. Speedos are worn by the very beautiful, the totally shameless or the very rich indeed (doesn’t matter). I looked these up and they do have a huge variety of colours and patterns, are flattering but “sportif” for when you do actually want to get into the water, show a masculine leg well, and you don’t have to be seventeen or a model to wear them. Conservative but fun, a real find.

    • LesFleurs

      April 18, 2013 at 7:13 am

      I’ve just noticed! At those prices you’d expect something flattering.

  8. Reptilia

    April 18, 2013 at 6:45 am

    thanks for sharing this! It looks great!


  9. Christian

    April 18, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I totally agree with you, they are my favourite! :)

    Tray also the red and light blue one!

  10. FripperyVintage

    April 18, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Well I’m a woman, so don’t have this problem but I can add that long swimsuits don’t look good on most men and the tiny european style is not my favorite either. So I agree with you.

  11. Sarah

    April 18, 2013 at 8:24 am

    You’re kidding, right? $230 for a swim trunks?

    • LAB

      April 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

      I am afraid I agree with you. Perhaps we are both missing something.

      • Michael R

        April 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

        Only thing you would be missing is the $230. Some things are worth the price of admission…as they say. These are not. Unless found at your local Century 21 for those NY area folks.

        • Name*

          April 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm

          Why? Women spend that kind of money on swimwear all the time. At least in California and Florida they do.

          • rick

            April 27, 2013 at 6:51 am

            good reasoning. people do stupid things and waste money so that means i should too! buy some trunks make in a humane manor for a third of the price and donate the rest.

    • Jeremy

      April 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      I agree, very pricey. Frankly, if you have a good body, it doesn’t matter what you wear (bermuda shorts, speedos etc). If you don’t (and remember, there’s not very much to cover), I don’t think a $230 pair of trunks is gonna help very much. That money can be better spent on a personal instructor!

    • Nick

      April 20, 2013 at 4:43 am

      Sarah — bingo! For $230 total, you could get TEN similar-looking pairs at Marks and Spencer.

  12. Charlie

    April 18, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Great shorts, just walked past their new store in Spitalfields market. Very cool

  13. irene

    April 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

    super great!


  14. Shooter

    April 18, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Great brand, quality products.

  15. comme fraiche

    April 18, 2013 at 9:40 am

    they’re nice but a bit pricey

  16. E.

    April 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I think they’re a little too short for my liking. I don’t want my guy to look like he’s wearing his boxers on the beach. Sorry…

    • Martine

      April 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Really? I think they look more decent then having them down to the knee like a thug. Thats the perfect length. Of course if you don’t like your guy to look good, then that makes sense. Its certainly not too short for modesty. This is the length of mens swimwear in the 1950′s.

      • E.

        April 22, 2013 at 7:37 am

        Did I mention knee lenght….? I just prefer something slightly longer.

  17. Rimas

    April 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Do they fit true to size? Thank you!

  18. AlsoTracy

    April 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

    My husband is 5’7″, but well proportioned. I think that longer shorts/swim trunks make him look like his legs are shorter than they really are; sort of like a character from the Peanuts cartoon. But he doesn’t always go along with my ideas. :)

  19. Ms SoCal

    April 18, 2013 at 10:41 am

    You should check out Aloha Sunday. Their swim trunks come in 3 inseam length options: 15, 16 & 17″ all well above the knee on average men. Also a great price point at around $90.

  20. Ryan

    April 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Way overpriced.

  21. Noway

    April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am

    230 for a pair of shorts, way to much, i like short shorts too, found me BodyFlove in navy for 20 bucks!

  22. Gusto

    April 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I love this share BUT for the people that don’t have the wallet for these high end swim trunks, I recommend H&M. They have a similar European cut short for only $25. I purchased a pair last year and received many compliments on them as well as weird stares from dudes that probably thought I was rockin’ daisy dukes. Oh well, I dig the change from your typical giant or too long douchey looking swim shorts.

    • Cat

      April 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Agreed. My husband hates the longer shorts (they don’t really look good on anyone, not even basketball players!) and he used the Vilebrequin swim trunks, which come in three different lengths. They have some really nice patterns, but they are as pricey as these above and the fabric fades with chlorine and lots of sun (for instance, after one day in the pool in Las Vegas).
      One day I bought home a pair of H&M trunks and he loved them, plus they never fade!

    • Martine

      April 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      The H&M ones are very nice. Probably won’t last long, but the cut and color is great.

  23. chiara

    April 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    230 dollars for swimwear is IMMORAL.

  24. [email protected]

    April 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    As a surfer I Do wear a lot of of board shorts but there are way better options than Orlebar. Tons of good trunk makers around and better priced..
    Mnii,Riz to name a few..

    • Name*

      April 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      But ugly and too long. Ugh, nothing more stupid looking then a guy in knee length shorts. Its sloppy looking.

  25. Michael R

    April 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Not really, no.

  26. SallyO

    April 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Too expensive, but I do like the length of these. I hate when men wear huge shorts or swimsuits. It makes them look like giant toddlers. Add to that the weirdness of seeing their white cotton briefs sticking up above the waistband of the huge swimsuit — yuck!

    • Martine

      April 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      I have spent that much on a swim suit plenty of times. Most women have. Why not have a guy spend an equal amount on a quality purchase? I don’t think the price is outrageous. You don’t buy swimwear often. It should be of quality.

  27. Alex

    April 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Agreed – best swim shorts ever!

  28. Amalia

    April 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    A shorter short is universally flattering on men…unless you’re really tall with skinny legs, then I’d suggest a more fitted ‘trunk style’. And always in nautical colours, black, white, navy, red.

  29. Karter

    April 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Great call on the length. I’ve actually found an almost identical pair by Industrie in Australia. I’m not sure if they still have them in stock, but they were about a fourth of the price of the Orlebar Brown’s, and the fabric is great.

  30. Soymom

    April 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I think the problem I have with this post is not the styling, as it’s always spot on, but the assumption that it’s perfectly normal to spend $230 on swim trunks. Having worked in the fashion industry since I was 16 (25 years), I understand perfectly the disassociation that takes place when everything at a designer level is just so expensive that $230 becomes like Monopoly money, it all becomes so distorted, and pretty soon, you realize your ceiling for what used to be the most you would pay for something, is now way beyond what you can afford. At least that’s what can happen.

    Just look at the magazines like Vogue, Bazaar, etc; where spending $1,500 is completely acceptable for a designer… anything, even though most folks are leasing a car and renting a house, and have credit card debt, and student loans. Priorities are a little whacked. I love fashion and always will, but it’s finding it in an affordable, and unique way that truly makes me happy. And, honestly keeps my marriage a happy one ;)

    Sorry, I guess I have a bone to pick here. I do love what you do Scott!! Just have to say my peace here.

    • E.

      April 22, 2013 at 7:42 am

      I couldn’t agree more!

  31. **

    April 19, 2013 at 1:05 am

    My go-to shorts for summer from Outlier:
    Can be worn in the pool, dries off quickly, and then go about town.

    • Jessica

      April 20, 2013 at 1:43 am

      These look awesome!

  32. pablo

    April 19, 2013 at 1:40 am

    must be an idiot to buy shorts for 230 $!!!!!!

  33. Michael Scott

    April 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I think the predominance of the board short has nothing to do with the length but rather the way they fit the waist. The flat waistband rides low and gently hugs the lower waist and top of the buttocks. They flair out so they don’t really cling to anything. This effect is flattering on a broad range of body types. I like the trunks in this pic however and having worn cheap suits and watched them disintegrate I understand the desire for something that is substantial and looks great.

    • Name*

      April 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      I think board shorts look sloppy and awful. They are way too low on the waist. They are just one baggy mess, do not flatter the figure at all. Board shorts can make any man look fat and trashy. You want something that is higher on the waist, and actually follows the body snuggly. Otherwise you are channeling some 1990′s Rap star named “Thuggy”. Fortunately guys don’t wear them much any more around here. But I remember five years ago when they were still around, and everyone looked like an idiot in them.

  34. kingesquivel

    April 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

    For that price I’d like to know where they were manufactured. Hopefully, it wasn’t at some Asian sweat factory.

    • Martine

      April 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Really good point. I pay more for things that are made in the US or Canada gladly.

  35. pomodoro

    April 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Totally agree. Since I tried I can never change.

  36. doubleDcherry

    April 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I can’t do long shorts. I can’t function in them. Shorts that are cut just above the knee, for my tastes, the right choice and incur so much style and versatility. This summer I’m going to Ibiza and long shorts will not be part of my wardrobe.

  37. MisterPies

    April 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I have a pair of these. They are actually almost useless. Why? Because you can’t swim in them. The reason is that they don’t have an elasticated waist. Every other swim trunk has an elasticated waist, for the simple reason than fabric expands in water and without elastic, a trunk that fits when dry will simply fall off in the water. And a trunk that fits in the water will be impossible tight when dry.

    I can only think that the people who buy them do so in order to lounge about the pool rather than dive in. But in that case what’s the point of wearing tailored swim trunks. You might as well get a pair of well tailored shorts and wear some comfortable underwear instead of the built-in mesh…

  38. Jessica

    April 20, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Totally agree that shorter trunks are more flattering, and these ones look great. The H&M ones have been posted, and here’s another more mid-price trunk from Club Monaco, with several lengths (but still slim fitting):

    Now I just need to try and get my boyfriend into a pair…

  39. Tek

    April 20, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Too expensive. i’d rather buy Outlier 3 way shorts.

  40. Citius1

    April 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Great shorts, not cheap but likely worth it. I find it interesting that people refer to speedos as the other swimsuit option. As a brand Speedos are great for actual swimming, on the beach they are uncomfortable, try Aussiebum or some of the Brazilian brands. Also if you are shy, layer a pair of board shorts over them.

  41. Liz

    April 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    $230 for shorts is offensive!
    Love The Sartorialist but this is bonkers.
    I just bought my husband a great pair of SHORT swim trunks for around $35 at American Apparel. They’re stylish and come in 3 bold colors.
    AA isn’t a perfect company but I too am curious to know where the above trunks are made and by whom.

  42. Olivia

    April 21, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Looks like it’s time to bring back the speedo!

  43. John

    April 22, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Yeah, honestly the $230 is too much. You can buy a decent pair of trunks that may be too long, and have their lengths tailored for well under a fraction of that price tag.

  44. johaness

    April 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Here’s a link to some of the best beach shorts in my books. Classic aesthetic, comfortable short length, reasonable price…

  45. Greg

    April 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Do you think Orlebar Brown shorts can be altered? I’m being given a 32 inch pair but I’m a 30 inch! Any thoughts?

    • Kevin

      May 1, 2013 at 8:20 am

      I find that they fit small so you should be ok.

  46. Tom

    May 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Seriously? $230 for swim trunks? In a word, ridiculous.

  47. cool cat flo

    May 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    fyi, These were worn by james bond in the lat movie…007

  48. AdamH

    August 1, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Great marketing and visuals from OB, benefits of the founder being a photographer. Some thoughtful detailing but ultimately VERY overpriced, that goes for the whole collection. The cuts are ok, could be better though, especially on the few pairs of shorts I ordered. The fabric is very average and certainly doesn’t warrant this kind of money in any way.

    The interesting part is the “Made in Europe” part of their marketing. So many Chinese-owned factories with a majority Chinese workforce have set up in Europe offering production at far cheaper prices than the local factories can afford to do. I have nothing against talented Chinese workers and production, I work with many fantastic ones myself, it’s just false advertising to boost the price to such a degree on the premise that your goods are made in Europe and leading people to think the quality is any better and the production costs are far higher.

    Having said this, I don’t know which factory they use but the cost from a European factory could easily afford a more reasonably priced short. However, the price is also a marketing point and they are in business and expanding so the market has clearly accepted the price points.

    Good luck to them, their imagery is very well presented and their service has always been top drawer!

  49. JM

    August 4, 2013 at 2:26 am

    For the people who can save or flat out afford the price for these trunks go for it. When you can always go for quality not quantity. For those who can’t save or flat out afford it buy your $25 dollar or less swim trunks. But I see no reason anyone needs to insult people’s intelligence just because they can afford higher quality garments and you can’t or ,would rather use the money elsewhere.

  50. Eric

    August 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Got them on sale for $65.00 at nordstrom before they sold out and they are perfect.

  51. IyadAwadallah

    October 14, 2018 at 6:44 pm

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