In Style + Design

The New Australian Label Making Sophisticated Swimwear For Men

When Jordan Kallios and Corey Decandia visited the beaches of Mykonos in 2016, they were surprised by how blandly many of the men were dressed. “Looking around there just wasn’t much cool swimwear for men that caught our eye,” Kallios recalls.

The local shops weren’t much better, so when they returned home the pair created some designs and had their own swimming shorts custom made and sent over.

Soon friends began asking if they could get their hands on some and Vacay was born. Now the brand has expanded to contemporary resort wear aimed at men who like to travel and want to show their personality.

vacay swimwear

Each design is inspired by an iconic seaside destination like Santorini, Honolulu and The Hamptons (and of course Mykonos, with stripes that echo the island’s iconic blue and white painted homes).

They’ve just launched their latest collection, and with stockists across the country and as far away as Dubai, you might even see their designs on the iconic beaches they’re named after.

But no matter where your next trip is taking you, Kallios says there are some things you should always keep in mind when buying swimwear

The long and short of it

One of the most obvious choices is the length of your shorts (you can forget about budgie smugglers straight away). A lot of Australian swimwear comes from surf brands that make long shorts designed to protect surfers from knee rash.

vacay swimwear

They’re called boardies for a reason but Kallios says that if you’re not a surfer, “swimwear that goes below your knee gets in the way, it’s not very attractive”. Go too far in the other direction and you’ll draw attention to yourself for all the wrong reasons, so he favours something in the middle

“When we designed our shorts,” he says, “we drew a lot of inspiration from Europe.” That means a snug mid-length short with a 6-7 inch inseam that’s flattering because it elongates the leg but is still comfortable and stylish.

Setting the tone

Different bodies need different sized shorts, and different colours too. If you have warm skin tones and tan easily, lean towards oranges, reds and yellows that’ll accentuate that. If, on the other hand, you’re more likely to turn red than brown, blues and pastel tones will cool you down.

vacay swimwear

You also want to choose colours and patterns that are going to fit with the rest of your wardrobe and work with multiple outfits. Kallios’ current favourite is the new Miami design. “It’s a pink, charcoal and white pastel print and what I love about it the most is that whenever I wear it with a white linen shirt and white sneakers, the shorts stand out and look good.”

Made of the right stuff

One of the most important factors is what the shorts are made from. An active holiday can mean hot sun, chlorine, saltwater and detergent in a single day, and if you get a cheap pair you might be shopping again before the trip is finished.

Instead, invest in a durable, high-quality pair that will hold their colour and last you for years

“The fabric has to be of high-grade quality so they’ll last over the summer while you’re travelling and beyond,” Kallios says. Also make sure that they’re quick-drying, which will probably mean synthetic fibres like Vacay’s thick, high-grade polyester – that way you won’t leave them on the line when you’re rushing to check out.

Versatility and adaptability

When you’re travelling, space is at a premium so any items that can do double duty are worth their weight in gold. The point of resort wear is that it’s not just for the pool, but can be worn to a bar, a coffee shop or even a festival.

vacay swimwear

It’s why Vacay’s slogan is “from the beach to the bar” and Kallios describes them as “multiple location shorts”.

If you plan on wearing your shorts out, check the pocket size as well –  Vacays were designed with pockets big enough to fit an iPhone plus sized smartphone, and also have a hidden velcro pocket that can fit a hotel key or credit card.

Express yourself

Perhaps the most important part of choosing the right shorts is expressing our own style. When it comes to fashion there are no rules, only guides, and the best design is one that will showcase your personality.

“It’s not all about the girls,” Kallios says with a laugh. “Choosing the right swimwear is about giving yourself the confidence to look good while you’re on vacay.”

(All images: Vacay Swimwear / supplied)

Published 23 October, 2019