Swimwear has become a menswear category in its own right. It used to be a case of wearing last year's faded pair until the drawstring or elastic gave in. Now, there is unlimited choice and the price points just keep going up and up. One label that has caught our eye, as we go into spring, is Robinson Les Bains. It treads that fine line between quality, sexy and appropriate; as this is, probably, the most naked we're going to be in public all year.
Started in 2007 by Christophe Vérot, a fashion veteran who has held many positions in the industry, having worked in public relations for Balenciaga, Viktor & rolf and Hermes and in sales for Dior Homme, Louis Vuitton, YSL and Kris Van Assche. His first collection was inspired by the university sport teams' uniforms worn by American students in the 50s and 60s. Each year the Robinson les Bains man discovers a new destination that inspires the theme for the season.
TheChicGeek says "Obviously the price reflects this, but the quality is here. The super-lightweight PES fabric compliments the body.
There are 10 different short shapes and 8 different trunks - we would recommend sticking to the trunks and there are varying lengths to suit all body shapes. The branding is really good, it has a touch of the Monclers.
I particularly like the Toile de Jouy prints and the style names like Monte Carlo and Capri, bring to mind long sunny days and that aching want for going on holiday."
Above - Oxford Court Short-Length Swim Shorts - £130
Norway and the UK definitely have the weather in common. And, nothing floats our boat more than something rain related. SWIMS was founded in 2005, when founder Norwegian Johan Ringdal was sick and tired of his feet getting cold and wet.
He never let go of the black rubber galoshes that his late grandfather passed on to him and in 1999 they accompanied him to a milder, yet still rainy Paris. Wearing Chuck Taylor's Converse and galoshes, he got around the severe rainfall that autumn. Not surprisingly, his footwear became the subject of many jokes around the art school.
Later, while living in New York, he blended in with the image-conscious culture that defied slushy streets, freezing winds and pouring rain. Naturally, this resulted in a lot of discomfort and many ruined pairs of shoes. A few more Manhattan winters went by while he searched for the right product before he finally took matters in his own hands and decided to develop SWIMS - The Modern Galosh!
You may have seen his SWIMS providing a flash of colour at the recent AW 13 London Collection: Men, Agi & Sam show.
Since then they have expanded the collection, not only with a wide selection of galoshes - but also to include a series of waterproof/resistant shoes. Johan says "I wanted to transform timeless styles to wearable shoes for rainy days and even longer walks. Utilizing state-of-the-art high density nylon and our signature rubber combined with leather and woolen linings we have created some unexpected and elegant shoes -with a practical fundament. Quite frankly, new and innovative classics,".
TheChicGeek says "SWIMS has cleverly redesigned the 'old-man' galosh into something stylish and contemporary. They suddenly have that all important 'cool' factor. They are also extremely practical considering the weather we've been having recently. I really like the boat shoes, pictured top, they look and feel like a really modern update and instantly bring to mind water and sailing. These would look sophisticated with shorts and definitely something we're packing for our holidays this summer."
Top - Penny Rubber Loafers - £105
Right - Galoshes - £55
The art to packing is making sure you can fit everything in without your clothes arriving creased and crumpled. Being economical with the space is the priority, in these budget airline days, while making sure you have enough options while away.
Here are a few pointers from TheChicGeek on How to Pack
Firstly, make sure the suitcase is clean and smells fresh and clean.
Make sure you mark the case or it is distinctive enough so there is no confusion at the airport carousel.
Fasten everything on your clothes; buttons, zips etc. so things keep their shape better but also so things don’t catch on each other.
Lie trousers on top of each other before you put them in the case and fold them once over each other.
Lie shirts on top of each other and then fold the arms in and roll the body up towards the neck, this saves space and prevents creases.
Stuff socks into your shoes to save space.
Arrange shoes so that the heel of one aligns with the toe of the other.
Place shoes in the shoe bags they came in when you bought them or if you don’t have them, separate plastic bags and place them along the border of your suitcase.
Place toiletries in a plastic bag to protect everything else from leaks.
Put your night stuff at the top so you don’t have to dig around for it when you get there if it’s late.
The main rule is try not to over pack or under pack, so things don’t get too crushed but are firm enough not to move around.
Adding a lock is advisable.
Now fingers crossed it appears on the carousel when you get to the other side!