What's So Bad About the Mankini?S

According to at least one fashion blogger the Mankini—that strange hybrid men's bathing suit—is here to stay. Why is this idea patently ridiculous? Could this be just the thing that a new generation of men needs?

Like "assless" chaps, kilts, and man bags, the mankini will probably never stop being the butt of jokes. After all Borat already ruined it by making a prominent punchline in his schtick. Sure, his lime green budgie smuggler was absurd, but that doesn't mean that something well-designed and masculine can't be another suitable option for men's swimsuits.

Just check out the great design above from Emporio Armani's 2011 collection or this incredibly chic version from Alexander McQueen's 2009 runway show. Sure, that example is a few season's old, but maybe the Mankini's time has come?

The problem with menswear in general is that it suffers from a lack of options. For swimwear the only choices are the bro-tastic board short usually emblazoned with a garish Hawaiian print or some beer brand's logo, the short '70s swim trunk that looks about as current as Magnum P.I.'s chest hair, and the Speedo, the option of Russian tourists, diving champions, and self-respecting homosexuals. What's wrong with having a fourth design?

With all the Abercrombie advertising and women lusting after Taylor Lautner's abdominal muscles, there's more pressure than ever for men to have perfect bodies, especially at the beach. While there are plenty of ways for the Mankini to get real ridiculous, real fast, a well-designed version that covers some of the stomach and chestcan may be just what a guy who has skipped his core exercises at the gym needs. It offers freedom of movement for swimming and other pool-hopping activities, but gives a little bit more coverage in areas where it might be needed. That's not something to laugh about, it's a reason to rejoice.

But like any sartorial choice that's a little bit outside the norm, any early adopter of the mankini will surely endure lots of attention and probably more than a few snickers. Screw that! Be bold enough to be different. After all, a real man doesn't listen to what other people tell him to do. No, a real man does whatever the fuck he wants to! Would you rather be laughed at in a Mankini or look like a pussy for never taking off your T-shirt while wading into the surf? And as the obesity of Americans drives the trends in beach attire closer and closer to the Victorian bathing costume you'll appear a step ahead of the game. That's why this summer I'll proudly be rocking the mankini. And you should too—if you have any balls. [via The Frisky, image via Getty]