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  • The little black book for the City
    Style — 20 June 2013

    Short Story:
    Orlebar Brown

    Orlebar Brown’s expertly tailored swimwear makes summer dressing a breeze. And the brand is taking customisation to the next level, says Rosie Steer

    Beach and poolside dressing can strike fear into the heart of even the most stylish individual. But adapting your look for warmer climes needn’t be a sartorial dilemma, as Orlebar Brown’s well-tailored swim and board shorts demonstrate. Dapper gents who want to add an individual twist to their look will enjoy the brand’s new ‘Build Your Own Short’ customising service.

    The men’s swimwear label is the brainchild of entrepreneur Adam Brown. Despairing at the lack of stylish swimwear available for men, Brown responded to this gap in the market by creating tailored swim shorts. The business started life as an online shop six years ago, which Brown ran from his bedroom in Fulham. He sold three simple designs at first: the short Setter, mid-length Bulldog and longer Dane – all perfect for the dog days of summer. The shorts were a storming success and Orlebar Brown quickly became the fashion-savvy man’s destination of choice for modern, modish beachwear. Demand for the swim shorts has soared and the company has rapidly expanded into a global business with stockists around the world.

    ‘Now Orlebar Brown is now taking their two most popular styles to the next level with their ‘Build Your Own Shorts’ customising service. With a choice of eight base fabrics and 10 side-fasteners – 80 options in total – you can really make these shorts your own.’

    Orlebar Brown has also gone some way to precipitating a changing poolside aesthetic for men. The designs are a modern take on the retro board short, expertly cut and rendered in high quality fabric. Tailoring is key: most of the details are adapted directly from well-cut trousers, including the distinctive, properly fitted, unelasticated waist, darts and trouser tighteners. This results in a comfortable, flattering fit and smart, preppy aesthetic. When Daniel Craig donned a pair of sky blue Setters in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, it was clear Orlebar Brown had made it to the big time.

    Almost as iconic as the distinctive cut is Orlebar Brown’s bold, contemporary palette. The original Setter and Bulldog styles launched in five classic colours with chrome side-fasteners, but these days the choice is a veritable rainbow.

    Now Orlebar Brown is now taking their two most popular styles to the next level with their ‘Build Your Own Shorts’ customising service. With a choice of eight base fabrics and 10 side-fasteners – 80 options in total – you can really make these shorts your own. From bold hues to summery pastels, the possibilities are endless. You could choose a shade to match your destination: reflect tranquil oceans in deep blue, or exotic sands in bright white. Otherwise, why not coordinate with the rest of your wardrobe in classic hues, or colour-block in red or yellow to stand out from the crowd.

    The service is available in Orlebar Brown stores and on OrlebarBrown.com; 2013 collection available at Harrods.com