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The Long and Short of Summer Shorts

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Last week the world got its first glimpse of toddler Harper Seven up on her feet as she accompanied her mother, the style powerhouse that is Victoria Beckham, on a visit to luxury department store Brown Thomas in Dublin. It was my first time to meet Victoria and I must admit I was impressed. I particularly enjoyed hearing her personal anecdotes about her family and their influence on her designs. For instance, did you know the caps in her latest collections are inspired from David's love of beanie hats?

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Darren Kennedy & Victoria Beckham. Copyright Photocall Ireland.

But let's face it, as far men are concerned David Beckham has a lot more to answer for on the sartorial front. Between fronting underwear campaigns for Armani and his own range with H&M, he has single-handedly raised the bar of female expectations about the male physique. Well perhaps he's not alone. Daniel Craig should shoulder some of the responsibility, thanks to the now infamous 30-second scene in Casino Royal where 007 emerges from the sea in the shortest of short blue trunks, toned within an inch of his life. With that in mind and given the sun has finally decided to make an appearance here's your guide when it comes to baring leg, or more, this summer.

Speedos: Affectionately referred to as 'budgie smugglers', the speedo is the shortest of briefs. Not for the faint hearted, speedos great advantage is they are quick-drying, smooth to touch and allow for an all over tan. To be quite frank, unless you spend hours with regular gym sessions sculpting your body, best to avoid speedos at all costs. If you reckon you've got the bod for them, then go for it!

Short Shorts: Squeezing yourself into some hipster-style trunks a la Daniel Craig is unlikely to have quite the same effect as 007. That said sales of short shorts have rocketed in the past year with some fashion experts suggesting that as men's swimwear gets shorter, it bodes well for economic growth. Whether this be true or not, to pull off wearing this slightly racier style of shorts you need to wear them with confidence. Marc by Marc Jacobs and Orlebar Brown are both winners when it comes to this style. Boxer-style briefs are perhaps the more ego-friendly, less fitted, variety of short shorts.

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Orlebar Brown swim shorts. MrPorter.com

Mid Length Board Shorts: Forget baggy Bermuda shorts, this season board shorts go preppy with somewhat of a retro feel with key styles including digital prints, geometric patterns and block colours. Robinson Les Bains neat fitting camouflage pattern shorts in soft shades of navy and blue get my favourite vote. This style is all about looking relaxed and laid-back at the beach or chilling out in town.

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Robinson Les Bains. MrPorter.com

Tailored Trouser Shorts: The most formal of the bunch, tailored shorts in neutral tones are another big trend having featured heavily on the catwalks of Jill Sander, Paul Smith and Burberry. To really achieve this look, fit is paramount. The ideal pair should sit at your hips, with a slim taper to the leg and remain above the knee. Paired with a monochrome shirt and flip-flops or boat shoes, they create a simple yet über-sophisticated summer look.

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Paul Smith striped short. Ssense.com