Men’s Forearms; Swim Leggings, A Preliminary Report; Track Meet

SüßwasserLeah drew my attention to this excellent article about men’s forearms: Men, You Don’t Understand How Hot Your Forearms Are. This was one of those special Internet “I thought I was the only one!” moments for me. I once had a dream in which a guy was fervently pleading with me to run away with him, and I didn’t see his face but I gave serious consideration to the merits of his forearms: white dress shirt, rolled up sleeves, leather watchband—you know what I’m talking about. Or else you don’t, but now I know LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE DO. I don’t mean BUFF forearms or whatever: just FOREARMS. The rolled-up-flannel-sleeves of the mid 1990s was a pretty good time to be alive, but I’d say the rolled-up oxford sleeves of the late 1980s / early 1990s was even better. There was a preppy boy in my youth group who…well, there isn’t much to this story. He rolled up his sleeves, is what I’m telling you.

…Where was I? Oh! Do you remember the Lands’ End skirted swim leggings from this post? I haven’t been swimming in them yet so I can’t give a complete report, but I tried them on and I love them. I love them. They are comfy and I don’t feel like I’m walking around in my underwear. I’m right between two sizes so I ordered up (there are few things more discouraging than trying on TOO SMALL swimwear), and they feel like they fit without squeezing. If I see a really good coupon code or clearance, I’m going to order another pair in the smaller size. I also went on eBay (thanks for the tip, Danish!) and ordered a pair of ultra-high-waisted swim…what is it called when it looks like underpants? Anyway, a pair of those. Bikini bottoms, that’s what they’re called—except these go up to the ribs. Then if I want to I can wear those under the swim leggings so that I don’t need to think about the tankini top floofing up in the water. I realize this sounds like a lot of layers, but I ENJOY a lot of layers. It’s SECURE. I am longing for a return to this darling swim aesthetic:

(I TRIED to credit this image, but it was on Pinterest with no source, so I did a reverse image-search and got hits to Pinterest and to a spammy site that appeared to be trying to give me a virus. So let’s just enjoy it as it is.)

Speaking of a lot of layers, I attended my first track meet and nearly froze to death. The temperature was in the sixties when I left the house, and I was already wearing a thin zip-up hoodie, so I took along a heavy zip-up hoodie just in case. And by the end of the meet it was in the mid-50s, totally overcast with occasional droplets, and HIGH WINDS, and I was wearing both hoods with both zippers done up and holding hands with myself inside an overlapped-sleeve tube and I was still just about dead with cold. Also it sucked going to a track meet. It was boring as all hell and it went on for HOURS AND HOURS. But thank goodness Miss Grace told me that I MUST purchase a bleacher seat no matter how much it cost. I bought the Cascade Mountain Tech Wide Stadium Seat and it was worth every dollar—and I paid $7 more than the $34 it’s currently listed for. Not that I plan to ever attend another track meet if I can help it, but I can use it for high school graduations.

22 thoughts on “Men’s Forearms; Swim Leggings, A Preliminary Report; Track Meet

  1. Ruby

    I love the swim ensemble the girl on the right is wearing in the picture. I want to wear it as a regular outfit. The stripes! The ballerina legs! Far cuter than any other swimsuit I’ve seen lately. The only thing I’m worried about is that the skirt would float up in the water–all the more reason to wear it as regular clothes!

    I remember reading somewhere that in the days before it was socially acceptable for swimsuits to be form-fitting, women would wear ankle-length cotton dresses with weights sewn into the hem so they don’t float up. Absolute maximum coverage, but that sounds rather uncomfortable.

    1. Shawna

      “weights sewn into the hem” That sounds like a safe feature in a swimming outfit!

  2. Alison

    I’m so glad the swim leggings got your stamp of approval!! I’m going to order some for our belated honeymoon. Not only do I REFUSE to wear bikini bottoms (I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever worn them, and I grew up in a coastal CA town), I don’t even really like the boxer-length shorts with the built-in bikini (for floating up purposes. I will also buy some women’s boardshorts from Land’s End. A whole new world where my hate for being in “swimming underwear” in public is ameliorated with clothes for swimming… Thank goodness for you, Swistle!

  3. Stimey

    FOREARMS. Yes! I still have VIVID memories of Robert Redford’s forearms from the movie Havana, which wasn’t a very good movie, but there was poker playing, I think and his forearms were prominently featured and that was like a billion years ago but I still remember, so, yeah. I get you on the forearms thing.

  4. Rebecca

    OH HELL YES on men’s forearms. My husband has a very nice pair and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was a teeny, tiny consideration in saying yes to that first date…

  5. ccr in MA

    Even on topics that have nothing to do with me (I have no kids, for example), I just love how you write and enjoy reading this so much–thank you!

    Aaaannyyway, thanks also for the swimsuit thing, I can definitely use help in that regard.

  6. Matti

    Team Forearms 4Ever!

    I’m so glad you liked the swim leggings. How is the length? I know you’re taller, but I’m super short and I don’t necessarily want a pair that goes all the way down, but more capri length.

    Also, I did finally find a pair of swimming bottoms that aren’t leggings that I like. They are the Athleta Kata boy short bottoms. Most boy short bottoms (swim or underwear) are cut in a super unflattering way and hit me right in the fluffy part of my upper thigh. But, these are more like an actual short made from swim material with a built in swimming underwear liner, so that there are no flashing type accidents when you try to move or swim. Also, they have two back pockets!

    1. Swistle Post author

      Hm, I am trying to remember. It seems like they hit about like in the photo: lower-mid-calf. If it helps, my usual jeans inseam is 29-30 inches (30 inches hits at a level that wicks up puddles).

      1. Matti

        Thank you, that is very helpful. My inseam is 24-25 inches, so things often end up being long on me. And, I really don’t want full leggings because I feel like it makes me look like I’m going surfing. I mean, I WISH I was going surfing, but it’s not really the look I want to sport at my niece’s birthday pool party.

  7. Tessie

    I was on the track team growing up and TO THIS DAY some of those track meets are the coldest I have ever been in my life. In MINNESOTA.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Elizabeth was turning a delicate lavender color in her track shorts and track tank top. I felt so sorry for those kids—at least the adults could wear down jackets and put blankets over their laps (track parents with more experience brought those items, and we newbies envied them).

  8. rlbelle

    My husband teaches karate and jujitsu, and sometimes in his class I zone out watching him demonstrate a move or, you know, just waving his arms around while talking. His uniform falls just under the elbow, it’s delightful.

    I feel horrible saying this, but I will never forget Peter Jennings on 9/11 – he’d clearly been in the studio all day and when I sat down at 5 to watch the coverage (my place of employment at the time felt like one of the only places in the country that didn’t close down for the day), he had his sleeves rolled up. It wasn’t that I felt all rrraarw about it or anything – certainly not at that time. It was just so obvious how hard he was working and how affected he was by the whole thing, just by that display of forearm.

    1. Elsk

      Yes, I too am a forearm fan, and I wonder if it has to do a bit with a “working man” kind of vibe. When I was in college, I tagged along with a few of my friends who went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert, and I wasn’t even a big fan going in, but he was playing and singing his heart out with his sleeves rolled up, and I was a bit smitten. He has nice forearms.

  9. Suzanne

    YES. Rolled up sleeves. I keep trying to speculate about why the forearm is so attractive and all my phrasing sounds dirty. So I will just nod heartily in agreement.

  10. SüßwasserLeah

    I am so happy this forearm discussion resonated with you. I have men in my life who will literally make sure their forearms are in the pics they share with me to tease me about this. It’s pretty hilarious, tbh.

  11. Maureen

    Forearms!! I too thought I might be in the minority with my fixation, but as usual, I find out I’m not!

    After college I worked on very large farm, with all men- and I was in heaven. I can still see (it’s been over 30 years) my farm manager’s beautiful forearms, we are talking Greek god status. I was extremely lucky, since we all did very physical work, there were beautiful forearms every where I looked. At school, I also used to spend my time scoping out nice arms instead of taking notes…I will say the men who were from dairy farms were the best of the best!

  12. Cherie

    My husband is both a potter and a woodworker and do you know what muscles both of those hobbies utilize? The forearm muscles. His forearms have the best, most delicately defined muscles *and* they are kind of permanently tanned and the whole thing is so masculine and satisfying I sometimes go to sleep patting them. (Because he’s a tall thin guy, his forearms are actually the same size as his biceps, so I guess this is where I admit I find Popeye a little hot?)

  13. Alice

    YES FOREARMS! I think I actually blogged about this back in the day. Or wait, I think I was specifically referencing biceps at the time, but forearms also! YESSS.

    I was just at brunch with some girlfriends the other day and asked if everyone else had the same reaction I did to tatted-up forearms with crisp white collared shirtsleeves rolled up to expose them. Which, to be clear, was HIGHLY FAVORABLE (for me).

  14. BB Wheels

    Ha! The internet is great. I thought I was a bit odd thinking forearm, wrists and hands are by far the hottest part of a guy. I told a guy that once, and he seemed to think it was surprising.

    Also, swim LEGGINGS! I need those, but I’m not sure about capri’s. They don’t feel like they cut off circulation to your feet?
    I have proportionally large calves, and tight capri’s in swim material sounds maybe bad.

    1. Swistle Post author

      They don’t feel constricting/squeezing, but so far I’ve only tried the leggings in the larger of my two-size range—and I am not sure where my calves fall on the proportional scale of calves.

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