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An advert from Förskel Originals popped up on my Facebook newsfeed a while back. It showed a damn good-looking pair of shorts that were apparently designed for swimming, while boasting plenty of stretch for active folk – ideal for cycling.
Multi-functional gear – that looks good – fascinates me as it is, but having moved back to Spain in the past few months, the appeal for a city/cycling/swimming short was immense.
Can you really have shorts that are great for cycling, day-to-day city life as well as for taking a dip in the sea or a pool?
I had to find out.
Initially I ordered the Long Length The Dreamer Mustard in my typical 32” (Medium) size. However, as soon as they arrived it was clear that the shorts were loose whenI tried them, even with the fastenings on the tightest setting.
Ordinarily I may just throw a belt on, but there’s no belt loops on the Förskel shorts, and as you typically wear them without underwear (there’s that mesh stuff for swimming inside) I didn’t really want people peeping down into my nether regions.
So, I sent them back and requested a pair in 30” (Small) but checked my size again with a tape measure to see if I’d lost some weight – alas I remain a sturdy 32” waist. Unfortunately, they had no “Dreamer Mustards” in the smaller size – so I settled for my classic blue style (AKA “Dreamer Ocean”).
Now, you really need to get the sizing right with these shorts as they can be unforgiving if they’re not sufficiently snug on the waist. In my experience, you should drop a size to be sure. And with no belt loops or elasticated waist, the only way to tighten them up on the waist is with a brass fastener on each side which can bring the shorts in by around 3-4cm.
Who Likes Short Shorts?
Sizing aside, there was no doubting that these were some good-looking shorts. And ones that certainly felt like real quality.
There are three lengths of the short available, but I was still shocked by how short my “long length” shorts were. These are the shortest shorts I own and they show a good amount of thigh – even though I’m a very average 5’9 build (hey, 5’9 IS average!). For me, the shorts come up about 20cm above the knee – which I found a strange feeling at first, with my shorts normally cutting off around the knee.
But alas, the day’s they be changing. The return to the 70’s short shorts is on the horizon.
So if you like quite short shorts, I’d recommend the long length. But if you like really short shorts then you can test yourself on the mid-length or even short-length.
Another thing is that these shorts are very close fitting. They don’t leave a lot to the imagination. Again, this is quite new for me, but I kind of liked the lean design of them – although if you’re a little more self-conscious/sober, then they might be too tight/short for your taste.
Stylish Urban Shorts for… EVERYTHING!?
As I headed into the sea for my first swim in the shorts, my friends asked if I wasn’t going to change into swimming shorts – which is a massive nod to the job Förskel have done with the styling of these shorts. They look like true urban shorts. The only really giveaway that they are swimming shorts in the mesh lining inside.
So, do these shorts do the job in the water? Absolutely. As solid a swimming shorts as you will feel. I’d say they take a little longer to dry than most of my other swimming shorts, probably due to the fact that the material is slightly thicker than usual. But none the less, they are dry within a couple of hours of being in the sun.
But swimming is just one aspect of these shorts. The thing I actually love about them is that they are lovely and breathable on hot summer days (which aren’t in short supply in southern Spain). Plus, with the mesh lining, I don’t have to wear underwear without feeling like a wrong’un. Win.
The shorts also feature a zipped back pocket (in colourful pink with my blue shorts), which I could just about squeeze my Samsung Galaxy S7 into. That was a really squeeze though and I don’t think you could fasten it with anything bigger in.
Are These Cycling Shorts?
These aren’t “cycling shorts”, per say, but you can definitely cycle about town in the them very comfortable – especially thanks to the amount of stretch in the shorts. What these are, are true urban shorts for active people.
Simply put, the Förskel Originals 4×4 Gentleman Short are one of the best multi-functional shorts I’ve come across – especially when temperatures are soaring. If you’re heading on your jollys and bouncing between the town and the beach – you can’t ask for more from a pair of shorts.
The Förskel Originals are available in six colours for men (blue, yellow, turquoise, cream, salmon pink, and dark green) and come in at €59 (around £53) with free worldwide shipping available on orders over €75.
Ooh – almost forgot – the shorts also come with a cool little waterproof bag, which you can roll up and put your shorts in when they’re wet, or put your valuables in while you’re in the water. Neat touch.