THE MALE SWIMWEAR GLOSSARY

Swimwear fashion – like fashion in general for that matter – tends to focus more on female styles and apparel than on the male look. Although the public eye is mostly riveted by the varied and different ways of enhancement related to female trends, it would be a great mistake to overlook the male side of things. This is because fashion, which is ever-changing and always evolving, holds up a mirror to not only the changing mentality and outlook of society in general, but can also serve as a catalyst, ushering in new viewpoints, perspectives, and even different mindsets.

The different kinds of male swimwear currently in vogue can, perhaps, better illustrate this idea. Throughout the years, the perception of ‘maleness’ has changed, bringing about an evolution and innovation not just in relation to sexuality, but also one that is linked to the way the world’s definition of a man has become, that is, more fluid and versatile. These are the types of male swimwear most popular today:

Swim Briefs – Also referred to as speedos in America, these have been popular since the 1980s. They’re basically tight V-shaped swimsuits that cover the nether regions, leaving the thighs bare. They’re very comfortable and popular among athletes and professional swimmers.

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Image source: Aliexpress

 

Trunks – Also known as swimwear shorts, these are perhaps the most commonly used male swimwear right now. They look very similar to normal shorts which one usually wears on land, but they are in this case normally made out of nylon or polyester, as these are light, fast-drying materials. Some men tend to find trunks so convenient that they even wear them outright instead of their jeans or shorts to BBQs and other places where they might end up swimming. Trunks come in a variety of lengths and styles.
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Bermudas – or board shorts, are a longer versions of trunks. They usually come past the knee and generally have a non-elastic waistband.

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Image source: Masternuoto

 

Square-cut shorts – or hipster trunks, are body-hugging square-cut shorts, mostly looking like male underwear, but sporting more colour and even floral shapes.

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Image source: Aliexpress

 

Jammers – These are skin-tight, knee-length wetsuits used by athletes and competitive swimmers. The skin-tight material prevents the dragging effect of the water and provides a streamed-lined look. These actually resemble bike shorts but without a padded crotch and seat.

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Image source: Aliexpress

 

Wetsuits – These are insulated close-fitting suits designed for prolonged immersion in water. These are usually used by divers, surfers and canoeists, and can range from a thin shortie covering just the torso, to a full suit. There are different types of wetsuits depending on the temperature level and type of insulation. These are of course, gender neutral.

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Image source: Bluewatersports

 

Swim shirts – or rash guards, are vests made out of a roughly wetsuit-like material, but worn more loosely on the upper body. These are mostly worn by surfers as a protection against abrasions, rashes, as well as sunburn. Like wetsuits, swim shirts can also be worn by women.
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Image source: Macys

 

When it comes to swimwear, one must of course take into account one’s particular needs. Will the swimwear be used for salty water or the pool? Will you be wearing it daily for relaxed days at the beach, or are you practising some type of sports? How about the physical side of things – how much of your body are you willing to expose? Do you prefer tight-fitting swimwear, or feel comfortable in looser clothing?
And last but not least, what kind of male swimwear do you think is most becoming popular?