Men’s Swimwear Guide – Bathing Suits for Gentlemen: Trunks, Briefs & Speedos

Men’s Swimwear Guide – Bathing Suits for Gentlemen: Trunks, Briefs & Speedos

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When it’s really hot outside, very few things feel as good as diving into cold water, however, it can be a challenge to find swimwear that suits your body, the local culture, as well as your own comfort level.

Now, in the US, trunks seem to be the number one kind of swimwear men wear but if you go to Europe or South America, shorter or tight-fitting swimwear, also known as speedos or briefs, are much more popular.

What are the swimwear options you have today as a man who’s interested in classic style?

One of your options are briefs. You may know them from the underwear drawer and for a swimwear, they’re the tightest fitting option out there for men. Usually, there’s just a one or two-inch inseam or sometimes none at all.
Just think of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Now, if you take the brief and you cut it even more open so more of your thigh becomes visible, we have the classic speedo or European swimsuit shape. My dad’s from Brazil and he lives in Germany and he loves to wear this kind of swimwear. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of it.

A much better and at the same time classic option are swim trunks. They usually reach the mid-thigh or have about five to six-inch inseam, have some room in the thigh, are not too tight but not too wide, and often close with either a button or some elastics or a velcro. Sometimes, you can also tie it but overall, those are the styles you will encounter.

The third option are board shorts. They’re typically longer, cut fuller, sometimes have cargo pockets and are typically more youthful.

So what type of colors are great for classic men’s swimwear?

Personally, I find that blue, that includes navy or lighter blues, as well as reds and greens are great. While yellow is a summery color, it may show through what’s underneath and it will also become dirty more quickly. I’ve also found that pastel tones of maybe a light turquoise or maybe a light green can work quite well.

With that being said, what are some swimwear do’s and don’ts that you should always keep in mind?

One, don’t take swimming trends too seriously. They rarely flatter most men and at the end of the day, they’re just fashion-forward. Instead, rather choose something that works for you, your body type, and your comfort level.

Two, don’t hide behind overly baggy and full cut swimwear. You may be a little embarrassed that you may not have that six-pack but at the end of the day, wearing those super baggy shorts make you just look more sloppy. I also think it will accentuate your flaws more and not bring out the best in you.

Three, do be kind to yourself. I know that we probably all see our own flaws more clearly than other people do. Yes, I know you look at the supermodels, they always look great with their six-pack but reality is most men don’t have the time to achieve that.

Four, don’t buy a swimsuit with a huge logo on it or even a brand name. It just shows that you’re a bit insecure and you want to show off that you can spend money on your swimwear. Rather than investing in big logos, put your money into something that flatters your physique.

Five, do stock up in swimwear if you find a model that you really really like. You can get different colors, maybe different patterns but swimwear often goes in and out of style and a few years down the line when you need a pair, it may not be available anymore.

Six, don’t buy light-colored swimsuits, White, ivory, off white, or tan, or just terrible colors because they will show what’s underneath.

Seven, do check the material tag before you buy. Most swimwear these days is made out of polyester which is very inexpensive but it also ages quickly. Nylon is usually a better option because it lasts longer.

Eight, do rinse out your swimsuit after every wear. No matter if you’re at the pool or the ocean because the salt and the chlorine will just wear out your fabrics and if you rinse them, they will last a lot longer.

Last but not least, do try on your swimsuit. Do yourself a favor, try things on and don’t compare sizes especially between brands because it can be hugely different.


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