Men’s swimsuits have come a long way since the knitted woolen one-piece styles of the early 20th century. Swimwear styles go in and out of fashion, from the short-legged high-waisted trunks popular in the 1930s and ‘40s to long board shorts preferred by surfers in the ‘90s and 2000s. More swimwear types are available than ever before, which can make shopping for the perfect pair of swim trunks a challenge.
Learn about the different swimwear designs available, what features to look for, and how to find the right suit for your body.
Types of Men’s Bathing Suits
Men’s bathing suits come in numerous styles offering different levels of coverage and support. Whether you want to show off your best assets in revealing briefs or prefer something more practical for splashing around in the surf, there is a type of swimsuit that’s perfect for your needs.
- Swim trunks
Swimming trunks are essentially shorts made of water polyester, spandex, or quick-drying nylon blends, designed for wearing in the water. This popular style of men’s swimsuit offers the most coverage of your thighs and butt while still attractively highlighting your physique.
While you can buy swimming trunks in all lengths, the best way to show off your body is to choose a short with a cuff that comes to your mid-thigh. The Vaux Cotton Candy short from Timoteo provides total coverage for your bum and your boys, yet it emphasizes your muscular thighs to make you feel confident and secure. They have a 2¼-inch inseam and a 1½-inch waistband that shows off your chiseled abs and hips.
A festive color like the 100% polyester light purple is perfect for beach days or an afternoon at thebeach bar.
- Board shorts
Like swim trunks, board shorts are popular among male beachgoers and surfers. While all the same features you’d get from swim trunks come with board shorts, this piece of swimwear is significantly longer, covering your entire thigh with the hem falling at or below the knee.
For men surfing in cooler weather conditions or simply aren’t as comfortable exposing their thighs, board shorts are a comfortable option.
- Swim briefs
Swim briefs, also called speedo briefs, are brief-style male swimsuits perfect for the confident man. They’re form-fitting, showing off your buttocks and package in a way that swimming trucks never could.
Traditionally, swim briefs are worn for competitive water sports like polo, swimming, and diving because of their aerodynamic fit. They stretch, reduce drag, and allow you to move quickly in the water. However, many men now embrace the speedo brief for casual days at the pool or beach.
- Thong-style swimwear
Although previously considered women’s swimwear, swimwear brands are slowly beginning to recognize the market for high-quality thong bathing suits for the man who dares to bare it all.
Thong swimsuits consist of a fabric pouch to hold and lift your package, an elastic waistband typically riding low on the hips, and a gusset that sits comfortably between your cheeks.
They are the most revealing type of swimsuit and may not be suitable for all swimming occasions. In some areas across the U.S., it is illegal to wear a thong in public places, such as a beach or lake.
Features to Look for in Men’s Swimwear
Regardless of which swimwear option you select, there are some essential features your briefs, thong, or swimming trunks must have.
- Quick-drying fabric
Any good piece of men’s swimwear needs to be made of quick-drying fabrics so you can towel off and enjoy the beach or pool deck without being soaked for hours.
Some of the best materials for swimwear include polyester, nylon, or elastane (often called by the brand name Spandex). Polyester is the leading choice for competitive swimwear; it is resistant to chlorine and retains its color over time, keeping your swimming trunks or speedo looking vibrant.
- Mesh lining
Mesh lining is a must-have feature in your swimwear, especially pieces like swim trunks with a lot of fabric. When these swimwear pieces get wet, the fabric can stick to your skin, causing irritation and even rashes.
Mesh-lined swimming trunks protect your skin from constant exposure to moisture and provide a barrier that permits your skin to breathe properly by ensuring air circulation.
- Elastic waist
Your swimming trunks or briefs should have an elastic waistband for a couple of reasons. An elastic waist makes the bottoms easy to slip on and off, ensuring a quick change out of your wet swimwear once you’re done at the beach or pool.
An elastic waist hugs your body perfectly, making the swim briefs or shorts look comfortable and flattering along your chiseled waistline.
If you wear swim trunks as part of your summer wardrobe, opt for a pair with pockets to hold your essentials, such as your wallet and keys. Zip pockets are ideal and offer greater security, especially at the beach. You can even keep waterproof items like house keys in your pockets while you swim without worrying that they’ll fall out or get stolen on the beach.
- Vibrant colors and patterns
When shopping for a swimsuit, opt for colors and patterns that make them a versatile part of your wardrobe.
Chic neutrals like navy blue, rust, or tan are an excellent choice for swim trunks or board shorts. The solid color gives your swimwear the versatility to go from the pool to the store or even for a casual meal when paired with the right top.
Seersucker swim shorts are another outstanding versatile option, perfect for sailing or lake-side grilling sessions.
For swim briefs and thongs, try bolder patterns like tropical foliage or abstract neon prints to draw attention to your lower body to show off your beach-ready abs and muscular thighs.
How to Choose the Perfect Swimwear for Your Body Type
There are men’s swimwear options to fit and flatter every body type. But for the most comfortable swimsuit, you need to consider the leg and inseam length and your waist measurement.
The perfect swim trunk length depends on several factors, including your height and preferred swim trunk style. On average, the ideal swim trunk length sits approximately 2 inches above the knee. However, if you are taller than 6 feet, opt for swim trunks that sit right at the knee; a shorter style may make your legs appear too long and slender.
Shorter men under 5 foot 7 inches should select swim trunks with a higher cut leg and 2-3-inch inseam to give the illusion of longer legs.
The leg length also depends on the type of activity you’ll be engaging in. If you enjoy surfing, skiing, or other water sports, you need a longer leg to avoid flashing your junk at other swimmers. If you plan on swimming laps, a short leg or swim briefs are the best option.
Although most men’s swimsuits sit at or below the hips, you still need to consider your waist measurement to find the correct swimsuit size. Your swimsuit size should match your pant waist size. If you are unsure, you can measure your waist circumference using a measuring tape placed at your natural waist above your navel.
You should also consider the type of closure the swimsuit uses. Elastic or drawstring waistbands are adjustable, ideal if your weight fluctuates. Opt for a waistband that lays flat to avoid extra bulk around your midsection that could make you appear wider than you are.
Which Swimsuit Should You Choose?
The best swimsuit is the one that makes you feel comfortable and confident, whether you are soaking up the sun or splashing in the waves. Visit Timoteo for the best range of sexy men’s swimwear and underwear, from swim trunks to neoprene thongs.