Men's Swim Briefs

Since ancient times, men’s swim briefs have traveled from virtual non-existence at one extreme to providing exceptional efficiency, durability and style at the other. The journey began well over 100 years ago as a way of defending the public’s modesty and dignity, moving through different styles and designs to achieve this aim.

Men’s Swim Briefs

Swim Briefs

A swim brief or a racing brief is any male swimsuit-style shorts, such as those worn in competitive swimming, diving and water polo. Swimming briefs are also referred to as competition briefs, swimming trunks, swimmers, racer swimmers, briefs, racing briefs. Like underwear briefs, the swim briefs feature a V-shaped front and a sturdy back that offers form-fitting coverage. They are generally worn under the lower waist.

They are usually covered by thin bandages on the upper thighs and either a drawstring around the waist or an elastic waistband. Swim briefs are most commonly made of nylon and spandex composites, although some longer-lasting suits are made of polyester and some are made of other materials. Most swim briefs have beige or white front liner made of identical fabric.

History of Men’s Swim Brief

At the end of the day, public sentiment changed to the point that bare-chested men were socially appropriate. From this point on, trunks and boxers have been the focal point of any design, and while designs have been tweaked and changed here and there, colors, patterns and fabrics have seen the greatest changes. Here is a step-by-step guide to the history of men’s swimwear.

The Old Days

During Roman times, masculine bathing was done naked, as is known from murals and classical paintings portraying nude swimmers enjoying this leisurely period. As time went by, various societies had different requirements, and some prescribed that swimmers and swimmers should wear acceptable clothing, which could be anything to cover the bare necessities, with the linden cloth a common option.

18th-19th Centuries

Until the mid-19th century, there was no general prohibition on nude swimming, with each local authority making individual laws. However in 1737 there was evidence that the Bath Company forbade nude bathing for males over the age of 10, and by 1860, nude bathing was at least absolutely forbidden in the United Kingdom.

Uses of Swim Brief

Swim briefs are used by professional and recreational athletes in a variety of water sports. They’re the benchmark for competitive diving and water polo. They are preferred in competitive swimming to reduce the water drag on the swimmer, while jammers and body skins are often worn instead of a swim brief. Sports participants who need a wetsuit, such as water skiing, scuba diving, surfing and wakeboarding, also wear swim briefs as wetsuit underwear.

Triathlon Swimming Briefs

A special variety of briefs and trunks made for the triathlon features the racing suit’s design for the swimming portion of the race but also incorporates light padding in the crotch of the garment for the bicycle portion of the race. This is a lighter version of the chamois leather in cycling shorts, to allow running in to be performed more efficiently and the shorts to dry faster after the swim.

Modern Styles of Men’s Swim Briefs


They are North America’s most popular men’s swimwear. They look similar to shorts worn as clothing on the field, but are made of light, fast-drying materials usually nylon or polyester and have a tighter liner within the shorts. Colors and insect lengths can differ widely.

Board Shorts

They are a longer variant of the trunks coming to or past the knee. Often they have a non-elastic waist and fit closer to the torso. Originally built for board sports (surfing, paddle boarding, etc.) they were designed to have less material to capture when you assembled your board.

Swimming Broadshorts

Swim Briefs

They are sometimes referred to as speedos, a brand that has been popular for many years. They are small body-hung swimsuits with a V-shaped front that bares the thighs. Recreational swim briefs usually feature an inner liner. Briefs are much more common in Europe than in North America.

Purchasing a Swimming suit

Swimsuits are in contrast to a lot of menswear, forgiving clothes to shop for. You don’t need a perfectly tailored fit, as long as the suit stays up when you dive in. That said, you’re not only supposed to take whatever’s cheapest off the Wal-Mart shelf and call it a day. You’re likely to have just one or two swim clothes in your wardrobe at a time, so it’s worth choosing the ones you really want.

On Your Body

It’s the 21st century, if you want to let it all hang out you’re free to do so at least as far as local law requires.

That said some reasonable assumptions on who wants to see your naked body, and how much of it is going a long way. A little self-consciousness isn’t a bad thing. Ask yourself a few questions about your body:

The trunks are your best choice for a humble man. A looser cut is going to even things out. Stop board shorts or a heavily elasticized pair of trunks that dig into your belly. Often, stay away from longer insects, as they can pull your trunks down as you walk. Look for a shorter, non-attention-grabbing cut.

Consider swim briefs for a confident, broad man who rewards comfort. Yeah, many of you may think that this is a sight others don’t want to see, but realistically, this is going to be the most comfortable option physically. They’re not going to slide down and conform to your body. Mind you, though are you sure enough to let this entire hang out? I’ve been to European beaches, the swim briefs are not a big deal. Stateside, you’re going to need a little more confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long should men’s swim trunk be?

It’s long. Proportionally and physically, this is what looks better for guys, and as a general rule, no matter how tall you are, your trunks should still be at least 3" above your knee. The length should be at the middle of the thigh, the longest. This proper length would make asses you (and your legs) look longer.

2. Why do men’s swimsuits have liners?

The primary function of the net within a pair of swim trunks is to support the genitals while swimming. In addition, the swimsuit net prevents chafing by forming a barrier between sensitive areas of the skin and the trunks.

3. Why do guys wear Speedos?

It’s Flattering and in most situations, they are less constrictive than tighter swim trunks or shorts, so they don’t pinch the skin or build a muffin top look.


While some swim suits, such as Fast skins and Speedo LZRs, will help you swim faster, there are cases where these suits are actually under-performing than standard suits. It is obvious, however that a regular/fast suit is more advantageous to swimmers than a pair of swim trunks and a swim shirt. The experiment reveals that dragging swimwear not only slows down the swimmer, but also makes it harder to swim a few strokes.

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