An OUTfair.com Man’s Guide to Swimwear

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An OUTfair.com Man’s Guide to Swimwear

For most of human history, recreational swimming was done naked. Our 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt himself, often took nude plunges into the Potomac. And men’s high school and college swim teams would even train in the nude well into the 20th century.

Outside of all-male groups, men were expected to cover up. Clothing that one wore specifically for swimming was firstly a modesty garment, and a practical garment second. Swimsuit regulations were the strictest in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when men were prohibited by law and custom from going bare-chested in public. Woolen one-piece suits with cutoff sleeves and legs were the common style. In the 30s, that began to change, and men actually organized protests arguing for the right to go topless, many of whom were cited for public indecency. Finally, in 1936, the topless ban was lifted in Westchester, New York, and other cities and states followed suit (no pun intended!), mostly for economic reasons.

From that point on, swimsuits were more about function and style than modesty. Specialty suits began to evolve in the ’60s and onward, leading up to today’s world of wetsuits, boardshorts, drag suits for training, and more.

Modern Styles

Trunks are the most common men’s swimwear in North America. They look similar to shorts worn as clothing on land, but are made from light, fast-drying materials (usually nylon or polyester) and feature a tighter-fitting lining inside the shorts. Colors and inseam lengths can vary widely.


JCASTELL DESIGN - Swim trunks - available at www.OUTfair.com

Boardshorts are a longer version of trunks that come to or past the knee. They often have a non-elastic waist and fit closer to the torso. Originally developed for “board sports” (surfing, paddleboarding, etc.) they were designed to have less material that could catch as you mounted your board. (We do not have any Boardshorts at the moment at www.OUTfair.com)

Swim briefs are often called “speedos,” a trademarked brand that has been popular for many years. They are tight, body-hugging swimsuits with a V-shaped front that bares the thighs. Recreational swim briefs typically feature an interior lining. 


Blue Forest Brief by ESTEVEZ PREMIUM BEACHWEAR on sale at www.OUTfair.com

Square-cut shorts are a body-hugging style that covers the wearer from the waist to the upper thigh. The leg openings are cut straight across for a boxy look that is slightly less revealing than angled swim briefs.

Wetsuits and drysuits are insulated suits designed for prolonged immersion, usually in the context of snorkeling, scuba diving, or board sports. They are quite close-fitting.
Rash guards are a looser form of all-body swimwear than a wetsuit, and are generally used by water sports participants such as surfers, kayakers, and paddleboarders. Most are made from a UV-reflective fabric with a UPF rating.
Swim shirts are an upper-body-only version of a rash guard, and are gaining popularity as a sun and surf protection option for casual bathers.

All of the above styles can come in nearly any color or pattern imaginable, provided one is willing to shop around long enough. Traditional colors and patterns for men include solid navy blue, blue-and-white striping, and floral or Hawaiian-style prints.

In www.OUTfair.com you can find from bikinis, briefs, square cut, to shorts and leggings. Any style, design, prints and the most trendy options for the best pool party, a cruise or just a chilling beach day. 

 

 

 


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