Summer has arrived and it’s time to strip down to cope with the heat and take a plunge in the pool or sea. There’s a vast array of choice for mens swimwear but aside from going for this year’s mens designer swimwear trends, there are a number of factors to consider when selecting the right swimwear. VOCLA is a UK retailer of men’s swimwear, with over 250 styles of designer men’s swimwear. They’ve put together this mens swimwear guide, to give you some help and advice.
MENS SWIMWEAR STYLES
Let’s start this mens swimwear guide by looking at the different styles, which we’ve split into three types:
- Swimming Briefs – often referred to as ‘speedos’ in the USA, given that it evolved from the original Speedo. Basically an underwear brief made for swimming: short legs, low waist and with a body sculpting fit. They tend to be more popular in Europe. There are also some hybrid versions, known as mens micro swimwear:
- A bikini brief, a skimpy style with a super low rise waist and high cut legs. Therefore, a great style to help achieve a fantastic tan!
- Tanga swimwear. This has no side material, therefore removing the chance of any chafing. Furthermore, it’s a great style for those with larger quads.
- Swimming Trunks – similar to the swimming brief, trunks are body sculpting with a low rise waist. But they have longer legs, helping provide more cover. Although swimming trunks can vary in length, most have a length which gives a square cut shape. A ‘sunga’ is a slightly shorter legged version of a traditional swimming trunk. A ‘jammer’ is a longer swimming trunk with a length closer to the knees.
- Swim Shorts – swim shorts vary from those with very short legs, or ‘short shorts’, to those with longer legs, or ‘board shorts’. You tend to find that the short shorts and mid-length shorts are more popular in Europe and longer board shorts are more popular in the USA and Australia.
Did you know? ‘Speedo’ is really the name of the Australian swimwear brand that developed the first swimming brief in 1960.
BODY SHAPE AND TYPE
So, we have three main swimwear styles to choose from, but which is best? We would recommend that your choice is determined by your body shape and body type:
- Larger Guys: Go for longer swim shorts (board shorts) as these help cover up a little more. Solid colours are better than patterns and stripes which can accentuate your size.
- Slimmer Guys: Go for baggy swim shorts that will help increase the appearance of your size and swim briefs that help show off your slender shape.
- Stocky but Buff Guys: As your body shape tends to be more square, go for the square cut swimming trunks to match.
- Taller Guys: longer leg swimwear will help reduce the leg length appearance so opt for longer board shorts rather than short shorts and opt for swimming trunks over swimming briefs. Horizontal stripe patterns will help reduce the appearance of your height.
- Shorter Guys: shorter leg swimwear will help increase the leg length appearance so opt for short shorts and swimming briefs or micro swimwear.
Many years ago, male swimwear was manufactured with cotton. But cotton helps to retain water for longer, becomes heavy in water, wrinkles and the colours fade. Man-made materials such as nylon, polyamide and polyester are much better. They are quick drying, durable, hold their colour for longer, and feel smoother against the skin.
- Polyamide – Polyamide is a very popular material used swimming briefs and trunks. It is super smooth, feeling more comfortable on these fitted styles. The smooth nature also helps water to pass over the swimwear more easily, therefore providing better swimming performance. Most swimming briefs and trunks are made with a combination of polyamide and elastane/spandex/lycra, to provide quick drying and smooth-touch properties with stretch for a sculpting fit.
- Nylon – Nylon is used on some swim shorts. It has less stretch compared to polyester and this gives a more fitted look.
- Polyester – Polyester is a very popular material used in swimming shorts. It is light-weight which is ideal as shorts have more material, making it harder to swim in them compared to swim briefs and trunks. Some swimwear for men is made with a polyester mesh material which has tiny holes in it, ventilating you, perfect on a hot beach day.
No mens swimwear guide would be complete if it didn’t look at some of the features that can help with your swimwear. Our mens swimwear advice is to focus on the following.
Swim shorts need to have an internal lining to help keep everything in place whilst swimming. Most swim shorts have an internal mesh lining which is cut to be shaped like a brief.
Swimming briefs and trunks have an optional lining in the pouch area. Unlined swimwear, like many Andrew Christian swim briefs, shows more exposure of what’s inside the pouch area!
Many swim shorts have pockets to the side, front, back or even inside the mesh lining. Some pockets have a zip fastening to help keep waterproof items whilst swimming. Whereas other pockets are either open or have a button fastening, which lacks practicality when you are actually in the water.
Drawstrings are sewn into the waistband and help hold everything securely in place when swimming. Additionally, they provide a flexible fit around the waist. Drawstrings can be internal or external, simply a fashion choice. One piece of advice is to consider is the drawstring ends. Metal toggles will stop the drawstrings fraying, therefore better quality.
A popular trend at VOCLA, is the increase in enhancing mens swimwear. There are three types of enhancement:
- Padded mens swimwear – a front pad in the pouch gives a rounder and fuller appearance.
- Mens pouch swimwear – a larger pouch is created for extra comfort
- Mens bum enhancing swimwear – seams at the rear help to contour your butt cheeks
CODE22 Power Shape is a great example of a range of padded mens swimwear with removable front pouch pads.
Hopefully, this mens swimwear guide has given you some help and advice. We have over 250 styles of mens designer swimwear at VOCLA. Available all year round. Therefore, one of the UK’s best ranges. If you need any further help selecting the best swimwear, just get in contact.