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Types of bathing suits for men

Guide to bathing suits for men

Choosing the right bathing suit is essential for enjoying your time at the beach or pool. Men's swimwear comes in a variety of styles, each designed to meet different preferences and activities. This guide will walk you through the different types of men's bathing suits, highlighting their unique features and ideal uses to help you find the perfect swimwear for your needs.

Board Shorts

Board shorts are a popular choice among men for their versatility and casual style. Originally designed for surfers, these shorts are typically longer, often reaching the knee or just above. They feature a loose fit and are made from quick-drying materials, making them ideal for a range of water activities, from surfing to beach volleyball. Board shorts usually have a non-elastic waistband with a lace-up front closure, providing a secure fit. They also often include pockets, which add to their practicality for beach outings. The length and design of board shorts make them suitable for wearing both in and out of the water, making them a great all-around choice for beach days.

Swim Trunks

Swim trunks are the most common type of men's swimwear and are characterized by their shorter length and elastic waistband. They typically fall mid-thigh, offering a balance between coverage and freedom of movement. Swim trunks are made from lightweight, quick-drying fabrics like polyester or nylon, ensuring comfort both in and out of the water. Many swim trunks come with built-in mesh liners for added support and comfort. They are suitable for a variety of activities, including swimming, lounging by the pool, and casual beach sports. Their versatile design and comfortable fit make swim trunks a staple in many men’s swimwear collections.

Swim Briefs

Swim briefs, often referred to as "Speedos," are a form-fitting style of swimwear that provides minimal coverage. They are designed to offer maximum freedom of movement, making them popular among competitive swimmers and divers. Swim briefs are made from stretchy, quick-drying materials such as spandex or Lycra, which help them fit snugly and comfortably. Their streamlined design reduces drag in the water, enhancing performance. While they offer excellent mobility and support, swim briefs are more revealing than other types of swimwear, so they are often chosen by those who are confident in their physique or engaged in serious swimming activities.

Square Leg Suits

Square leg suits are a hybrid between swim briefs and swim trunks, offering more coverage than briefs but a more form-fitting design than trunks. They feature a rectangular cut that extends slightly down the thighs, providing a sleek and athletic look. Made from similar materials to swim briefs, square leg suits offer a snug fit and are ideal for swimming laps, water polo, and other water sports where performance and freedom of movement are important. The design of square leg suits combines the benefits of support and coverage, making them a versatile choice for men who want a bit more coverage than briefs without the length of trunks.


Jammers are a type of swimwear that extends from the waist to just above the knee, resembling cycling shorts. They are commonly used in competitive swimming due to their streamlined design and compression benefits. Jammers are made from high-performance materials that provide muscle support and reduce drag in the water, improving swim times. They offer more coverage than swim briefs and square leg suits, making them a preferred choice for those who want a more modest option without sacrificing performance. Jammers are particularly popular among competitive swimmers and triathletes, offering both functionality and comfort.

Rash Guards

While not traditional swimwear, rash guards are an important part of water apparel for men who spend a lot of time in the sun or engage in water sports. Rash guards are made from lightweight, stretchy fabrics that provide protection against UV rays, abrasions, and irritations from sand and surfboards. They come in short-sleeve and long-sleeve options and can be worn alone or over swim trunks. Rash guards are ideal for surfers, snorkelers, and anyone participating in activities where sun protection and skin coverage are important. They offer an extra layer of comfort and safety, making them a valuable addition to any beach wardrobe.


Understanding the different types of men's bathing suits and their unique features can help you make an informed choice for your swimwear needs. Whether you prefer the versatility of board shorts, the classic style of swim trunks, the performance benefits of swim briefs and jammers, or the protective qualities of rash guards, there is a perfect option for every activity and preference. By considering your body shape, activity level, and personal style, you can find the ideal swimwear that ensures you look and feel great at the beach or pool. See our other guides to buying mens swim trunks.


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