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Budgie Smugglers

Budgie Smugglers-Bondi Joe Swimwear

What are budgie smugglers?

Budgie smugglers is the Australian term for men’s athletic swimwear. They are also commonly knowns as “speedos” but this term is the trademark of a major swimwear brand. Why is it called a budgie smuggler? Answering this question starts with a lesson in Australian bird life. A budgie is a small Australian bird, brightly coloured from blue to yellow or green. It’s a favourite pet that many Australians have in aviaries and backyard cages. A smuggler is a person trying to smuggle or conceal something. So you can see where this is going in relation to men’s swimwear. Athletic swimwear (the kind you see on Olympic swimmers), which as we all know leaves nothing to the imagination, kind of looks like men are smuggling budgies if you get what we mean!

Are budgie smugglers in fashion?

Budgie smugglers rose to prominence in the 1960s with the emergence of famous Australian brands like Speedo. They were traditionally associated with professional swimmers – the tight nature of the swimwear reducing drag in the water and allowing for maximum speed as opposed to boardshorts or trunks which were made of more material. Budgie smugglers went more mainstream from the 1970s and you would frequently see men on the Australian beaches sporting athletic swimwear whether they were professional swimmers or not. In the decades that followed, boardshorts and swim trunks became a more fashionable swimwear choice for men. Fast forward to the 2000s and budgie smugglers are definitely back in fashion. The rise of new brands including Funky Trunks and the brand called Budgie Smugglers has definitely held the trend be revived! Checkout our guide to mens swimwear styles including why we love swim shorts and trunks.

Is it okay to wear budgie smugglers?

Gents, if you have a great body or are looking for speed in the pool, the fashion police will issue you a permit allowing you to wear budgie smugglers! For the rest of us, here are 7 signs the fashion police may not issue you a permit to wear them:

1. If your body looks more dad than fab!

Gents, whether you actually have kids or not, there is nothing wrong with having a dad bod, and there is no need to hide away. But hanging onto your lost youth and wearing budgie smugglers like you still have that 6-pack you used to run around the beach with is a fashion no-no. No one wants to be constantly compared to the fit Olympic swimmers who are frequently seen wearing this type of bathers. Choose a pair of shorts that may you like and feel good and own the man you are now. Unless you are super fit, budgie smugglers are going to make you look old! Why? Because this type of swimwear is generally worn by much older guys. If you don't want to be mistaken for one of them, you should find a pair of mens swim trunks or swim shorts that is more appropriate for your age.

2. I’m at the beach with my teenage kids

Being a dad is tough at the best of times, but when you have fashion conscious teenagers around the pressure gets higher to not embarrass! Let’s put it straight here gents, no one wants to be seen with their dad flaunting his budgie smugglers where you’re trying to impress your friends or potential dates. If you don't want your kids asking you to bleach their eyes, you must not wear budgie smugglers. Any self-respecting person wouldn't want to see their father wearing almost next to nothing in a very public place. Not only is it embarrassing, it can be traumatic, too, especially if your children are already teenagers. Think about what could happen if your teenage son is chatting up a lovely lady on the beach and then you come trotting towards him in your budgie smugglers. Your son won't probably talk to you in the next couple of years or so. So spare your kids the trouble and trauma by wearing something that will cover you up properly at the beach.

3. I’m single and want to impress

If you’re single and you want to impress the ladies (or gents for that matter) on the beach, avoid the budgies and go for some nice shorts that show your sense of style. Again, unless you’re Tarzan with a 6 pack rocking those tight bathers, the relaxed look of casual swim shorts is going to be a sure winner.

4. It’s cold and things shrink

Ahem, this one is harder to address in a polite article like this is trying to be. So let’s be clear, your budgie smugglers leave nothing to the imagination, so when that cold ocean water causes things to shrink down below you don’t really want to be on show. Enough said!

5. Your partner asks you to sit far away from them

When you’re at the beach in your budgies does your partner ask you to move your towel away? Do they reserve a deck chair on the other side of the pool for you? Might be time to address the swimwear gents!

6. Your moon glow is too strong against the sand.

The smaller your swimwear, the more skin is exposed. If you’re sporting a moon glow (ie, on the pale side) and people need sunglasses to look at you, it might be time to put the budgies away and cover up a little more with a nice pair of shorts. Less glare for all!! Oh, and if you need a buy a good pair of men’s swimwear that aren’t budgie smugglers, we know a good brand (hint!). Bondi Joe.

Read our other guides to mens swimwear style.


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