Finding the right swimsuit is essential for surfing and swimming in the pool. You’ll also find plenty of options for men’s sizes if you click “add to cart” before you head to the beach. These swimsuits range from skimpy briefs to board shorts.
It can be difficult to shop for swimwear because there are so many styles and sizes to choose from. We consulted Vanessa Valiente, a personal stylist based in San Diego, to help us narrow down our selection.
What types of swimwear are available for men?
If you are looking for swimwear in men’s sizes you will typically think of shorts or trunks covering the lower half of your body. You’ll want to find a swimsuit that you like before you go out in the sun or into the pool. You should consider coverage, closure type, and versatility.
Although “trunks”, is often used to describe any men’s bathing suit, Valiente states that the style is defined by its elastic waist. This suit is short and loose fitting. It may also have mesh pockets to prevent them from bursting with water when you go for a swim in the ocean or pool. The length of the inseam can vary from 4 to 8 inches. This is mostly a matter personal preference. However, a longer one will offer more sun protection.
The trunk is usually lined with mesh or fitted fabric, either in the form of shorts or underwear-like shorts. Mesh is best for keeping you cool on the land. Compression fabrics are good for water sports, as they prevent you from chafing and allow you to show more of your legs if the outer fabric gets blown up in the water.
These are similar to trunks but have a zipper or an adjustable string closure. According to Valiente’s research, the waistbands of board shorts are typically higher than those of trunks. They also sit at the same place on the hips. To protect skin from sunburn and friction from the surfboard, board shorts have an inseam length that is a bit longer than trunks.
Although they look similar to swim trucks, hybrid shorts are more suitable for outside use. According to Valiente, the versatile style can be worn from “water to fun.” “You can get out the water and then go to a place to eat,” Valiente says. While there are many options for trunks in bright colors, the hybrid shorts often mimic the look and feel of khaki or other materials that you might not associate with swimming.
Square-cut and square-leg shorts
Although there are plenty of short-like swimwear choices, there are a few styles that are more like underwear. Because they cover the entire body, square-cut shorts look like boxer briefs. (Think James Bond in Casino Royale.)
These are the most skin-revealing of all the swimsuit styles. Competitive swimmers love swim briefs because they have less material and are more compressive. This prevents drag, which could slow down competition times. Speedos is the name given to these underwear-like swim shorts. Speedo is not a particular brand. Valiente states that the swim brief is the skimpiest.
These are also a favourite of serious swimmers. They look very similar to bike shorts. They offer both compression and knee-length coverage.
What is an inseam, you ask?
Inseam is the measurement from the crotch to the point where the swimsuit ends at the inner thigh. The wearer’s height, personal preference and personal preferences will determine the inseam that is right for them. Inseams between 4 and 5 inches are more common, while inseams between 8 and 9 inches provide greater leg coverage for water activities. Inseams between 6-8 inches and 8 inches are more similar to a regular pair of shorts. Valiente suggests that you choose something less than 8-9 inches overall to ensure the swimsuit doesn’t look too sloppy.
What are the best shirts for the beach?
You might be tempted to put on a T-shirt over your top. But, remember to still use sunscreen. For “excellent” protection, clothing should have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), of at least 30, or UPF 50+. The UPF 7 of a white T-shirt is only about 7. It drops to 3 when wet. You should avoid thicker and darker clothing as they are more suited for the beach. Instead, you can consider UPF-rated clothing. These clothes are lightweight but also provide protection.
A rash guard with a long or short sleeves is the best choice for swimming. These shirt-like styles were originally designed for surfers as paddling on the boards can cause chafing or rashes (hence their name). You should always wear rash guards regardless of whether you are a surfer or not. Many boards come with UPF ratings so you can see how much protection they offer.
Which swimwear for men is the best?
It all depends on your preferences and how you feel most comfortable. Swim shorts or jammers are great for competition swimming and lap swimming. Board shorts are great for surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. They keep your skin covered but allow you to move freely. You can also wear what you want for lounging on the beach or poolside.