The 10 Best Men's Swimsuits
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in April of 2016. When summer rolls around, you know you’ll be spending more time at the beach, pool, or lake. You don’t want to head into the season unprepared, so make sure to check out our collection of men’s bathing suits to ensure that you, or the gentlemen in your life, look good and feel confident. We found a variety of excellent swimsuits in styles that should appeal to any taste. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 01, 2020:
In the past decade or so, the ubiquity of oversized boardshorts gave way to a much wider selection of inseam lengths and more creative patterns than your typical Hawaiian floral. With such an increase in variety, it's understandable that the average gent might not even know what he wants in a suit anymore. Something like the Speedo Surf Runner, for example, are a pretty safe bet, with sporty features like V cuts on the legs for added flexibility. But for all their functionality they verge on being a little boring.
The Taddlee Board Boxer are certainly more colorful, and use a flexible fabric in place of the cutaways on the Speedos. But they're also among the smallest options, and they're going to look good on you only if you're confident you'd look good if they were to suddenly disappear, leaving you nude on the beach. In other words, they're better performers on bodybuilders than dad bods.
Then there are the Lacoste Taffeta Basic, which may be the Goldilocks option for most men. They're simple enough, but still available in some nice colors; they're breathable, durable, and quick-drying; and they're flattering on most body types provided you get the right size.
Dolce & Gabbana Swimming Briefs This pair offers a little visual gag with its overt reference to the term "banana hammock." They don't offer a lot of room to hide, so they're best worn by men with a certain level of confidence, but they're soft to the touch and stretch comfortably with your movement, so they might become your go-to when the temperature rises and you want as much of a tan as you can get. dolcegabbana.com
Tom Ford Nylon This pair look like something you'd see worn on the coast of the Adriatic, with their clean lines and simple, comfortable fabric. They feature hook and side adjusters to dial in the fit, so if your beach bod fades throughout the season, you can keep wearing them. On the back, you'll find a zippered pocket, and all of the hardware is rendered in pale gold. tomford.com
Bottega Veneta Swimwear While this pair are available in three colors, the most appealing is undeniably the yellow, which brings to mind rain gear and adds just enough playfulness to your trip to the beach or pool. They're an Italian-made luxury item that doesn't scream it from the rooftops, with 100-percent polyamide construction and a handy loop for hang-drying. bottegaveneta.com
A Brief History Of Men's Swimsuits
The first swimsuit a man ever wore was most likely his birthday suit, and he went in the water after a fish, not amusement.
The first swimsuit a man ever wore was most likely his birthday suit, and he went in the water after a fish, not amusement. He quickly discovered, however, that being in the water felt good — and swimming was born.
That basic swimsuit design stayed fairly constant up through ancient Roman times, where men still chose to swim in the nude. When men did cover themselves, they used something similar to a loincloth.
When the Middle Ages rolled around, religious norms frowned on swimming and outdoor bathing in general, so there was no need for a bathing suit at all. People around this time were generally uptight enough that they likely wore underwear beneath their underwear.
People started to lighten up a little bit around the 18th century C.E. Swimming outdoors began to be popular again, but in some places dipping in the nude was forbidden for men over 10 years old. Men were expected to wear caleçons, which were undergarments resembling modern boxer shorts.
In other areas, men still bathed nude, restricting themselves to one end of the water while women stayed (fully clothed) on the other.
The first specially-designed swimsuit rolled around in 1869, and it looked remarkably similar to today's models. Some were even available in leopard and zebra print, because our great-great-granddads knew how to party.
That wild-and-crazy spirit didn't last long, however, as Victorian contempt for any sort of exposed skin soon dictated that men cover their bare chests while swimming. Men were forced to wear form-fitting wool clothes with long sleeves, called "tank suits," which looked more like long underwear than a bathing suit.
In the Roaring '20s, people became more image conscious, and tanned skin was in vogue, so swimsuits began to show a little more skin. Men still wore one-piece suits, but these cut off at the mid-thigh, and had generous armholes, resembling a wrestling singlet.
This soon transitioned into bare-chestedness, as the upper half of the suit was abandoned and simple trunks were worn. By the 1948 Olympics, briefs were seen as acceptable, in large part due to fabric shortages caused by WWII.
Speedos took this one step further in the 1960s, and they remain synonymous with, shall we say, "snug" bathing suits to this day. Board shorts, cut-off jeans, and even corduroy suits have all been attempted, but most men's options today are limited to trunk- or brief-styles in nylon or Lycra.
As a result, there's never been a better time to get an eyeful of the male physique — well, unless you count most of early human history.
Finding the Right Suit For Your Body Type
Trying on swimsuits can be nerve-wracking, and it can seem like every single one is conspiring against you to make you look bad. If you know how to shop for one, though, you can get one that makes you feel comfortable and look fantastic.
Trying on swimsuits can be nerve-wracking, and it can seem like every single one is conspiring against you to make you look bad.
The purpose of the suit should be the primary driving factor in your purchase. If you plan on actually swimming in it, you'll want something form-fitting and small, with minimal fabric. If you're just looking to sit on the beach in it, your comfort is the main criteria, as well as how much skin you're going to want to slather sunscreen on.
Next, consider your body type. If you're on the shorter side, your suit should be as well, since a shorter cut will make your legs look longer. Taller guys can wear just about anything, but should probably err towards longer shorts, ones that stop just short of the knee. This helps create defined lines while balancing the ratio of shorts to exposed skin.
If you're thin as a rail, opt for a more form-fitting suit, as you don't want all that extra cloth clinging to you in the water. Bigger guys should look for flat-front shorts, preferably with an elastic waistband.
Darker hues will look more sophisticated, but might also seem a bit basic. You can go daring with loud, brash colors, but be prepared for the attention you'll receive. Also, remember that vertical lines can make you look both taller and thinner.
Once you find the perfect suit for you, you'll be ready to hit the beach in style. Just avoid red trunks — you don't want the sharks to think you've dipped yourself in ketchup for them.
Ways To Get Swimsuit-Ready In A Hurry
You've got plans to go the beach next weekend — but you've been eating nothing but ice cream this weekend. What are you supposed to do?
First, lower your expectations. You can't undo years of poor eating and no exercise in a week or two. However, you can take some of the edge off, allowing you to make some significant changes in a minimum amount of time.
You can ditch excess water weight much faster than you can fat, so it's the easiest way to make a quick impact.
Cutting down on water retention should be your primary concern. You can ditch excess water weight much faster than you can fat, so it's the easiest way to make a quick impact. This means cutting down on carbs, and especially salty foods, as they can cause retention. Add a few more minutes to your cardio routine as well, so you can sweat out as much as possible. Keep drinking, too — you can seriously hurt yourself if you're not careful.
Try to get a tan before you hit the sand, also. Tanned skin looks more toned and defined, so you can look buff without ever picking up a weight — why do you think bodybuilders are so bronzed?
The day of your excursion, before you make your grand entrance, try to get your pump on. This means doing a few heavy lifts to cause a build-up in your muscles, making them look (temporarily) bigger. This won't have much lasting effect, but it may be enough to impress that cute lifeguard for one day.
Plus, lifting heavy weights will allow you to handle heavier loads on your fork later on at dinner.