My summers, as a youth, were spent at our Country Club pool practicing for swim team. All the kids – boys and girls – donned Speedo style bathing suits. This weekend, while watching my girls at the pool, I noticed that not one kid was wearing a Speedo. In fact, both boys AND girls were wearing boardshorts – those long-legged swimsuits we used to call “jams.” Am I dating myself?
So, what’s going on with swimsuits for men these days? Rather than skimpy and streamlined, men seam to be turning to coverage and baggy. A great article at AskMen.com shed some light on the subject.
To begin with, it’s kind of a regional thing. European men by far wear mostly speedo style swimsuits. American men, on the other hand, basically refuse to, unless competing in some kind of water sport. The article went on to say that women from both regions are of the same opinion. American women kind of snicker at the thought of a guy in a Speedo. European women accept the fact that, whatever the physique of a guy, he will be strutting around in a little Speedo.
So, what are the pros and cons to the two styles? Apparently there are far more pros to the speedo style:
- They’re more comfortable – All the parts of a man’s “package” stay put without worry. In a boardshort, the parts shift each time water hits them.
- Better tan lines – More body is exposed so better tanning. A boardshort gives you a goofy partial tan on your legs.
- Sign of confidence – A man who is comfortable strutting around in a Speedo does not lack personal confidence.
- Better movement – The Speedo style has little to get in the way when moving. In contrast, a boardshort is bulky and can create drag in the water.
Another point to bring up here is that, like women’s swimsuits, many suits are not actually used for swimming. They are more beachwear. So, maybe the answer here is to own both styles – the Speedo-style briefs for European travel and water sports and the boardshort for socializing around water, for modesty, and social survival in America.
A quick straw poll from male colleagues got a stark ‘swimshorts or nothing’ reaction. But according to Askmen.com the debate is actually divided by geography more than anything else. Men in North America are more swim/boardshorts based than their European counterparts. Certainly having holidayed in the South of France last year, Speedos seemed de rigeur among the older holidaymakers. And the Russians. But the younger ones were certainly veering towards shorts by the pool.
Perhaps it’s all a confidence thing, with the older male more used to his body and feeling confident with who they are than younger types still working it out. Whatever you feel most comfortable in of course, we’ve got a great selection of both, check ’em out here.