Skip to content

How Men's Swimwear Has Changed Over The Last 100 Years


Men's Swimwear - Now & Then

The selection of men's swimwear out there is now enormous, whatever your swimwear penchant is you can be sure it's available at the click of a button.  We are also seeing men's swimwear become more and more trend-led, with designers dedicating a huge amount of time to bringing us their swimwear collections.  I personally love that you are able to buy a piece of your favourite designers current collection in the more affordable form of swimwear.  So how has men's swimwear and Men's swim shorts evolved over the years?

1930's Men's Swimwear

While the 1920s swimsuit was a one piece tank top and shorts, the 1930s embraced the change to the swim trunks. The strong, superman body, ideal of the 1930s made a man’s torso something to show off at the pool or beach. Short men's swim shorts made that happen. Most were made of a wool knit that was roomy around the front bug snug at the leg holes and backside.  A white cotton belt with metal clasp held the short in place.  As the decade progressed short became shorter into a high waisted brief and fit a little less room in the front.

1930s Men's Swim Trunks | Men's Swimwear | UNDERU

1950s Men’s Swimwear

In the 1950s brief men's swim shorts were still in fashion but the most popular seller were the knee boxer length swim shorts. The idea was they looked like men’s walking shorts so that would be worn with a matching shirt at any beach side resort and not be under-dressed. The shorts had pleated on the side so they fit offered more leg room. Some had zipped flys but most had elastic waist bands. They came in any length from no leg brief to long Bermuda length called swim-walkers. All bright colours and tropical prints were trendy.

1950s Mens Swimwear & Men's Swim Briefs | UNDERU

1970's Men's Swimwear

The seventies was the decade of the hippies and it certainly rubbed off on men’s swimwear designs. In a nutshell, colours were bright, cuts exotic and altogether there was little that did not exist in some form or another. Even the tank suit had a short revival, while others wore tanga thongs in elastane!

1970s Mens Swimwear & Men's Swim Trunks | UNDERU

1990's Men's Swimwear

Trunks remained the #1 swim suit until the 1990’s, when loosely fitting board shorts entered the market.  Especially in the US, long and loosely fitting board shorts became the preferred swimsuit for men.

1990s Men's Swimwear & Men's Swim Shorts | UNDERU

21st Century Men's swimwear

Just like back in the 70s, there is little that doesn't exist in Men's swimwear in the 21st century. Board shorts are still probably the most popular style but they are a slightly more fitted, cropped version of the 90s style.  Designers are certainly drawing inspiration from the past and vintage style trunks are making a huge come-back for 2016.  If you are happy to expose a little more flesh then you are lucky to be alive during the 2000's, skimpy men's swim briefs are having a moment and so are our HOM swimwear's breton pair below.

Men's Swimwear & Men's Designer Swim Shorts | UNDERU

Your cart is empty

Continue shopping