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Men's Bathing & Swim Suits

Believe it or not, Men's bathing didn't come about until the 19th century. Before this, only a few cultures had a garment specifically used for swimming, while most cultures swam in the nude or their underwear. It wasn't until the mid-19th century that swimming in the nude was no longer acceptable, and people started wearing swimsuits. The earliest men's bathing suits were wool material over cotton as cotton absorbs more water. Unfortunately, these bathing suits were not nearly as streamlined as the ones we know. Some suits weighed as much as 9 pounds when wet. This made it very difficult to swim and almost dangerous. Artificial materials like rubber and nylon were a solution.

Men's Bathing Suits Through the Ages

In the early 1900s, swimming regulations in the United States required men to cover most of their bodies to promote modesty. Men wore tank suits that reached down to the elbows and below the knees. Most swimwear was in a dark, solid color or stripes. Although pale skin was a status symbol, tanning became popular in the 1930s. The top half of the men's bathing was reduced in size and eventually removed altogether. Leaving the silhouette to be very similar to the swimwear we know today. 

In the 1960s, Alexander Macrae created the speedo, and the swim brief became the most popular style of men's bathing suits. The 70s brought the demand for bright colors and prints. The swim trunk became the most popular style until it was replaced by the loose-fitting board short of the 1990s. 

Today, men's bathing suits come in various styles, prints, and colors. Whether you want a solid or striped swimsuit reminiscent of the early 1900s or something bright and bold like the 70s, our store has something for everyone!