Swim briefs, often made of wool and held in place with a military-style canvas belt at the waist, go back at least to the 1930s. They can be seen in hundreds of print ads, worn by muscleman Charles Atlas, and were very popular. Although in a style that today appears similar to underwear briefs, it is likely that the swimwear preceded the underwear, A nylon version (without the belt), pictured at left, was launched at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics by Speedo. Swim briefs are now often made of a nylon and spandex composite, while some longer lasting suits are made from polyester. The style varies from a full seat to thong or g-string. Most swim briefs have a beige or white lining on the inside front made of a similar fabric.
(also known as boardshorts in Australia or shorts in UK)In the US, this describes a loose, mid-thigh style of swimwear, made of 100% polyester or 100% nylon fabric. They are usually shorter than boardshorts but longer than boxer shorts. They feature a polyester liner inside the shorts. Although trunks have been used as swimwear since the 1940s, their heyday was in 1990s when they were highly popularised thanks in part to TV shows like Baywatch. Today, they have been eclipsed by boardshorts among teenagers and young adults. They remain the norm with older age groups and young children.
In other cultures (particularly the UK) the term ‘trunks’ is used to describe swim briefs, although it has been increasingly common for any men’s swimwear to be generically described as ‘trunks’.
Square leg suits A swimwear style similar to swim briefs, but with a much more conservative cut. They can be compared to boxer briefs but with nylon/spandex composite or polyester fabric.
Jammer A type of men’s swimwear worn primarily by competitive athletes, somewhat resembling cycling shorts or compression shorts.
Fundoshi Japanese traditional swimwear FUNDOSHI red rokushaku front photomodel. A traditional Japanese style of underwear, sometimes worn as swimwear.
(also known as tank suit, maillot) Probably the most common form of one-piece swimsuit, the tank suit form is the inspiration for the tank top as a mainstream article of clothing. The name “tank suit” is also supposed to be derived from the term “swimming tank”, an obsolete term for what is now called a swimming pool.
(also known as two piece) 2009 Run to the Sun Fashion Show in Anchorage .One piece covers the breasts, the other the groin and buttocks, leaving an uncovered area between the two. Bikinis are available in stylistic variations. (see Bikini variants)
(also known as two piece) Two piece covers the breasts and stomach (like a tank top), the other the crotch and buttocks. Leaves a small gap in between the belly button and the hips, available in stylistic variations.
(also known as a topless swimsuit or unikini)
One piece swimsuit covers the crotch and buttocks, available in stylistic variations and generally refers to a bikini bottom or thong worn alone without a top.
Burqini Covers the whole body and head (but not face) in a manner similar to a diver’s wetsuit.