“If I see the stereotypical Speedo they’re either usually on someone who really knows what they’re doing in the water, and looks like it, or is over the age of 50 and really know what they’re doing in the pub.”
That’s the not-bitchy style writer and photographer Karlmong Tang, talking to How Stuff Works for their alarmist article “Why Is the Speedo Disappearing From European Beaches?”, a rather exhaustive investigation into why the Lycra-clad minions are no longer rocking swim briefs in the summer and what they’re choosing to wear instead.
Related: Annual “Speedo Hike” Cancelled So Overweight People Won’t Be Offended
According to Chris Opfer, the article’s author, Speedos have always been in short supply on American beaches — no argument there — but “lately even the Europeans are adding a little extra coverage to their trunks.”
Russell Smith, the author of “Men’s Style: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Dress,” thinks square-cut swim trunks are coming into vogue much like boxer-briefs eventually quashed the never-imaginative, never-not-annoying question, “Boxers or briefs?”
Related: PHOTOS: Skinny-Dipping Swimmer Nathan Adrian Brings Speedo Tan To ‘ESPN Body Issue’
“Currently stylish men, and the ones who are fit enough, are wearing boxer briefs – short fitted shorts, also made with some spandex content,” Smith surmises. (And really, only an expert could make such a fecund observation.)
“These look a lot like men’s swimsuits of the late ’50s and early ’60s,” he says of the square-cut swim trunks. “Think James Bond.”
Related: Steve Grand’s Perfect Message To Anyone Bothered By His Tiny Speedo
Opfer claims you needn’t look any further than some of Europe’s most popular fashion houses to prove that “the Speedo is moving toward the sunset,” citing the likes of GQ‘s British edition as rock-solid evidence of the phenomenon.
While not quite as bunchy and unapologetically dorked-out as the board shorts preferred by Americans, these selections overcompensate for their more conservative cuts with a variety of kicky patterns featuring cacti and tropical prints and swirlishly swirly swirls that swirl.
And yet, while journos have spilt more ink than octopi on the subject of Speedos, we’re having a hard time believing people are just going to abandon swim briefs forever and never look back.
But we’re intensely curious as to what you, the loyal Queerty reader, might have to say on the subject. Is it time to embrace square-cut trunks, or should everyone shut up and let you wear your goddamn Speedo in peace? Sound off in the comments below.
Square trunks can be VERY revealing, be sure of that. We call them “Sungoes” here in Brazil and they are very popular at the beaches. The tiny speedo is losing space and is used mostly for swimming at the pool.
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
Good. Big turn off for me. Too obvious. Lacks class.
Speedos have already disappeared, damnit. Prudish board shorts defile beaches everywhere. It’s wrong, just all wrong.
Go to Magaluf, Cannes, Viarregio – all around the Med. Also Brazil seems to have them as well
Of course the Americans try to get everyone wearing broadshorts – how puritanical.
I wear mine at Sherwood Island (a family beach with Islamist women in ridiculous hijab swimsuits), and nobody cares if my suit’s skimpy or what. It looks nice. A guy is entitled to show off and everybody appreciates a nice looking bod. I’m not flaunting it, just wearing it. When I get in the water for a swim I take it off and put it around my neck. Nobody flinches. That whole cover-up mentality seems to be a thing of the past. Nobody cares if you show a little bulge or some ass cheek these days. Even those 7th century throwbacks don’t seem to mind.
@Dot Beech: I always laugh when I see someone who’s been wearing shorts all summer and they have brown calves and feet with white thighs, they remind me of chicken drumsticks.
Speedo in the pool for laps and naked at my local beach. Love that all over tan.
Speedo or Naked are my choice.
Speedos please, why swim in board shorts, like wearing a parachute
Speedos for me – though I accept square-cut looks better on smoe guys, all swimming ‘shorts’ are an abomination.
Russian men still wear Speedos at the beach – all the males of a family will wear them.
In contrast, American men won’t wear Speedos because they’ve been emasculated by liberal women.
Western liberal women fear the male body and thus seek to cover it up. Western men have agreed to go along with the fears of women because they’ve turned into woman-pleasing sissies.
The fear that liberal women have of the male body is similar to the fear that women have of male homosexual desire in the men they date.
Meanwhile, I will continue to attend the beach in my tiny Speedos. Up yours, sweetheart.
@Brian: “Western liberal women fear the male body and thus seek to cover it up. Western men have agreed to go along with the fears of women because they’ve turned into woman-pleasing sissies.The fear that liberal women have of the male body is similar to the fear that women have of male homosexual desire in the men they date.
Clearly the fear “western liberal women” have of the male body accounts for the lack of success “Magic Mike” movies, Chippendales, male strippers at bachelor parties, and so on and so on and so on have had.
Your connection to reality grows more and more tenuous. Women LOVE seeing male bodies as much as gay men do. Most men won’t wear speedos to the beach (as opposed to the pool to work out) because they think they are gay…end of story.
@dwes09: Magic Mike? You’re confusing make-believe with real life. Magic Mike is make-believe. Get over it.
As to the idea that men think Speedos are gay, LOL. Your grandfathers in America wore tinier swim-suits than American men do today. Did your grandfathers think they were gay?
The problem with the modern American male is that he has become the victim of sexual profiling by the gay community as well as the natural homophobia of women. He has responded accordingly, wearing increasingly baggy and big shorts at the beach. In a few decades, he will be totally covered up.
Note how women wear tinier and tinier bikini bottoms these days, however. These women can’t stop exploiting double standards, can they?
Boardshorts look Victorian and ridiculous. Personally, Im proud of my thighs and like showing them off when I get the chance – beach or pool being perfect opportunities.
Speedo-type bathing suits have been around since I was a little boy in the early 50’s. Back then a minority of men wore them. I doubt they’ve ever been a majority choice, because many men are too body-shy and most men who aren’t fit enough know better than to wear them. They’re never going to go away entirely.
Very few people can wear a speedo with the sort of style that swimmers, divers, and water polo players can muster. Case closed.
If you saw the hot bros who were them, you’d never call board shorts ‘dorked-out’
Talk about a double Standard…… Women get away with nothing more that a piece of dental floss up their ass crack.
One of the 1st things I notice on naked or semi-naked men is their tan line. If it goes from navel to knee cap it is a complete turnoff. And I also assume they are straight.
it would be a shame for men to be ashamed of their very beautiful bodies, covering them up, from the waist to below the knees. box cut is sexy but nothing beats the glory of a well packed speedo!
@Pete: A hot guy in board shorts is like a girl with a nice rack in a heavy cable knit sweater. Why hide the assets?
Amen to that! I think a lot of it has to do whether or not a body can get away with wearing a speedo. If we can agree not all women should wear thongs, I think we can agree that not all men can get away with a speedo but that’s just my opinion. I also agree that speedos and short boxer briefs are much more preferable to those awful board shorts. I don’t know what the heck they’re trying to hide. If they’re gonna wear these long shorts, you might as well just wear pants. It’s ridiculous.
Maybe a little off the topic here but from what I understand it’s probably because women aren’t attracted to mens bodies in the same way a straight man lusts after a woman’s body. A female coworker once told me women are attracted specifically to the male torso but anything below the waist is off limits. I hear that quite often. Obviously as gay men, we enjoy the entire male body, not just the pecs and arms. Anyway, I agree with your point that it’s a shame that as a Western society we ridicule men who are proud of their bodies yet elevate women who wear dental floss in their crack. But since this society is dominated by the heterosexual perspective there’s little we can do.
This is ashame if this is happening in Europe. Its one of the things I really like about beaches in other countries. I don’t even wear speedos here at crappy American beaches but I do wear a short that is well above the knee. I do wear speedos in Europe and South America. I was in Mykonos and a few other places in the Mediterranean over the summer and there were plenty of men in speedos; children, teens, middle aged, and old.
@Brian: Au contraire, it is homophobic men who are against speedos and similar swimsuits on their fellow men. I have heard plenty of speedo wearing men called “gay” by other men, even when with their wife or girlfriend. Personally, I don’t know if they are more scared of wearing a bikini because another man might find them attractive, or that they might find another man attractive in one. Like Islam requires women to cover up rather than the men to control themselves. I’m in my 50s and I prefer as little on as possible when swimming, but we live in reality, and sometimes you have to bow to expedience and “rub blue mud in your belly button” with the locals.
I’m 25 and I wear it everytime I go to the beach
I’m from Ukraine. Yes, I confirm we in Eastern Europe are still not embracing this horror. But we clearly know from some sources that male burqini manufucturers aggressively attacking swim briefs by labelling it as a gay thing etc. What would you say about this kind of ad “The real men prefer swim trunks” ?! It is time for gay\bi designers to resolve this, because this is not only about stupidity, this is also about bullying of men wearing briefs. and I also much agree with previous comments that this is definitely linked with homophobia and female selfishness. If women like this male burqini so much, they should wear it themselves. If men say women how to dress or how to make up, they are “sexist pigs”. But women impose this horror with impunity. We are living under feminist dictatorship for too long. This is just one sample of this. Is it suitable to swim and sunbath when you wear so many clothes?! And I can’t get why do this is imposing even by gays. Is the male body a tabboo now? What do they want?! Guys, boycott all this horror! Swim suit can be briefs only, just because of logic. As you all know, we are living in homophobic countries. but when summer comes we wear our lovely “plavki” and go to a local beach to show our bodies and to get reasonable suntan, without fear of bullying as it regularly happens on American beaches. Please, stop it! Don’t give away our last joy!
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