What Are Speedos? Are They a Good Look for Guys?

Speedos, not to be confused with speedometers, are the most revealing socially acceptable swimsuit a guy can wear. The public’s opinion on them is divided. A quick google search shows many articles and forum posts asking (and proclaiming) both men’s and women’s opinions on whether Speedos are sexy or tacky.

It seems, with rare exceptions such as their use for competitive swimming or diving, there is no clear consensus as to whether they are good or bad for men to wear publicly at the beach or swimming pools.

For those who aren’t sure exactly what Speedos are, they are a brand that is famous for making men’s swim briefs. Speedo (the brand) is so popular that most swim briefs are referred to as “Speedos” even if they were made by another brand.

Since there is much confusion about what Speedos are, how they should be worn, and people’s perception of them, we have written this article to shed some light on some common questions people have about them to help you better decide if they are right for you or not.

What are Speedos?

As mentioned, there is a company called “Speedo” that makes men’s swim briefs.

Without boring you too much with their history, they’ve been making Speedo swim briefs since 1927 and gained international recognition by sponsoring events in the 1932 and 1936 summer Olympics.

When athletes began wearing them during competitions, particularly for swimming and diving events at the Olympics, the whole world got to see this polarizing design. Speedos were criticized for being too revealing and immodest. Olympic swimmers wear jammers now, though Olympic diving athletes still wear swim briefs.

Attitudes have changed drastically since then, and Speedos have long since been socially acceptable to wear at the beach, swimming pools, and anywhere else you can swim at.

After nearly a century of making men’s swim briefs and being its earliest adopter, it should not come as a surprise that Speedo has basically become synonymous with all men’s swim briefs.

In North America at least, if you see someone wearing a swim brief, most people would say he’s wearing a Speedo even if there was a Nike or Adidas logo on it. So ingrained is the name in our vocabulary that I think most people don’t even know what to call men’s swim briefs except Speedos.

What are Speedos made of?

Since Speedo swimwear are just like any other swimwear, they are made with the same materials that other swimsuits are also made with.

Speedo makes many swimsuits, not just the men’s swim briefs they are iconically known for. Thus, they use many unique blends of fabric across many products.

SwimOutlet lists the various fabric blends Speedo uses which are: Aquablade (80% Polyester, 20% LYCRA® Spandex), Endurance Lite (51% PBT, 49% Polyester), Endurance+ (50% Polyester, 50% PBT), XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber (74% Nylon, 26% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), PowerFLEX (74% Nylon, 26% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), PowerFLEX Eco (78% Econyl, 22% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), PowerPLUS (79% Nylon, 21% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), and ProLT (85% Polyester, 15% Spandex).

Now, that sounds like a bunch of marketing mumbo-jumbo (and it is), but if you pay close attention you’ll see that the materials are listed in the parentheses:

  • Nylon
  • Econyl
  • Spandex
  • Lycra
  • PBT
  • Polyester

Look at the tag on your swimsuit to find out what fabric blend your specific Speedo swimsuit is made of.

What are the different types of Speedos?

Again, Speedo is a swimwear company that makes all kinds of swimwear, not just the swim briefs they are (in)famously known for.

Aside from their iconic swim briefs, Speedo also makes swim trunks, board shorts, jammers, square leg shorts, swim shirts, and swimsuits.

You can browse their vast offering of swimwear at your leisure by going to their official website.

How do I wear Speedos?

If you’re asking this question, I am assuming you are referring to how to pull off wearing swim briefs.

Well, that’s easy. Do you look like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale? If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, please refer to the video below.

Going back to my previous question, if your answer is yes, then you’re pulling it off just fine. If your answer is no, then I’m sorry, you’re going to have to get summer beach body ready before you wear Speedos.

Since sarcasm is hard to get across over text, I feel the need to say I’m not being serious. You don’t need to look like James Bond to wear a Speedo. However, it doesn’t hurt to.

When it comes to whether you can pull off a look or not, with something so revealing like swim briefs, you don’t really have much choice other than to have a stunning physique.

The only consideration for the swim briefs itself is that it shouldn’t have some silly design like polka dots, and it should fit you snug.

Should I wear Speedos or swim trunks?

That is something only you can answer for yourself. Are you comfortable wearing the more revealing swim briefs, or do you prefer to have more of your legs covered up?

Do you prefer your swimwear to be more tight-fitting, leaving little to the imagination, or do you prefer the sense of privacy a looser-fitting pair of swim trunks offers you?

For performance reasons, you should favor the swim brief because it will cause less drag in the water and is less likely to restrict your movements compared to swim trunks.

For aesthetic reasons, again, this is very subjective and depends on you. If you worked hard for a summer beach body, then there’s no reason to hide it by wearing loose swimwear. You might as well show your body off by wearing swim briefs.

That said, swim trunks have more material to work with in regards to showing off beautiful design patterns. If you prefer the look of a particular swim trunk design, then for aesthetic reasons, I can see swim trunks beating out swim briefs.

Also, what are the attitudes toward swim briefs where you live? If you live in a more conservative area where wearing anything too revealing is frowned upon, then for social reasons, perhaps you had better not stir the pot.

There are many questions to consider, and at the end of the day, you will have to make this decision yourself.

Are Speedos legal?

In most parts of the world, such as North America, Europe, Australia and the UK, Speedos are generally legal. There may be highly specific rules forbidding it, so it’s a good idea to know the laws of any area you are vacationing at.

You can totally wear Speedos at public swimming pools or the beach. Regardless of how people feel about it, wearing Speedos is not something you can get arrested for in most of the world.

Sure, there may be some social rules like people preferring men who wear Speedos to look like James Bond, but that’s not a real rule. If you have a beer gut and feel comfortable in a Speedo, more power to you, man. Rock that Speedo and ignore the haters.