Swim briefs

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Water polo player wearing swim briefs. USC Waterpolo Player.jpg
Water polo player wearing swim briefs.

A swim brief or racing brief is any briefs-style male swimsuit such as those worn in competitive swimming, diving and water polo. The popularity of the Australian Speedo brand racing brief has led to the use of its name in many countries around the world to refer to any racing brief, regardless of the maker. [1] Occasionally, the Speedo genericized trademark also applies to square cut swimsuit[ citation needed ], but in general the generic term is used in reference to swim briefs. Swim briefs are also referred to as competition briefs, swimming trunks, bathers, togs, racer bathers, posing briefs, racing briefs, and colloquially in Australia as "budgie smugglers". [2]

Contents

Like underwear briefs, swim briefs feature a triangular shaped front and a solid back providing form-fitting coverage. They typically are worn below the lower waist. They are generally secured by thin banding at the upper thighs and either a drawstring around the waist or an elastic waistband. Swim briefs are most often made of a nylon and spandex (Lycra) composite, while some longer-lasting suits are made from polyester and still others from other materials. Most swim briefs have a beige or white front lining made of a similar fabric.

Use and popularity

Swim briefs are worn by professional and recreational athletes in many water sports. They are the standard for competitive diving and water polo. They are preferred in competitive swimming for the reduction of the water's drag on the swimmer, although jammers and bodyskins are sometimes worn instead of the swim brief. Participants in sports that require a wetsuit such as waterskiing, scuba diving, surfing, and wakeboarding often wear swim briefs as an undergarment to the wetsuit.

While swim briefs are used worldwide by athletes for water sports, the popularity of swim briefs as casual beachwear and swim wear varies throughout the world. In Continental Europe, briefs are relatively common among male casual swimmers and beach goers. In the United States and the United Kingdom, [3] the roomier and less revealing trunks or board shorts are the suits preferred for recreation, although swim briefs are still seen to some extent. [4] [5] In some swimming pools in France, men are only permitted to wear swimming trunks and not shorts, for reasons relating to hygiene. [6] Swim briefs are chosen for recreation include style, ease of movement in the water, sunshine exposure, quick drying time, and the ability to be worn under pants or shorts. Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott was a fitness fanatic noted for wearing "speedos" or "budgie smugglers". [7]

Swim briefs are sometimes worn under board shorts for modesty purposes, and they are often used as an athletic supporter under shorts during sporting activities.

Styles

Male model wearing swim briefs, 2004. Dolcegab Sommer2004.jpg
Male model wearing swim briefs, 2004.

Briefs worn for competitive and recreational swimming are manufactured in standard sizes and in waist measurements. They are available in a wide variety of solid colors and patterned designs.

Racing suits

Comparison of jammer and swim brief types of swim suits. Jammer and speedo.jpg
Comparison of jammer and swim brief types of swim suits.

The most common racing suit styles are 1.5 inch to 3 inch paneled briefs (as measured by the height and length of the suit's side panel). The racing suit's main function is to reduce the drag of an athlete in water, thus improving his time. For this reason racing suits are made of materials that hug the body, minimize friction and minimize water retention. Spandex (Lycra) suits generally produce less drag, but are also more vulnerable to prolonged exposure to chlorine than nylon. Therefore, nylon suits are preferred for training and practice, where the increased durability is required for the long periods of usage and the extra resistance brings a training benefit. Lycra suits (and composite hi-tech swimwear fabrics) are preferred for actual racing. In water polo and sometimes in diving, suits may have panels greater than 3 inches.

Water polo players generally wear racing suits. This is to minimize the fabric available to grabbing and pulling by opponents - actions that are illegal yet often happen underwater - while not compromising the strength of the fabric. High-level players wear specialized suits, usually of a very tight fit and made of thicker, tougher and more slippery fabric, intended to thwart pulling and grabbing during rough play; they often wear two suits on top of each other.

Triathlon swimming briefs

A special variety of briefs and trunks made for the triathlon features the racing suit's design for the swimming portion of the race but also incorporates light padding in the crotch of the garment for the bicycle portion of the race. This is a lighter version of the chamois leather in cycling shorts, to allow running in to be performed more efficiently and the shorts to dry faster after the swim.

Manufacturers

In addition to the style's namesake company Speedo, competitive briefs-style swimwear are produced by companies including Adidas, Zoggs, Tyr, Dolfin, Arena, Kiefer, Adidas, Nike, Inc. and aussieBum. Many of these companies have expanded their merchandise to reflect recent trends in water sports. These include the growing popularity of the jammer style and the development of full body suits for competitive swimming.

On the fashion end, several designer companies including Nautica, Olaf Benz, Calvin Klein and aussieBum have begun lines of brief style suits in the United States. Most designer brands of male swimwear in Europe, Asia and Australia produce lines of much briefer style suits, including the increasingly popular Brazilian square cut trunks (known as sunga in Portuguese).

Related Research Articles

Snorkeling Swimming while breathing through a snorkel

Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped breathing tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn. Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods with relatively little effort and to breathe while face-down at the surface.

Skin-tight garment Clothing that hugs the body

A skin-tight garment is a garment that is held to the skin usually by elastic tension using some type of stretch fabric. Commercial stretch fabrics ('elastomerics') such as spandex or elastane came onto the market in 1962, and revolutionized many areas of the clothing industry. A wide variety of clothing may be made to be skin-tight, and it is common for clothing to be skin-tight for some uses, such as in stockings, bodystockings, swimsuits and women's bras.

Wetsuit Garment for water activities, providing thermal insulation but not designed to prevent water entering

A wetsuit is a garment worn to provide thermal protection while wet. It is usually made of foamed neoprene, and is worn by surfers, divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports and other activities in or on water, primarily providing thermal insulation, but also buoyancy and protection from abrasion, ultraviolet exposure and stings from marine organisms. The insulation properties of neoprene foam depend mainly on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material, which reduce its ability to conduct heat. The bubbles also give the wetsuit a low density, providing buoyancy in water.

Swimsuit Clothing worn for swimming

A swimsuit is an item of clothing designed to be worn by people engaging in a water-based activity or water sports, such as swimming, diving and surfing, or sun-orientated activities, such as sun bathing. Different types may be worn by men, women, and children. A swimsuit can be described by various names, some of which are used only in particular locations, including swimwear, bathing suit, swimming costume, bathing costume, swimming suit, swimmers, swimming togs, bathers, cossie, or swimming trunks for men, besides others.

Speedo International Ltd. is a distributor of swimwear and swim-related accessories based in Nottingham, England, known for their swim briefs. They have roots in Australia but are no longer manufactured in Australia. Founded in Sydney, Australia, in 1914 by Alexander MacRae, a Scottish emigrant, the industry-leading company is now a subsidiary of the British Pentland Group. Today, the Speedo brand can be found on products ranging from swimsuits and goggles to wristwatches. The Speedo brand was previously manufactured for and marketed in North America as Speedo USA by PVH under an exclusive perpetual licence, who acquired prior licensee Warnaco Group in 2013. As of January 2020, the Pentland Group purchased back the rights from PVH for $170 million in cash subject to regulatory approval.

Boardshorts

Boardshorts are a type of swimwear and casual wear in the form of relatively long loose-fitting shorts that are designed to be quick-drying and are generally made from strong and smooth polyester or nylon material. Originally known as surf trunks, later as Jams, and occasionally in British English as swim shorts, boardshorts are a style of men's and, more recently, women's summerwear.

Competitive swimwear Swimsuit, clothing, equipment and accessories used in the aquatic competitive sports

Competitive swimwear refers to the swimsuit, clothing, equipment, and accessories used in the aquatic sports of swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, triathlon, and water polo.

Rash guard Stretch garment for protection from abrasion, UV and stings

A rash guard, also known as rash vest or rashie, is an athletic shirt made of spandex and nylon or polyester. The name rash guard reflects the fact that the shirt protects the wearer against rashes caused by abrasion, or by sunburn from extended exposure to the sun, as sun protective clothing.

High-technology swimwear, or tech suits, are scientifically advanced materials used for swimwear in competitive water sports such as swimming and triathlon. Materials of this type are normally spandex and nylon composite fabrics with features to reduce drag against the water. The fabrics include features that increase the swimmer's glide through water and reduce the absorption of water by the suit as opposed to regular swimsuits.

Swim trunks Short trousers

Swim trunks are brief shorts, loose-fitting or tight, worn for sports, especially boxing, swimming, and track.

Briefs Type of undergarment and swimwear

Briefs or a brief are a type of short, form-fitting underwear and swimwear, as opposed to styles where material extends down the thighs.

Burkini

A burkini is a style of swimsuit for women. The suit covers the whole body except the face, the hands and the feet, while being light enough for swimming. The amount of skin covered is about the same as the person wearing a wetsuit and a swimming cap.

Gym shorts

Gym shorts are an article of clothing typically worn by people when exercising. They are typically made out of fabrics that allow for maximum comfort and ease, such as nylon. Brands such as Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, and Reebok all make gym shorts. Cotton gym shorts were made popular by a cheerleading brand called Soffe. Gym shorts or sweatpants are required for many junior high and high school physical education courses.

Jantzen is a brand of swimwear that was established in 1916 and first appeared in the city of Portland, Oregon, United States. The brand name later replaced the name of the parent company that manufactured the branded products. The brand featured a logo image of a young woman, dressed in a red one-piece swimsuit and bathing hat, assuming a diving posture with outstretched arms and an arched back. Known as the Jantzen "Diving Girl", the image in various forms became famous throughout the world during the early twentieth century.

LZR Racer

The LZR Racer is a line of competition swimsuits manufactured by Speedo using a high-technology swimwear fabric composed of woven elastane-nylon and polyurethane. The swimsuits are made in body-length; they compress the body and trap air for buoyancy. The LZR Pro and LZR Elite were launched on 13 February 2008; the higher-priced LZR Elite was replaced by the LZR Elite 2 in early 2014. The LZR X, the most recent addition to Speedo's competition suit lineup, was launched in early 2015. The technology is patented in Italy, and protected worldwide.

Undergarment Clothes worn under other clothes

Undergarments or underwear are items of clothing worn beneath outer clothes, usually in direct contact with the skin, although they may comprise more than a single layer. They serve to keep outer garments from being soiled or damaged by bodily excretions, to lessen the friction of outerwear against the skin, to shape the body, and to provide concealment or support for parts of it. In cold weather, long underwear is sometimes worn to provide additional warmth. Special types of undergarments have religious significance. Some items of clothing are designed as undergarments, while others, such as T-shirts and certain types of shorts, are appropriate both as undergarments and as outer clothing. If made of suitable material or textile, some undergarments can serve as nightwear or swimsuits, and some are intended for sexual attraction or visual appeal.

Bikini variants Any of various styles of swimsuits based on or influenced by the bikini

The bikini has spawned many stylistic variations. A regular bikini is a two-piece swimsuit that together covers a female's crotch, buttocks, and breasts. Some bikini designs cover larger portions of the wearer's body while other designs provide minimal coverage. Topless variants are still sometimes considered bikinis, although they are technically not a two-piece swimsuit.

Swimming (sport) Water-based sport

Swimming is an individual or team racing sport that requires the use of one's entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke, ordered as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

History of competitive swimwear

The history of competitive swimwear has been dominated by concerns over public nudity in the first half of the 20th century and by efforts to reduce water drag in the second half. Those efforts initially lead swimmers to reduce the early sagging one-piece swimsuits down to briefs only. With the development of new materials that tightly fit the body and offered lower resistance to water than human skin, this trend was reversed to a complete body coverage from heels to neck and wrists. FINA banned full-body suits from competition effective from 1 January 2010, stating that it "wishes to recall the main and core principle is that swimming is a sport essentially based on the physical performance of the athlete".

History of swimwear

History of swimwear traces the changes in the styles of men's and women's swimwear over time and between cultures, and touches on the social, religious and legal attitudes to swimming and swimwear.

References

  1. "Has speedop become a generic trademark?". genericides.org. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  2. "Ozwords - Smuggling budgies to budgie smugglers". ozwords.org.
  3. "Alton Towers bans Speedos". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  4. Sachin Bhola. "The Speedo Debate". AskMen.
  5. "To be brief - no thanks!". The New Zealand Herald . 29 December 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  6. "Speedos v Trunks in swimming pools in France". The Good Life France. Retrieved 2015-12-23.