With our very own Bowler & Beach ‘Animals’ swim short range due for launch in Spring, we thought it high time to kick off our blog with a brief history of men’s swimwear (no pun intended…!).


When it was no longer acceptable to bathe or swim in the sea, lido or public wearing nothing but your birthday suit, men would wear bathing suits similar to the outfits below (although not necessarily sporting a similar pose with their friends). In the 1800s and early 1900s, these bathing suits were somewhat cumbersome and made from wool, so once wet would get rather heavy and even more cumbersome; not very conducive for a spot of swimming or posing and certainly not quick-drying!

As both fashion and swimwear textiles advanced in the 1920s and 30s – and so did fashion sense – these boxy and rather unflattering bathing suits started to be replaced by swim trunks and shorts. Dark colours were now complemented by brighter colours on the beach, and swim shorts were often worn with belts and big grins as demonstrated by the two happy chaps below.

From the 1950s and 60s, materials such as nylon and lycra led to more comfortable shorts and a myriad of styles and cuts. Designs and prints became bolder and shorts became shorter, with the advent of the Speedo, loved by Dads and continental Europeans alike. In the 1990s board shorts were popularised on beaches around the globe, with surf-inspired designs and a baggy fit. More recently there has been a resurgence in more fitted and sleeker swim shorts like the Bowler & Beach range due to launch in spring 2016, enabling the wearer to look stylish and feel comfortable whether on the beach, in the beach bar or by the pool. There has never been a better time to look your best in swimwear.

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