The 5 best vintage men's swimwear styles encompass quite a variety of materials and styles. Most men's swimsuits incorporated a type of elastic into the weave, called Lastex, with some companies having their own patents, such as DuPont with Lycra and Coles with Spandex. The purpose of this was to produce a more flattering garment by being more figure-hugging. Check out the vintage swimwear styles below to find out what was popular, and when.
- In the 1930s, black swim suits with cut-out sides were popular. These were knitted out of 100% wool, as was most of the swimwear for many years at that time. This vintage suit was a one-piece that also covered the chest, had straps over the shoulders, and had a panel over the front leg openings.
- By the 1940s, knit Lastex swim trunks became the rage. The textured weaves in many vintage swim suits had a brilliant and shimmering shine. Most swimwear already featured an inner drawstring to close the waistband. The fabric was a two-way stretch, and the leg openings were high.
- In the 1960s, vintage swim trunks often had Hawaiian prints. Made of cotton or a cotton blend, men's vintage swimwear often included an elasticized waistband. The trunks were fully lined, had an inner drawstring and elasticized leg openings. Some of them had a small pocket at the hip.
- In the 1970s, Hawaiian surfboard swim trunks were still popular. Most vintage trunks were fully lined, had a button fly and a laced waistband tie. The side of the legs had vents. Some had a pocket on the lower back of the right leg.
- By the 1980s, square cut swim trunks came into popularity. They were form fitting, low riding and were made of a two-way stretch fabric of 85% nylon and 15% Spandex. Most styles of men's swimwear had an elasticized waist and were lined in the front.