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Linked to the most flamboyant members of the male species, swimming briefs (often called Speedos in the same way that Hoover, Escalator, and Aspirin were market leading trademarks that have now become generic terms), can often be spotted covering the privates of tanned ‘metro’ males sunning themselves in exotic climes… Not to mention displayed to perfection on high profile A-listers with washboard abs like Daniel Craig, Ricky Martin, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

But with the Olympics in all its budgie-smuggling glory, the item’s functionality is once again put to the test. English heartthrob diver Tom Daley has already firmly secured his place as a sex symbol and national hero by wearing his patriotic ADIDAS Stella McCartney designed trunks.

Not satisfied with dominating Olympics pools and sandy coasts, swimming briefs are known to be a trademark piece for many designer’s summer collections, strutting down catwalks all over the globe. Versace took Milano by storm this year when showcasing their SS13 Gladiator themed collection featuring a variety of super tight trunks adorned with Greek motifs. Similarly, Japanese label Comme De Garcons has had a fruitful six year collaboration with the Speedo brand designing graphics for the company during Beijing’s Olympics.

Truth be told, not everyone can rock them – cue innumerable hours at the gym, cutting down on the carbs, not to mention having the balls (ahem) to wear them. After all, sometimes less is more.

1. Men’s Basic Brief by SPEEDO, £10
2. Multi-striped trim trunks by PAUL SMITH, £55
3. ‘GB Team’ Mens Swim Brief by ADIDAS, £22
4. Marina Chic swim briefs by HOM, £30
5. League Twelve swim briefs by AUSSIEBUM, £35

– Walter Ugarkovic

Image courtesy of ADIDAS

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