Breaking the Norm

Breaking the Norm: Swim Brief & Tights

I’ve talked about breaking the norms many times on my blog. That is what we do wearing what society says isn’t what us guys wear. So what is a norm? This is a definition from the Cambridge dictionary.

an accepted standard or a way of behaving or doing things that most people agree with

I’ll agree it appears to be an accepted standard, but I think it is more projected on us than people agreeing on for at least fashion. We have fashion gurus saying what is in style, advertising, media, movies, tv shows, etc. I guess a fashion norm is a societal standard of what is thought to be what women and men should wear.

It’s always hard to go against the grain of what you’re supposed to wear. We’ve been conditioned that this is what certain people wear and this is what these people wear and this is what you should wear. Some of what we should wear comes down to location. Some places are more open minded making it easier to wear what isn’t exactly the norm. Then of course there is the opposite with very close minded places making it extremely hard to break that norm.

Breaking a norm is about gaining confidence in wearing what you want to wear. Being happy with yourself and body. We think it matters what other people think, but it is about you being you. Let people judge. Most people aren’t going to voice it. They’ll most likely move on after the initial shock. Some will admire and like that you have the confidence to wear what you want.

For some of us like me, it can be a long journey to break the norm. Read my journey into swim brief wearing to see how long it took. Really the journey isn’t over with them. There is always a bit of a mental struggle at times with society saying guys don’t wear skimpy swimwear. Then there are situations where I don’t have the courage to wear swim briefs yet. Of course I do my best to avoid those situations.

The norm breaking I’m working on now is with tights or leggings. I’m taking things I’ve learned from my journey into swim briefs, along with conversations, and trying to apply it to wearing them. You can read my post where I talk about some suggestions on rocking a swim brief. I see it as you need to make the thing a norm to yourself first. That will start the confidence you need to start expanding your reach with the item and pushing back against the societal norm.

If you need help and support in breaking a norm then leave a comment or join the forums and let us know. There are lots of people that will help support you on your journey. It can take a lot to just not care and be you. Let’s keep chipping away and make some new norms for ourselves.

9 Responses

  1. David says:

    Breaking the norm can be a good thing. I pushed my limits years ago and it felt good.

  2. DonS says:

    I’m glad you mentioned there are societal norms and personal norms.

    A personal norm I have is that men only wear darker coloured underwear, plus white as more a traditional thing. I have yellow string bikinis that I wear as often as any of the other colours (black, blue, red) that I have. I recently had a skin check that revealed a cancer that required excision on my leg just above the knee. For the operation day, I just wore the black bikini that was top of the pile. Two weeks later for bandage removal, yellow was top of the pile. Should I wear that, or swap with the next day’s blue. I chose the yellow. There were no problems with doctor or nurse, this issue was purely my thinking.

    Although the middle-aged nurse did once come around the back of me, when every other time she had walked in front as there was plenty of space. I wondered if that was to check the back of the underwear, as the lack of fabric showing on my legs (still covered by the shirt) might have made her think it was a g-string. If she spent the rest of the day wondering what I had been wearing, then well and good. I walked out of the clinic knowing I can wear a yellow string bikini anywhere.

    I suspect a lot of what we see on this forum is personal norms needing to be overcome. That’s one I have succeeded with.

    • T says:

      Hi Don. Wishing you a speedy recovery from your recent health scare, and thanks for taking the time to share your positive bikini experience at the hospital.

      • DonS says:

        Don’t worry, it’s not the first skin cancer removed and it won’t be the last. Scottish skin and subtropical sun are not a good combination. That’s not just me saying that, it is from a doctor. No melanomas yet though, and we are melanoma capital of the world.

    • The Bottom Drawer says:

      I think we look at more the societal norms and get discourage. We need to focus on that personal norm first. Going to try to talk more on this topic in my next post. Thanks for sharing your break through to starting to make brighter colors more of a norm for you.

  3. T says:

    I guess everyone who contributes to this blog could be said to be breaking the norm when it comes to the types of underwear and swimwear we choose to put on our bodies. Unfortunately, thongs, bikinis, G-strings, speedos etc are NOT considered normal wear for any man if what we see and hear in society is to be believed. How often do we hear the word speedo or the dreaded man thong being used in a derogatory way as if the word itself was distasteful to the speaker.

    A person’s age can also be used to decide what they should or shouldn’t wear once they’ve reached a certain stage on life’s journey. A few years ago I suggested a topic to Nate headed “mutton dressed as lamb” which is a saying popular in the UK to describe ladies of a certain vintage who continue to dress in styles that are usually associated with a younger age group. I’m not aware of a male equivalent, but I’m sure we can all think of an example where we’ve tried something on and decided it’s not for me. While I’d defend the rights of anyone to wear whatever they want, which is what this article is all about, I do still balk at guys on Instagram wearing crop tops(lol).
    I’m sure guys, especially of the older generation, are probably expected to wear boxer shorts or white/grey underpants beneath their clothes, and baggy dork shorts on the beach, but thankfully some of us are still going against the “norm” with our thongs, bikinis, speedos and G-strings, and long may we continue to thumb our noses at society while baring our butts!

    • The Bottom Drawer says:

      There are definitely age norms out there too. Why should our undies and swimwear get bigger as we age? Why can’t we continue to show our bodies in something form fitting? I think we see this more in women’s fashion over men’s. Women seem to get more conservative with their dress as they age. I feel men’s just stays fairly the same, since we’re already in trunks and loose fitting attire.

    • DonS says:

      “Mamil”, not quite the same as the ladies version, but a derogatory term all the same.

      I think it is even worse than you describe for the older men, as these skimpier styles are what I grew up with. I wore Speedos all through my teenage years, and Speedos were very common at that time. Same for underwear, string bikinis of various brands and nylon or cotton then, and nylon in more recent times. If I had to wear board shorts for a beach visit, I’d refuse, and not only for the fact that I don’t own any and would have a purchase for a one-off wearing.

      • T says:

        I’m guessing the person who came up with the acronym MAMIL was not a fan of older guys wearing skin tight shorts and more recently tights and leggings. Could it be that like speedos and bikinis, the male package cannot be completely concealed in lycra shorts etc, so they are deemed unsuitable for public viewing? I often see older guys in lycra shorts running up and down the cliff path where I go when on holiday in Sicily, and no one bats an eyelid. It’s the same attitude when it comes to guys in speedos, so I guess it depends where in the world you are.

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