The square cut or square leg style suit is a form-fitting male swimsuit used as a slightly more conservative style than swim briefs for water polo and diving, or for recreational wear. Like swim briefs, they are made of a nylon and spandex blend. They typically sit low on the waist and high on the thigh, but provide more coverage for the upper leg than briefs. The square-cut style was popular as a recreational swimsuit for men during the 1950s.
Suits of this type are named for the coverage that they provide to the upper thighs due to a square seam opening for the leg. Square leg suits range in appearance from those similar to swim briefs with a slightly straighter front and wider side panelling (eliminating the arc appearance on the leg), to those resembling boxer briefs by providing an inch or more of fabric coverage over the upper section of the leg.
The square leg suit of the 1970s made a fashion revival in Australia in 2002 with the introduction of colorful floral and retro geometric patterned suits by swimwear label Funky Trunks. The style is popular amongst competitive swimmers for pool training and for recreational swimmers in the pool and at the beach.
In 2006, square cut suits resembling its 1950s predecessor made a comeback in the United States and Europe. Several fashion designers, including Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, introduced designer retro-style square leg suits to their catalogs, and Speedo followed with a more moderately priced version. In some South American countries such as Brazil, square-legged suits are the norm.