The standard mesh-lined men’s bathing suit simply wasn’t cutting it for Zachary Baiany. As a teenager, he’d use compression shorts under his suit for extra comfort, and soon he realized some of his friends were wearing spandex under their suits—or opting to wear gym shorts layered over compression underwear.
“I did research on how suits came to be their current form and found out mesh had just been used since the 1950s because it was a cheap and easy material to add in to provide some support,” Baiany says. “That was when I realized how many people would love a short with a built-in compression liner.”
After making seven prototypes over several years of development, he launched Freewear, a line of men’s bathing suits, just in time for this year’s beach season. The online shop currently offers board shorts with a compression liner, and Baiany, now 22 and a recent BC grad, hopes to eventually expand to other bathing suit styles. For now, he is happy to have solved a comfort problem—and he’s surprised Freewear is earning kudos for more than comfort: “People have liked the look just as much as the feel.”