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October 12, 2015

The Evolution of Swimsuits From the Late 1880s to 1970s

Take a look back at how swimsuits, especially the 2-piece variety, have changed over the years...

Late 1880s:

The 1880s until about the early 1900s was about full coverage when it came to swimwear. Women were not supposed to reveal too much skin so that men would not get the wrong impression of them. These suits resembeled dresses and allowed for little to no sun exposure at all!


Fashion history was made waves in the 1920s with styles allowing for more skin exposure. Liberated from long skirts, women of the twenties wore a sleeveless tank suit that formed to every curve and made women feel sexier than ever. They weren’t completely free yet, as there was a city ordiance that swimsuits could not be more than six inches above the knee!


Backless one piece suits during the 1930’s were all the rage, drastically transforming swimsuit styles for years to come. These suits were the first to bear some resemblance to swimwear of today.


The 1940s were very popular for their halter top bathing suits that promoted the sexy corset-style. In 1946, the bikini we all know and love was first introduced in Paris by French engineer Louis RĂ©ard and fashion designer Jacques Heim.


One piece suits were still the most popular choice during the 1950s, but some did venture out and show off more skin. For the braver ladies during this time, bikinis were ideal and the trend really started to pick up. Finally, swimsuits allowed women to feel confidant and attractive, revealing a new standard of sexy. Rubber swim caps with fancy flowers were also all the rage during this time, and I hope these never make an appearance ever again!


The swimsuits of the 1960s were the first suits that drastically changed the way we see swim suits today. Modesty was out and liberating the skin was in. The bikini was the dominant swimsuit style, except now everything was cut a little lower. Women wanted to bear it all and for once, no one was complaining. Finally, no more limits!


The 1970s were all about high waisted bottoms and barely any coverage. Without any restrictions, designers used this time to experiment with different styles and reveal nearly every curve of the female figure. This was all the rage in Europe and eventually made its way to the states, where it flooded the scenes.

(via LuLus)



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