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November 15, 2016

23 Interesting Vintage Photos That Show How Swimsuits Evolved From the Victorian Era to the Bikini Age

Think it’s hot at the beach these days? Imagine wearing wool, which is what the first garments we’d recognize as swimsuits were made of.

But maybe wool had its charms. Just check out these interesting vintage photographs below and see how swimsuits evolved from Victorian times to the bikini Age.

A woman wearing a fashionable bathing costume, circa 1870. (Hulton Archive—Getty Images)

Holidaymakers posing in bathing suits in the ocean surf at Santa Monica, Calif., circa 1890. (American Stock Archive—Getty Images)

Woman in one-piece bathing suit and cap reclining on a beach in France, circa 1900. (Universal History Archive—UIG via Getty Images)

A Girl in A Bathing Costume, circa 1909. (Past Pix/SSPL—Getty Images)

Annette Kellermann, circa 1910. (ullstein bild—Getty Images)

Four young women in matching beach wear run out of the surf, Los Angeles, circa 1910. (Underwood Archives—Getty Images)

Actress Elsie Marson in a red silk swimsuit with white embroidered spots, circa 1918. (d' Ora/ullstein bild—Getty Images)

A woman in a bathing suit poses in front of a studio ocean scene, Paris, France, circa 1920. (Underwood Archives—Getty Images)

Woman having her swimsuit measured for length violations on a Washington DC beach, circa 1922. (GraphicaArtis—Getty Images)

Five women walking arm-in-arm on the beach wearing wool bathing suits, circa 1925. (GraphicaArtis—Getty Images)

A bathing dress, circa 1926. (Alexander Binder—Getty Images)

Dancer Alice Nikitina wearing a striking bathing suit at the beach in Alassio, Italy, circa 1929. (Underwood Archives—Getty Images)

Belted one-piece jersey bathing suits with stripes on the bottom; designed by Lucien Lelong, circa 1929. (George Hoyningen-Huene—Condé Nast via Getty Images)

Swimsuit fashion in Paris, France, circa 1930. (Keystone-France/Keystone-France—Getty Images)

Woman wearing cut-out swimming suit at the Aquatic gala at Molitor swimming pool, on June 23, 1931 in Paris. (Keystone-France—Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Verna Lee Fisher sporting her newly created crossword swimsuit with matching bathing hat, at Palm Beach, Fla., circa 1933. (General Photographic Agency—Getty Images)

The Latest In swimwear on a beach In California, circa 1934. (Keystone-France—Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Actresses Ida Lupino and Kathleen Burke model the latest swimwear circa 1935. (Keystone—Getty Images)

Actress Alexis Smith in a swimming costume running along the beach in southern California, circa 1940. (FPG—Getty Images)

 Bathing suit clad female members of the British Imperial Censorship Staff, who call themseleves the censorettes, standing poolside at the Princess Hotel, which also serves as their offices on the island. Circa 1941. (George Strock—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Model posing in bathing suit in Florida, circa 1945. (Nina Leen—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Two models wearing bathing suits and bathing caps, circa 1946. (Gjon Mili—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The new 'Bikini' swimming costume caused a sensation at a beauty contest at the Molitor swimming pool in Paris. Designer Louis Reard was unable to find a 'respectable' model for his costume and the job of displaying it went to 19-year-old Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris. She is holding a small box into which the entire costume can be packed. Celebrated as the first bikini, Luard's design came a few months after a similar two-piece design was produced by French designer Jacques Heim. (Keystone—Getty Images)


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