A bikini is a type of open-top swimwear for women that has two pieces (usually a bra and panties). There are also bikini modifications: monokini – a lightweight version of a one-piece swimsuit; tankini – a bikini set in which a tank-top (T-shirt) is used instead of the traditional top.
Clothes resembling bikinis were used by women for sports since ancient Rome. During World War II, there was a rational approach to everything, including tailoring. In 1943, in the United States, it was proposed to reduce by 10% the consumption of fabric for sewing one women’s swimsuit. This is how separate swimwear appeared.
On the beaches of the United States, men showed an increased interest in women who accepted the patriotic appeal.
The real bikini story began in July 1946, when French engineer Louis Reard persuaded his fellow strip dancer Micheline Bernardini to show the public a new two-piece swimsuit.
The designer gave his invention the name of the atoll in the Pacific Ocean (Bikini Atoll), on which the US tested the atomic bomb: thereby Rear emphasized the “explosive” effect that this fashionable novelty was supposed to produce.
Simultaneously with Luis Rear, a similar two-piece swimsuit was created by Jacques Heim and named “The Atom”. The new model was presented as the world’s smallest swimsuit. To which Rear reacted immediately, claiming that his bikini was “smaller than the world’s smallest swimsuit.”
The advertising slogan accompanying the release of the new model used the parallels between Jacques Heim’s model name and nuclear decay – “Bikini – divided Atom!” …
Rear cut his swimsuit from a 30-inch (0.76 sq. M) cut: a bust of two triangles connected with a string and open panties. Rhear’s company said the two-piece swimsuit can only be called a bikini “if it can be slipped through a wedding ring.”
The advent of the bikini has sparked a lively debate around the world. In Catholic countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Italy, bikinis were banned. Tourists who dared to appear in it on the seashore were escorted back to the hotel by the valiant Spanish guard.
Morality organizations have pressured Hollywood to exclude bikini scenes from films.
In 1957, Modern Girl magazine wrote: “We cannot but mention the so-called bikini swimsuit. It is absolutely not possible that a decent girl is capable of wearing such a thing. ”
It took more than ten years before bikinis ceased to shock the public and became fashionable. Brigitte Bardot made a significant contribution to the popularization of bikinis in the 1950s.
In the 1970s, bikinis from two ribbons gained popularity, in the 80s they were Brazilian “tangas” or thin bikinis (with a small triangle in the back), and in the 90s more sporty swimwear models became fashionable, like for female volleyball players.
Also in the 90s, the world saw a return to fashion a bikini a la “James Bond”, which repeated the design of the bikini beauty from the movie about the English spy of the 60s. This bikini features more closed panties with a thong.
In the late 90s, knitted bikinis were very popular.
Today bikinis are inseparable from beachwear. It is lightweight, fits well, and lasts much longer thanks to the ‘lycra’ fiber invented in the 60s.
Bikinis are constantly changing depending on fashion trends. The top triangles are replaced with a strip of fabric or an underwire bra, and the panties are converted into ribbons or thongs. Or vice versa, they increase to mini-shorts.
Today bikinis can be bought on average from 20 to 500 euros. Youth brands like Roxy, s.Oliver, Benetton, etc. offer relatively inexpensive bikini models. Swimwear from famous designer brands (Gucci, Versace, Pucci, etc.) can be quite expensive, reaching several hundred dollars.
How to wear
Whether you’re heading into a waterfront cafe, stepping into a hotel room, or taking a stroll by the pool, resort etiquette strongly recommends throwing on a bikini, something that is more spacious and less disturbing. For these purposes, a pareo scarf is perfect – just a rectangular piece of lightweight fabric.
Buy not one, but two or even three different swimsuits. And not only because doctors recommend not to stay on the beach in a wet swimsuit. Different types of bikini swimwear, especially in different combinations, can also add variety and personality.
Choice of stars
A bikini is a must-have for every slim and not-so-woman. Stars are not an exception, but rather a rule. Almost every famous diva has at least a couple of bikini swimwear in her arsenal.
More than 60 years later, the shock of a half-naked female figure on the beach has long since passed. Today bikinis are experiencing a rebirth. The popularity of this model among modern women is very high because for tanning there is no more comfortable swimsuit than a bikini.
The French national invention is successfully marching around the world, and there is still no reason for the bikini to go out of fashion.