The way we wore… swimwear

Beach season is approaching, along with the usual struggle to find suitable swimwear. But we should think ourselves lucky. Here’s a few blasts from the past, to prove that we’ve genuinely never had it so good…

1940s

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Hollywood added some much-needed glamour to bathing suits after film actresses attracted a lot of public attention. With slightly higher cuts and tighter fits than the practical pre-war swimsuits, we were on the road towards Lycra…

1950s

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Things were becoming a bit more risqué as mesh or a sheer fabric was added to the midriff area, a small step towards the acceptance of far more revealing suits.

1960s

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Bikinis were a stylish alternative to the one-piece suit but the bottoms totally covered the wearer’s rear and came up to almost cover the navel. Most contained some nylon for a fitted and modern look… though the bathing hat was still obligatory, often covered with plastic flowers.

1970s

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The sexual revolution changed swimwear forever. By the mid 70s bikini tops were similar to bras and the one-piece was highly cut to show off the hips – often in a paisley pattern.

1980s

Muscled fitness woman wearing bikini and retro 80s pink sunglasses. Brown hair. Studio shot against grey.

A time of rising leg lines and complete lack of modesty – thongs were fashionable on the beach! Tan lines were easily avoided with skimpy bikini tops often made from mesh for an all-over even tan, and swimsuits came in animal prints with cut outs. It was all very Dallas.

1990s

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The tankini was in – a two-piece suit where the top met the bottoms or revealed a little midriff. Still popular today, the top half can also been work as a sun top if it has hidden support. Technology meant hidden tummy-firming panels, and bust-uplifting cuts. Plenty of celebrity paparazzi snaps meant swimwear was suddenly a designer must-have.

2000s

monokini

Love it or hate it the Monokini is a sexy, slinky one-piece that looks like a two-piece. Obviously only suited for the very slim and toned or for those wishing to make a statement! We won’t even mention the Mankini…

 

 

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