Bikini Beautiful Week: A Very Brief History of the Bikini (As We Know It)

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1913- Carl Jantzen started making two-piece bathing suits to enhance female athletic performance. They were scandalous at the time, but they’d just look like snug shorts and tees to us now.

1930s & 40s- Fabric rationing means most garments got skimpier, bathing suits included. Two pieces started featuring a slice of exposed flesh between the naval and chest.

1946- Parisian designer, Jaques Heim debuted the atome—the teeniest two piece yet!

1947- With a mere 30 inches of fabric, Louis Réard invented the bikini! It’s named for Bikini Atoll (the site of the first atomic bomb test). The suit was first modeled by a showgirl named Michele Bernardini.

1950s- The bikini starts gaining popularity. There’s an ad campaign claiming that a swimsuit is not a bikini “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring”–risqué!

1957- Esther Williams writes in Modern Girl magazine that “It is hardly necessary to waste words over the so-called bikini since it is inconceivable that any girl with tact and decency would ever wear such a thing.”

1960- Bryan Hyland’s song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1962- Ursula Andress wears iconic white bikini as Bond girl Honey Ryder in Dr. No

1983- Carrie Fisher wears metallic bikini in Return of the Jedi.

1990s-Present- The bikini is ubiquitous, a pervasive summer staple.

Information via Elle ( and Time (,29307,1908353,00.html)

This post is sponsored by BIC Soleil razors.

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