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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 (http://www.elle.com/fashion/spotlight/the-history-of-the-bikini-654900) and Time (http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1908353,00.html)
This post is sponsored by BIC Soleil razors.