Beach season equals bikini season. Love it or loathe it, warm summer days in the surf and sun are enjoyable and fun for everyone!
Swimwear is clothing designed to be worn by people engaging in water-based activity or water sports, such as swimming, diving, surfing or sun bathing. Although many types of bathing suits exist, a bikini (or two piece bathing suit) is one of the most popular.
A bikini is usually a women’s abbreviated two piece swimsuit with a bra type top for the chest and underwear cut below the naval. The basic design is simple: two triangles of fabric on top cover the women’s breasts and two triangles of fabric on the bottom cover the groin in front and the buttocks in back (unless you prefer to wear a thong bikini. Then all buns are out)! In a bikini or two piece bathing suit, the size of the bottom can range from full pelvic coverage to a revealing thong or G-string design.
Bathing Suit Fun Fact: Rayon was used in the 1920s in the manufacture of tight-fitting swimsuits, but its durability, especially when wet, proved problematic, with jersey and silk also being used. In the 1930s, new materials were being developed and used in swimwear, particularly latex and nylon, and swimsuits gradually began hugging the body.
The modern two piece bathing suit design first attracted public notice in Paris on July 5, 1946. French mechanical engineer Louis Reard introduced a design he named the ‘bikini’, taking the name from the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Four days earlier, the United States had initiated its first peace-time nuclear weapons test at Bikini Atoll as part of Operations Crossroads. Reard hoped his swimsuit’s revealing style would create an “explosive commercial and cultural reaction”, similar to the explosion at Bikini Atoll. His hunch paid off, it did, big time!
Beach baby…beach baby…there on the sand from July to the end of September…Surfing was fun, we’d be out in the sun everyday! (The Beach Boys)
Bathing Suit Fun Fact: Bathing suits are often lined with another layer of fabric incase the outer material becomes see through when wet. Most swimsuits in modern culture leave at least the head, shoulders, arms and legs exposed.
Bathing Suit Not So Fun Fact: Germs, bacteria and mold can grow very quickly on wet bathing suits. Medical professionals warn against sharing bathing suits with others.
When donned in a darling bathing suit of your own, you’ll stand out like no other! Beach bomb!
Bikini beach bonanza – two pieces of material never looked so good!
Bikini Fun Fact: Common glamour shots of popular actresses and models played a large part in bringing the bikini into mainstream fashion. During the 1950s, Hollywood stars such as Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Esther Williams, Tina Louise, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe took advantage of the risqué publicity associated with the bikini by posing for photographs wearing the two piece bathing beauties. In Europe, 17-year-old Brigitte Bardot wore scanty bikinis in French films.
Bikini Fun Fact: By the 1960s the bikini caught on to mainstream fashion popularity, and by 1963, the movie Beach Party, starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon led a wave of films that made the bikini a pop-culture symbol. In 1965, it was reported in Time magazine that “65% of the young set had crossed over to wearing bikinis in public.”
Raquel Welch’s fur bikini in One Million Years B.C. (1966) gave the world the most iconic bikini shot of all time and the poster image became an iconic moment in cinema history.
Louis Reard’s company folded in 1988, four years after his death. By the end of the century, the bikini had become the most popular beachwear around the world. This global credit is given to the power of women more than the power of fashion.
Bikini Fun Fact: By the early 2000s, bikinis had become an $811 million business annually, according to the NPD Group, a consumer and retail information company, and had boosted spin-off services like bikini waxing and the sun tanning industries.
Bikini Fun Fact: Bikini variations include string bikinis, monokinis, tankinis, skirtini, granny bikini, hikinis, tie-sides, teardrops and thongs.
“I can’t take my eyes off of you with that shapely, stunning bikini you have on.”
“This is my favorite bathing suit for taking a swim or simply soaking up the sun.”
“You must exercise day and night to keep that swimsuit fitting just right.”
“All body shapes and sizes can wear a bikini…fitted loose or fitted tight.”
“Your bikini is so lovely I imagine you don’t want to change out of the bathing suit.”
“Yes. Sometimes I wear it in the winter months…braving the cold is quite a hoot!”
Bikini/Two Piece Bathing Suits: Good for soaking up the sun or taking an early winter morning run! Pure fashion fun!
Nancy’s next book in her award winning murder mystery series, Deadly Decisions – A Natalie North Novel, available now in online and retail bookstores.
Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist, screenwriter and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying, Murder Can Be Messy and Deadly Decisions – A Natalie North Novel. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Mangano/362187023895846