Evolution of the two-piece!
Summer is coming!
Summer is coming and along with summer comes swimwear of different shapes, sizes, and colors! Beauty does not come in shape or size. Beauty comes in dressing for your body shape and type! It comes from putting on an outfit and saying to yourself you look good and you feel good! Beauty is not an outfit or swimwear that you have to hold un-natural positions to move or to keep covered.
I am not a big two-piece fan. I have a blond little girl and she often will wear swim shirts or a tankini just to provide sun coverage without the chemical of sunscreen (although we do use that as well)! Have you ever thought of where the two-piece came from? Who was the first to say let’s stop covering women from ear to the ankle and allow them the freedom to move in water?
During the Victorian period, modesty was a priority and women wore short dresses and ankle length pantaloons. The bathing costume was made of wool flannel and made to stay stiff so as not to reveal the female form. Dark colors prevailed, being less revealing than light colors.
In 1913 things changed. Carl Jantzen changed the costume to a suit. He is said to have created the first two-piece functional bathing suite. It was made of wool and came with stockings and a bathing hat.
In 1920 the suite became shorter and tighter to allow more freedom. More and more women were mixed bathing and the swimming industry was born.
The post-depression era of the 1930s brought a sleeker two-piece. It showed more mid-drift and we start seeing more colors. However, the belly button was always covered! With the 1930s we also see the material switching to an early form of latex. It proved to be much more sensible for water.
In 1940 a French designer made the first string suite from just 30 square inches of material. This was the first to reveal the belly button. It was called the Bikini Atoll, named after the first test site for the atomic bomb. It was considered so scandalous that it was prohibited on most European beaches. The bikini was born!
The bikini has since morphed through the years but the basic shape has stayed the same. A small top and a small bottom. Now you can walk on any beach and see bikinis of all shapes and sizes, and color on women of all shapes, sizes, and color.
As an avid swimmer, I am so glad we have ditched the wool!