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Kathryn Denman

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of Timeline

Swimwear Timeline
Feminine cotton printed bathing suits often with little over skirts to hide the thighs gradually replaced the ugly 20's fashion. The Lastex fabric was introduced and within this era is when the two piece garment appeared.
In the mid 60's is when the bikini became more revealing, as the material of Lycra/spandex mixed with nylon was introduced.
Blogger (March 14 2007)
[Online] Available at:

Fashion Era (2001-2011)
Fashion Era
[Online] Available at:<

History of fashion and costume (no date)
[Online] Available at:

History of fashion and costume (no date)
[Online] Avaliable at:

Lightstone Software LLC (2013)
The Evolution of the Bathing Suit
[Online] Available at:<

Lulus (2013)
[Online] Avaliable at:

Veronica (June 17th 2011)
Blame it on the Boogie
[Online] Available at:<

Vintage Fashion Guide (2013)
Vintage Fashion Guide
[Online] Available at:<

Wikipedia (December 9th 2013)
[Online] Available at:

Bikini Science (no date)
The Rebound
[Online] Available at:
1900 - 1909

Created by Kathryn Denman
To prevent the skirts from rising up around the body when entering the water, hems often had weights sewn into them. The suits were worn with heavy dark stockings and for extra caution, many were also worn with long knickers or bloomers.
Women had to wear what we now class as a dress. This was to cover the shoulder's and be below the knee. The "swimsuit" to the left is an example of the style worn.
Annette Kellerman created quite the uproar in 1907, which led to her arrest. Her crime was to appear at Boston’s Revere Beach in a one-piecing bathing suit that revealed her arms, legs and rather a voluptuous body!
The first annual ‘bathing suit day’ was held at Madison Square Garden on May 16, 1916 and shortly after beauty contests became common where participants showed off their physique in a bathing suit.
1912 - Titanic Sinks
1914-1918 - WW1
These events might influence the type of swimwear as the material would not be easy to move in and heavy to escape from such situations.
In 1921 Jantzen Knitting Mills launched the first one-piece ‘elastic’ suit that immediately gained popularity with the Bathing Beauty Pageant that was held in Atlantic City, The swimwear are gradually getting shorter as time went on.
7th May 1928 -
Women over 21 got to vote.
This event might have given women more privileges and right. So this could influence how much of their body they were able to show in public.
In 1933, the B.V.D company used Olympic swimmer Johnny Weismuller to promote its swimsuit line. Due to his recommendations of extra low cut arm holes on tank tops, a natural waist, and an extra full seat, the final outcome was the first pair of bathing trunks. In 1937, men finally had the right to go topless, when only a year earlier in 1936, the "no- shirt" movement had generated much controversy, with reported cases of topless men being banned from Atlantic City beaches in New Jersey.
Influenced by
the Art Deco Movement
In 1946 the designer Louis Reard introduce the Reard’s bikini caused quite a stir in the United States. However in Catholic European countries, including Italy and Spain it was banned!
The bikini was named after Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific where atomic bomb testing had taken place.
A wide range of fabrics including lined cotton, stretch Lastex and elastic ruched waffle nylon were popular for 1950s swimwear.
By 1956 the bikini was finally accepted and became popular largely due to Bridget Bardot who was frequently photographed strolling the French Riviera wearing hers.
The swimsuit tried its best to keep up with the change with the bikini and so developed by having higher high leg as well as straight across. By the late sixties swimsuits had revealing side mesh net panels or cut out midriffs filled in with see through plastic rings.
Rio and St. Tropez, introduced the ‘Tanga’ suit, or Brazilian Thong, which was very daring as the person wearing it would require no trace of cellulite and nerves of steel! Another innovation in swimwear in the 1970s was the tan-through swimsuit but as the issue of skin protection from the sun emerged, their popularity was a short-lived novelty. For men it was the time of the cut off shorts.
During the early 1980s the legline rises up to the waist, narrowing the crotch and the hips, and so this turn the focus and attention on the sides of the pubis and the cheeks of the buttocks, both of which begin to be exposed.
Baywatch had a very unique swimsuit that revealed most of the thigh and gave the famous look of the red swimsuit.

Image Bibliography
Daniela Pestova – 1995 Issue (1995) [Image] At

History of swimwear (no date) [Image] At

History of swimwear (no date) [Image] At

Pintrest (no date) [Image] At

Pintrest (no date) [Image] At

Swimwear fabric (no date) [Image] At

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