Swimwear Fashion -

Hitting the Beach Then and Now

Swimwear-Greek Togas

Swimwear is as popular and fashionable as any high-fashion couture out there. But this wasn't always the case when the public got a first glimpse of it many years ago. The first bathing costume first appeared in Greece in 350 BC. Greeks wore togas during bathing and swimming when it became the most popular pastime during ancient times. A study of a 4th –century mosaic revealed images of girls garbed in bikini-like swimwear. When the Roman Empire fell apart, swimwear became outdated as Europeans flocked to the sea to seek therapy rather than recreation.


The 20th century is considered to be the most exciting era for the swimwear fashion. In 1920s, people were treated with figure-hugging and skimpy swimming outfits. It was received with shocked from the more conservative population since this style was a novel idea during this time. However, the younger population received it with more eagerness as it was a deliverance from long skirts and full dresses. The tank suit in the 20s complemented those with athletic figures. It had a length that reached the mid-thigh and featured modesty shorts inside it. They often had abstract patterns or stripes and full-figured women wore the tank suit with wraps.


The 1930s introduced a new style in swimwear fashion. The unflattering tank suit was replaced with cotton printed swimwear with a more feminine cut. A tiny skirt sometimes covered the lower portion to hide the thighs from view. The two-piece swimwear of today first appeared in this era. Hollywood celebrities helped boost the swimwear industry as bathers tried to imitate popular celebrities clad in the latest style of swimsuit. Esther Williams and Dorothy Lamour stirred interest in more revealing swimming costumes that flaunted body curves.


As the popularity of corset as part of women's clothing waned manufacturers turned their attention to swimwear fashion and thought of a way to incorporate corset in them. In the 1940s, swimwears featured stretch panel in the midsection to help hide tummy bulge. Bra cups and boning were also added to mold the breasts and give more support. One could then wear this kind of swimsuit strapless or with thin straps that had to be buttoned inside. The one-piece style of swimwear continued into the 1950s. Swimming caps were also popular as some bathers didn't want to get their hair wet. Sometimes, these caps were adorned with plastic or metal accessories to make them more attractive.

Photo Credit: Marilyn Monroe on the Beach, Photographed by Sam Shaw

Swimwear-Brazilian TangaNylon or Lycra was the main material of swimwears in the 1960s. Manufacturers concentrated on the ease of use. Stretchy materials meant they can be easily worn like a pair of underwear. During the late 1960s, the midsection was cut out and replaced with a see-through material. The one-piece swimwear tried to stay updated by making it shorter in the thigh area. The Brazilian tanga that first appeared in the 1980s revolutionized waxing. Today, waxing is a prerequisite to wearing a bikini or swimwear.

Types of Swimwear

Over the years, bathing costumes have evolved into a variety of styles. The one-piece or two-piece bikinis are no longer the options since there are other cuts and styles that could flatter any body figure. Comfort and style are the main focus of many swimsuit designers of today. The importance of flaunting and complementing body curves gave way for swimsuits that are fashionable and with a perfect fit. Here are some types of swimwear that could accentuate any body figure.

Swimwear-String Bikini

String Bikini - this type of bathing suit fits those who want to flaunt their curvy hips. Women with pear-shaped body will be able to balance their figure perfectly with a string bikini. Bikini bottoms that need to be tied on the side are sexy and will accentuate a gorgeous bottom further. Women with great cleavage will benefit from deep plunging neckline as the cut will define their cleavage more.

Swimwear-Padded BikiniPadded Bikini - those who keep worrying about their boyish figure will have their problem solved, thanks to this kind of bathing suit. Padded bikinis will be able to furnish the missing curves. If you are disappointed with the size of your breasts, bold patterns will fill you up and provides the illusion of fuller breasts.

Swimwear-UnderwireUnderwire Support - women with fuller breasts will need some support when swimming. This category provides plenty of options for larger top sizes. Under-wire support can be found in both one-piece and two-piece suit. Under-wire makes the breasts perkier and provides ample support.

Swimwear-MiraclesuitMiracle Suit - this is ideal for plus-size women. It aims to make full figure look smaller. The stretchy materials help tuck the excess weight in. The miracle suit makes the waist look slimmer and the body curvier.

Swimwear-HalterHalter-top Bikinis - this kind of bathing suit are for women who have gorgeous body figure, especially if they want to flaunt their full cleavage. There are plenty of sexy halter-top designs like the one that is banded around the midsection and goes around the back and neck. It can easily be adjusted so the bust is given some lift and make it look perkier.

Popular Swimwear Brands

Nowadays, the swimsuit industry is filled with famous and new designers wanting to give women more choices when it comes to showing their curves in a revealing outfit. There are many brands to choose from and here are some of them.

Miracle Suit Swimwear

This brand became popular by claiming that their products can make larger women look 10 pounds smaller. It is made from a special fabric that tucks the extra weight in and distributes it in different areas of the body. It is a more comfortable version than the earlier attempt of hiding stomach bulge by putting stretchy panel in the midsection.

Luli Fama Swimwears

A Sports Illustrated favorite, Luli Fama offers sexy, fashionable, and stylish top and bottom bikinis.

Beach Bunny Swimwears

Their products range from sexy to sweet. They have bikinis with lipstick-imprint patterns that would make for an innocent yet sexy swimming outfit.

Becca Swim Swimwear

Their line of swimsuits comes in simple and functional colors. But the shapes are sexy and stylish and will have every wearer stand out from the crowd.

Gottex Swimwears

This brand is not for the faint-hearted and those who don't want the extra attention. Their bikinis feature bold patterns and colorful designs.

Vix Swimwear

One of the most noted names in swimwear fashion they have everything from one-piece swimsuit to cover-ups and dresses. All sizes are also covered so it's a brand that caters to small and larger frames.

Photo Credit: