Since the dawn of mankind clothing has been a part of life that has been ever-changing. Women’s swimwear too has been through quite the journey from its origin. In fact swimwear has had such an interesting journey through times, so much so that a look at its history is a must. We begin our journey in the classical times where since the time of Greeks, bathing was done in the nude. In fact the first documented account states that it was tradition for women to bathe in the nude. This trend continued on till the 17th or 18th Century when bathing in the nude was banned.
This emerging trend first appeared in England where a “Bathing Decree” was pronounced banning women from bathing in the nude in public places and enforcing the Bathing Gown rule. The dress which was made of a material that allowed for the dree to maintain its shape somewhat so as to not cling on to the body when wet became a must for women during that time and was a punishable offence. In Victorian times, the introduction of Bathing Machines in public bathing places slightly reduced the impracticality of the bathing gown but the rule was still enforced.
From then on the style of one piece swimsuit moved away from the dress and more towards more of a wetsuit look. It still covered up the shoulders and so on as that law required it. The big splash took place in 1907 when Annette Kellerman visited America an underwater ballerina from Australia. What caused the commotion was not the underwater ballet but the fact that she did so wearing an outfit that is similar to what competitive swimmers today wear. She was immediately arrested for indecent exposure due to the fact that she showed her legs, shoulders and arms in public.
Following the lead of Kellerman, swimsuits began to stray away from the accepted fashion and move towards the styles we see today. The 1940’s proved to be a milestone year for ladies swimwear with the appearance of the classic style known as “Bikini” which featured the signature midriff exposure. The name was given to the outfit after Bikini Atoll, the nuclear weapons testing site, due to the explosive effect on the viewer. Since then high quality speedo have reduced in terms of coverage witch the introduction of variants of the Bikini such as the Microkini which is a bikini with less coverage and Monokini which is a bikini which forgoes any upper body coverage. So through the times we see that swimwear fashion appears to be heading towards its origins in the times of the Greeks.