Beach Season

Temperatures are rising, which means clothes are coming off. As people head to the beach to catch summer sun and waves, the perfect bathing suit is a must. 
Years before you picked out your favorite bikini or one-piece, women were competing in sports around 5600BC in bikini-like attire in Rome, as seen in the mosaic above.

Centuries later, in the 1800s, women flocked to the beach in wool and flannel dresses. Enjoying the water in the Victorian era required the utmost level of modesty…and sweat. It’s hard to imagine heading to Miami Beach or Hilton Head in a wool dress. For respectable Victorian women though, bathing dresses and pants were the norm as they dipped their toes in the water.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s that suits became more streamlined and practical as swimming was popularized as a sport. Some of the earliest versions still had a bit more coverage than what we see today, with dress-like details and cuts that covered the female form.

Silent film director Mack Sennett embraced the youth and beauty of women in their bathing suits to promote his 1920s films. Who could resist the captivating “bathing beauties” with their smiles and boundary pushing bathing suits? It was scandalous to see their knees!
As bathing suits evolved from the dress-like styles of the bathing beauties and 1920s to one-pieces, it wasn’t long before the iconic bikini made headlines. 
Prompted by the fabric and material shortages of WWII, Louis Reard designed the bikini in 1946. Named for the island of Bikini Atoll where atomic bomb testing was held, the bikini was fit for a bombshell beauty.
Never before had the belly button been on display for all to see. Such a scandal had the Pope weighing in on the issue. It would take time and starlets like Brigitte Bardot to help make the style more widely accepted.
Beach Party film, 1963
Many women wore high waist two-piece swimsuits as a more conservative option. The stylish brief continues to find its way into modern bathing suits, providing a dash of retro flair.
 Christian Dior Resort 2008
Whether heading to the shore, lake or pool there’s a swimsuit for the occasion. Options from designers like Chanel, Dior and Tory Burch are sure to inspire your next water-filled outing.
 Chanel Resort 2013 (above) and 2018 (below)
Pools, beaches and lakes are beckoning with their cool waters and bright sunshine. Are you ready to channel your inner bathing beauty? 
Tory Burch Spring 2016 (above) and 2013 (below)

Runway photos: Vogue
Bathing Suit History: Wikipedia, allthatsinteresting.com, cbsnews.com 

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