As the weather gets warmer, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the barrage of reminders that it’s time to break out the ol’ swimsuit that has been gathering dust for the past year. But this year might be the year that I actually buy a new swimsuit. From the humble one-piece to the scandalous monokini, check out the history of women’s swimwear, from 1900 to the present. This wasn't very practical if you wanted to, you know, swim, however. Annette Kellerman was a swimmer and performer who pretty much invented sychronized swimming. This swimming costume she wore caused quite the uproar because it was considered incredibly immodest in its day. As much as I love swimming, I’ve found myself in the latter category over the past few years. But whether you’re looking forward to swimsuit season or not, you’ll probably appreciate a look back at the amazing transformation that bathing suits have gone through over the past 100 years. As you can see, wearing long dresses was commonplace at the beach.
Sure, they usually had a high-waist design, but they were still full of sex appeal.
It was hard to find a bikini that didn't have a fun print or psychedelic inspired design, too.
Here's a fun little story: In 1964, designer Rudi Gernreich introduced the world to the monokini. This was Gernreich's artistic stand against our repressive society..naturally the Vatican renounced it. There weren't any major transformations of the swimsuit in this decade, but designers definitely played around with their design. Pam Grier (left) rocked this look in the 1973 movie, Coffy.
These suits truly embraced curves, as seen in the popularity of their corset-inspired fit.
And by the '50s the bikini was slowly--slowly--starting to become a staple in a woman's wardrobe.
You know that song "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"?Well, that '60s hit was definitely a sign of the times, because this was definitely the era of the bikini.By the '20s, swimwear started to become a little more free. Oh, and the look wasn't complete without a swim cap! Gone were the mid-thigh shorts and utalitarian design.The '30s embraced a little bit of bikini line and ultra feminine prints and patterns.A free spirited legend like Josephine Baker (pictured on the far right) is obviously loving this new found sartorial freedom.Also, can we please have a moment of silence because look at those prices. It's amazing how the swimsuit of the '20s was already considered prudish by the '40s.