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Beverlyheels StyleClothing: Bikinis

Clothing: Bikinis

Posted on Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017

The itsy bitsies

Garrison Keillor hit the spot when he said, 'A girl in a bikini is like having a loaded gun on your coffee table. There's nothing wrong with them, but it's hard to stop thinking about'. As bikinis are getting tinier and women's bodies getting sexier, this smart piece of clothing is here to stay.

A bikini is usually a women's abbreviated two-piece swimsuit with a bra top for the chest and underwear cut below the naval. The design was simple: two triangles of fabric on top cover the women's breasts and two triangles for the bottom. The first bikini in history goes back to the Chalcolithic era around 5600 BC, where a mother Goddess is depicted astride two leopards wearing a costume that looks like a bikini. The two-piece swimsuit can be traced to the Greco-Roman world in 1400 BC, where bikini-like garment was worn by women athletes.

The name "bikini" was coined by Parisian engineer Louis Reard in 1946, who was also the designer of the bikini. He named the swimsuit after "Bikini Atoll", a place where nuclear bomb testing was taking place. Later on, fashion designer Jacques Heim, also a Parisian, re-released a similar design known as the "Atone". As the outfit was quite revealing and bold for the times, it was slow to be adopted by women. But gradually movie starts like Ursula Andress, Brigitte Bardot and others began wearing them in their movies and public beaches. In the '60s, bikini became popular as beachwear, sportswear, and underwear. Soon, it became sportswear for beach volleyball and body building. And by 1988, the bikini made up nearly 20 percent of swimsuit sales, more than any other model in the US, though one-piece suits made a comeback during the 1980s and early 1990s.

The bikini has many variations like monokini, tankini, microkini, skirtkini, tricking and pubikini. While the classic two-piece swimsuit is considered as an antiquity, the variations are quite popular as well. It has now become so popular that it has given rise to spin off services like bikini waxing and sun tanning.

Modern bikinis were first made of cotton and jersey. DuPont's introduction of Lycra completely changed how bikinis were designed and worn. Again, the fitness boom of the '80s was one of the biggest leap in the evolution of the bikini. Women's magazines used terms like "Bikini belly", and workout programs were launched to develop a "bikini-worthy body". Also, movies like Blue Crush and reality shows like Surf Girls motivated women further to add this revolutionary piece of clothing in their wardrobe.

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