Bikini History & Styles - Women Swimwear Glossary

Bikini History & Styles - Women Swimwear Glossary

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Welcome to a new post from “Your Daily Dose Of Summer Blog.” I’m Laura, your Riviera Coco’s host. It's always a pleasure to write for you and bring daily summertime to your life. 

Today you will learn the funny story about why a bikini is called a bikini and discover more about this swimsuit’s history. I will also introduce you to the most popular bikini styles. Read this until the end because I have a really curious story to tell you.

You probably read in my last blog post what the term BIKINI means. We can now find bikinis ideal for surfing and sports, very trendy styles for a glamorous pool party, models ideal for sunbathing and can go from very cute to sporty and to ultra-hot styles. 

Get ready to become a little smarter and see very cute bikini styles to wear this hot season!

A Little Bit of Bikini’s History

Did you know that Roman women used bikini-like garments during competitive athletic events? They have been found in many locations and the most famous of them is at Villa Romana del Casale. We can say that bikinis date from 5600 BC, but were forgotten this garment for thousands of years.

Romans wearing bikinis

*Romans wearing bikinis 5600 BC at Villa Romana del Casale.

Let's jump a little in history time. Around a 100 years ago, in the 1930s, some women appeared wearing bikinis, but it wasn’t until after World War II that they started gaining popularity. Government in the United States ordered a 10% reduction in the fabric used in feminine swimwear.  This is when French engineer Louis Réard introduced the modern bikini. Keep reading because, in a moment, I have a fun story to tell to your friends. 

Louis Réard Bikini History

* Louis Réard in his first bikini collection photoshoot.

In France, many women accepted the design but the Catholic Church contested this new trend. Some media and the majority of the public rejected this new swimwear style, telling it was showing too much skin and this was scandalous. But it didn’t take too long until major celebrities and even the Miss World beauty pageant started wearing this new fashion style. Actresses like the famous Brigitte Bardot drew attention when she was photographed wearing a bikini on the beach during the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner also received press attention when they wore bikinis. 

Brigitte Bardot Cannes 1953 Wearing a Bikini

* Brigitte Bardot Cannes wearing a bikini (1953)

Bikinis in the movies? Brigitte Bardot, was one of the first women to wear a bikini in a film. She starred in the 1952 French film "Manina, the Girl in the Bikini" at age 17. 

We totally need to mention the first James Bond girl to wear a bikini. This movie changed the perception otwo piece suits around the globe, making men want their ladies to wear one. The fabulous Ursula Andress made a huge impact when she emerged from the surf wearing what is now an iconic bikini in the James Bond movie Dr. No (1962). 

 

Ursula Andress wearing a bikini in James Bond Movie

* Ursula Andress wearing a bikini in James Bond movie Dr. No.

 

From scandalous to iconic, this swimsuit has become a must-have in all women's wardrobe. Causing side effects like bikini body challenges and not being able to buy only one bikini for your vacation pics. 

The truth is WE LOVE BIKINIS, madly and deeply. And we will always do our best to look gorgeous and proud wearing them. 

 

Why Is It Called BIKINI? - Fun Facts

Here is a very interesting fact that you probably don’t know about where BIKINI’s name really comes from. Many people, as I did in the past, believe the term bikini starts by BI which refers to TWO, or dual pieces.

Well, this is totally wrong. What if I told you that they named this swimsuit from a small island on the Pacific where the United States government was running nuclear bomb tests in the 40s.

But Laura, how can nuclear bomb tests have anything to do with a swimsuit?  Let me tell you the story.

Bikini Atoll

*The Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

There is an Atoll (ring-shaped reef, island) in the Pacific called Bikini (Pikini by the natives). In the forties, this island was known for the atomic bomb testing. In 1946, Louis Réard a French designer and engineer decided to launch a new line of really feminine two-piece swimsuits, using a lot less fabric than what was used in that epoch. This was going to become a huge scandal, since he was launching a “revolutionary” suit. How do we link this story to the nuclear testing? Well, for his launching campaign, Louis Réard used the slogan “The bikini, the first anatomical bomb!” You can guess it had an explosive commercial and cultural reaction. His campaign created enough spark to start both a wave of protests and many other people wanting to wear this avant-garde piece of beachwear. 

 

Super fun story, no? Really interesting and a very well marketing campaign. 

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Most Popular Bikini Styles.

In my next blog, I will dig deeper into all bikini styles and what to wear depending on your body type and activities. 

For now let me give you a taste of amazing beach suits to wear this year!

#1 Napoli the Black & White Elegant Two Styles Bikini

Napoli black and white elegant bikini riviera coco

Napoli black and white elegant bikini riviera coco

#2 Papeete Sporty Surf Floral High Neck Bikini

 Papeete Sporty Surf Floral High Neck Bikini

Papeete Sporty Surf Floral High Neck Bikini

#3 Venezuela Red Wrap Around Crochet Halter Bikini

Venezuela Red Wrap Around Crochet Halter Bikini

Venezuela Red Wrap Around Crochet Halter Bikini

#4 California Yellow Front Knot High Waist Bikini

California Yellow Front Knot High Waist Bikini

California Yellow Front Knot High Waist Bikini

 #5 Sandy Lane White Triangle Cheeky Bikini

Sandy Lane Textured White Triangle Sporty Cheeky Bottom Bikini

Sandy Lane Textured White Triangle Sporty Cheeky Bottom Bikini

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Very interesting stories right? Sometimes we wear something iconic and we actually don't really know the real meaning or how it became so successful. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it for you guys!

Come back soon for "Your Daily Dose Of Summer". 

Follow us on PINTEREST for daily inspiration, paradise beaches, travel destinations and even more bikinis!

My favourite place to be is by the beach wearing a cute bikini. 

With LOVE, Laura.

your daily dose of summer blog

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