How Tiny Were the First Bikinis?

The modern two-piece bathing suit, also known as the bikini, is an exceeding popular type of women's swimwear. However, when the bikini was first released in 1946, it was not immediately accepted by American women. Considering the more modest swimwear that was popular at the time, a two-piece swimsuit made of just 30 inches (76 cm) of fabric initially incited feelings of shock and resistance, rather than awe and acceptance. The bikini was promoted as being "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." In fact, the inventor of the bikini, Louis Réard, marketed the brand by saying that it was not a true bikini if it couldn't be pulled through a wedding ring.

Louis Réard was a French automobile engineer who began designing clothing after joining his mother's clothing firm. Réard had a rival, Jacques Heim, who was also designing a similar swimsuit. Réard's bikini was much smaller, and the only person willing to model the shockingly tiny swimsuit was an exotic dancer named Micheline Bernardini. Bernardini proudly displayed Réard's creation at a fashion event at the Piscine Molitor in Paris, sparking a worldwide sensation.

Women in Spain and Italy were the first to accept and wear bikinis. The skimpy swimsuit didn't become popular in the United States until the 1960s, but then it took off in popularity, as evidenced by the 1960 hit "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," sung by Brian Hyland.

More about the bikini:

  • Louis Réard named his two-piece swimsuit "bikini" after Bikini Atoll, one of the 29 atolls and five islands comprising the Marshall Islands. Bikini Atoll was the site of U.S. atomic bomb testing in 1946. Louis Réard hoped that his bikini would have a similar dramatic impact on the fashion scene.

  • Some U.S. cities outlawed bikinis as public attire soon after they were released.

  • It is believed that the Romans actually invented the "original" bikini. There are Roman mosaics dating from the 4th century A.D. that depict female athletes wearing two-piece garments resembling bikinis.

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More Info: Smithsonian Magazine

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Post 1

A friend of ours had a very tiny yellow bikini. She looked very beautiful or nice in it as she had a very beautiful body and figure.

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