In the 1970's, swim wear is all about being sexy. Sheer suits are introduced as well as the thong. String bikinis also become very popular. The best photos I could find to showcase this come from Sports Illustrated. The SI Vault has a great selection of some of their best shots and models. Here's a few:
Monique Moura de Carvalho in a string bikini. This is a beautiful photo.
Christie Brinkley in a sweet and sexy one piece.
Christie Brinkley in a thong bikini.
In the 1960's surfing, surf music, and beach party movies are all the rage. The main focus drops down from the decolletage and bust line of the 50's to the midriff exposing the belly button. Bikinis become popular and mainstream. They range from the sweet "Gidget" like to the super sexy and barely there. With the more popular use of Lycra, zippers are no longer needed. Suits are fitting closer to the body and become smaller. The monokini is also introduced.
Sweet vs. sexy.
The iconic Bond Bikini. Ursula Andress in
Dr. No, (1962).
Bold and Bare!
, 1967, shows the monokini. The "peek a boo" nature of the very low cut back of the one on the right did not make it onto the cover. Yes, it exposes bum cleavage!
The original topless monokini designed by Rudi Gernreich.
In the 1920's swimwear started revealing the body more then ever before. The modern maillot was invented. The adrogynous athletic tank style of the maillot suited the fashions of the 20's as women became liberated from long skirts. Even though they were made in wool jersey and often worn with little booties these suits are the forerunners of the suits we wear today.
This picture is tiny, but the girls here "jazz" up their suits with flapper hats!
Although this pic doesn't actually show swim suits, it is too adorable not to share. Parasols were your best sun protection back then.
I love these ladies!
They have it all, decorated maillots, parasol, hats, and musical instruments.
My "Fashionable History" segment this summer is Swimwear by Decade.
Next week, 1930's!