By Herbert Sanchez
Bathing suits, also known as swim suits, are clothes designed
for swimming, and go by my different names and styles,
depending on their purpose and make. The use of bathing suits
these days is a matter of tradition rather than “decency,”
although in the west (the Americas) modesty is still a
stringently enforced attitude when swimming in public.
Another use for bathing suits is the display in beauty
pageants. Sports Illustrated features an annual swim suit
edition, which tends to look upon the bathing suit in terms of
fashion, just as pageants do.
History of the Bathing suit
The use of bathing suits goes back as far as the Classical
Greek period. Although bathing at that time was done primarily
in the nude, some apparel did exist, as can be seen in ancient
murals at Pompeii where women of Ancient Greece are displayed
in two-piece bikini-like bathing suits. Since then, bathing
suits seemed to have vanished for centuries.
It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that bathing suits
showed up again in the form of “bathing gowns.” Women wore
dresses made from a non-thinning material that prevented
transparency when wet. These bathing suits also featured
weights hung around the lower hem to restrain them from rising
in the water. The men wore close-fitting, long-sleeved bathing
suits similar to modern-day long johns that were made out of
wool. These bathing suits were, to say the least, intended to
The nineteenth century brought the two-piece bathing suits for
the women, featuring a gown shoulder-to-knees over a set of
well-fitted pants extending to the ankles. Men, needless to
say, had similar bathing suits, only without the gown. With
these, style was coming into play, but modesty was still an
Radical changes in style and attitude came in a flash during
the twentieth century when bathing, and bathing suits, became
less conservative and more casual and practical. Such modesty,
although still respected and upheld throughout the world,
especially in the west, gave way to comfort and fashion.
Collars fell from the neck to the chest, and the bottoms rose
The bikini came into being not too long after World War II,
when glamour photography put the spotlight on the fashionable
and beauty aspects of bathing and bathing suits. Named after
Bikini Atoll, a nuclear weapon site, the bikini so related
itself due to the “explosive” attraction it played on the eyes
and the minds of the viewers. It’s in this sense that bathing
suits turned from articles of traditional swimwear to an
expression of fashion. Oo, la la!
In the 1950s, fashion designer Rudi Gernriech introduced the
monokini, which was merely a bikini without the top half.
were suggested to go bare-breasted. This bathing suit failed
commercially, but brought about new fashion insights. Then the
mighty thong of the 1980s revealed yet more, but, again, in
name of fashion and naturalness. With changing purposes for
bathing suits, people’s attitudes shifted from the need for
modesty to that of sensual attraction.
In modern times, specialized bathing suits are made for scuba
diving and competitive swimming. Unitards and diveskins made
spandex reduce skin drag, and although these bathing suits do
not promote thermal protection, they do protect the skin from
stings, abrasions, cuts, and scratches. These bathing suits
even designed to enhance swimming motion.
Today, bathing suits come in a variety of interesting styles
and appearances, depending on personal preference: tank suits
(one-piece), monokinis, sling bikinis (“suspender thong”),
pretzel suits, string-bodies, halter-necks, maillots, and
plunge fronts—anything and everything! Many of the names are
sexually explicit as the suits!
Modern-day Bathing suits reflect a diversity of swimmers, and
have become, to say the least, emblems of human sexuality.
About The Author: Find more Bathing Suit resources at
www.Hot-Bathing-Suit.info, and other great topics here