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The History of Swimwear Infographic

The swimsuit: a symbol of stylish summer fun. Parade it on the beach or in the privacy of your above ground pool at home. Swimwear’s history has grown from cavemen furs to science fiction fancies. Artsy, classy, conservative or sexy, the swimsuit is an icon of summer style and fashion. Backyard Ocean takes a breath from swimming to see just how the swimsuit has changed through time. CLICK on the image to enlarge!

Visual History of Swimwear Infographic by Backyard Ocean
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Visual History of Swimwear Infographic by Backyard Ocean

Timeline of Notable Swimsuits – Backyard Ocean


1850s - Nude bathing goes out of style after being banned in many towns.
1880 - Women swim in long sleeves, full skirts and leggings for maximum modesty.
1900s - Swimming gets fashionable with colorful Victorian swimsuits.
1907 - Annette Kellerman, an underwater ballerina, causes stir with suit that showed arms and neck.
1946 - Louis Reard invents the bikini. The only person brave enough to model it was a nude dancer.
1951 - Miss America winner Yolande Fox refuses to pose in swimsuit. The contest begins focusing on things other than beauty.
1952 - Brigette Bardot is the first to wear bikini on screen in the cleverly named film The Girl in the Bikini.
1950s- Marilyn Monroe's curves make just about any type of swimsuit look divine.
1960 - Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini hit single released.
1961 - Speedo invented by Peter Travis. Beachgoers around the world are terrified.
1962 - Ursula Andress is the first Bond girl, starring with Sean Connery in Dr. No.
1964 - First issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
1966 - Cavemen get sexy. Raquel Welch wears 'furkini' in One Million Years B.C..
1969 - Arnold Schwarzenegger shows of Mr. Universe muscles in Speedo.
1976 - Farrah Fawcett's iconic poster is best-selling of all-time and is later displayed at the Smithsonian.
1982 - Phobe Cates drops her bikini top in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
1983 - Carrie Fisher woos sci-fi geeks in Pricess Leia's metal bikini from Return of the Jedi.
1989 - Pamela Anderson and David Hasselholff are wet and wild lifeguards at Baywatch.
1998 - Painted swimsuits are featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
2000 - Sisqo's hit single Thong Song heats up beachwear.
2006 - Sasha Baron Cohen terrifies audiences with his 'mankini' from Borat.
2012 - After staggering number of world records broken in 2008 Olympics, high-tech swimsuits are banned for 2012 games.

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