See How Swimsuits Have Evolved Through the Ages

When it comes to swimwear these days, there are endless styles and options to choose from. There’s the minimalist one-piece, the retro-style separates, the skimpy triangle bikini, and frankly, anything in between. But that wasn’t always the case.

Back in the mid-1800s, women wore full-length, full-coverage dresses that limited any kind of swimming activity to simply wading in the water. Flash forward to post-World War I and the first-ever one-piece, or maillot, was invented, but because of its wool composition, it sagged when it was wet. And then there were the string bikinis that only the likes of Brigitte Bardot or Christie Brinkley could pull off in the ’60s and ’70s like the bombshells they were.

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