As temperatures continue to soar this summer, many of us will grab our swimwear and head off to the beach to cool down! These days, it would seem that anything goes when it comes to beachwear, but many women still opt for the faithful bikini.
It has been with us for over 60 years now! It acquired its name because it debuted during the same time that nuclear testing began on Bikini Atoll in The Marshall Islands (between 1946-1958). The French inventors, engineer Louis Reard and fashion designer Jacques Heim, christened their creation the bikini, as they thought it might receive an explosive reaction! They were right! Reard could not find a fashion model willing to showcase his design, so he hired nineteen year old nudist dancer, Micheline Bernardini to do the honours!
Whilst the bikini was a hit, especially with men, (surprise, surprise!) this was not the case in many western countries who banned it from their beaches and the Vatican even went as far as deeming it ‘sinful’. However, by the mid 1960’s, film stars such as Ursula Andress and Brigitte Bardot helped to popularise this little garment and the song Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini helped sales rise even further!
Nowadays, there are several variations, the tankini, microkini, skirtini, bandeaukini, making it wearable for any shape or size. The key to wearing a bikini is – confidence! The women who wear it well are not necessarily those with the most perfect bodies. Find a cut that suits you and always try it on with plenty of good lighting and mirrors at hand! Stick to sophisticated, solid colours and leave the bold patterns to the youngsters!
Thankfully these days, ‘real’ women can mix and match tops and bottoms to suit their shape accordingly. Sarongs, or even large scarves, worn around the waist also help to detract from any blemishes etc. and to also ‘glam up’ any bikini. Sheer fabrics are great for this because it still allows a glimpse of the two-piece underneath! So come on ladies, grab the drinks (and sun cream!) and raise your glasses in celebration of this great little garment!