The bikini was invented by Louis Reard and Jacques Heim, in Paris in 1946. However, due to its skimpiness, hardly anyone had the courage to wear a bikini until the late 1950s, when actress Brigitte Bardot created a splash by wearing a bikini in the film, And God Created Woman. The bikini revolution subsequently became a rage, and even got its own song: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.
Coming back to the present, bikinis have become modest in character. Bikini bottoms are offering more coverage than in the past without giving up on their sex appeal. Last season witnessed straight, maillot de bain femme top-line bikini bottoms. Surprisingly, there were hardly any deep-V bikini bottoms, thongs or G-strings in sight. With more coverage in style, fashion houses are predicting that the skirtini is going to be the next big thing in the swimsuit industry.
Bikinis come in a variety of styles, the most popular being Tankini (a longer top that leaves only a small portion of the stomach exposed), Bandini (a bikini with a bandeau top), Camikini (similar to the tankini except the top looks like a camisole), and Boy Legs (the bottom is longer and resembles short shorts). The classic halter-top, however, is still in vogue although the Bandini was the hippest bikini style last season, with almost every swimwear label producing its own take on it. For the ties that bind, sashes, rather than spaghetti strings, were in demand.
For those on the heavier side, sarongs continue to be a flattering way to cover up the extra pounds, although board shorts are a sporty alternative.