The bikini we know today has undergone several transformations since its formal adoption by the French in the 1940s, and trends suggest the revival of the high-waisted bikini, a concept originally developed by Jacques Heim around 1946. High-waisted swimsuits were the precursor to many swimsuit styles, breaking away from classic one-piece swim garments.
High-Waisted Bikini Beginnings
What we consider to be the “high waisted” bikini resembles how bikinis first looked in the ’40s and even their roots as an athletic garments. The ’30s also featured the beginnings of the bikini, showing just a small amount of skin between the top and bottom of the suit. Louis Réard, like Jacques Heim a Parisian, created a significantly smaller suit called the bikini. The swimsuit featured only 30 square inches of fabric, and the name came from Bikini Atoll, an area in the Pacific Ocean notorious for being the location of the original atomic bomb test.
The bikini quickly became popular after the ’30s and ’40s, but created much controversy — the expanse of skin it showed appalled many. In the late 1950s, stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Bridgitte Bardot, setting the trend for young women everywhere, adopted the bikini. Still, many resisted the high-waisted swimsuit.
The Late ’80s
The high-waisted bikini was seemingly left behind in the late ’80s with the adoption of the G-string, a bathing suit that originated in Brazil and gained popularity for its low waist and even tinier style, though after 2010, it began to reappear in popular designs.
High-Waisted Bikini Today
The high-waisted bathing suit continues to be a great option for women seeking a more vintage look, and also complements a curvier hourglass shape. This swimsuit design is available in a wide variety of colors to suit every style and skin tone, and presents a timeless sense of fashion.
References and ResourcesElle: The History of the Bikini
Time: Designers and Brands: Jacques Heim and Louis Reard