From 1700 to Today: Swimwear Through the Ages

From 1700 to Today: Swimwear Through the Ages

We often take it for granted that we have a multitude of swimwear options to choose from that make us feel fabulous.

It’s the 21st century and because of the rise in the body positivity movement, we’re learning to accept that all bodies are bikini bodies and flaunting what we’ve got.

We’ve made so much progress, in fact, that when lingerie brand Pour Moi asked over 2,000 women to share what they believed the most iconic celebrity swimsuit moment was, Helen Mirren was ranked highly at position #14 – at age 62 – for her 2008 scarlet bikini.

But, this wasn’t always the case. There was a time when the idea of even showing your arms – let alone your midriff – was scandalous. 

Katie Taylor, the founder of women’s online midlife community The Latte Lounge, thinks that older women are still an easy target for body positivity naysayers. “I get so frustrated by the fashion industry and the media constantly ‘telling us’ what we should or shouldn’t wear over 40, 50 and beyond,” she says. “Women should wear exactly what they want at any age.”

Katie says that midlife is “the time in our lives when we hopefully have accepted ourselves for who we are. We want to be allowed to get on and be comfortable in our own skin.”


How did we get to the swimsuit styles of today?

So, how different did swimwear look when showing any skin was taboo? And how has it made the transition from a floor-length frock to the fashion-forward two-piece suits we see today? 

Cotton Traders have tracked the swimsuit back to its humble beginnings and offered insight into how – through every frown, shock and scandal – we’ve arrived at the collection of empowering styles and designs we have the choice of today.

Check out the infographic From 1700 to Today: Swimwear Through the Ages.


Swimwear through the ages
Swimwear through the ages

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