Given that this is the last week of summer vacation for many people, I’ve decided to put together a post of my favorite celebrities in bathing suits. Or at least my favorite ones after doing a brief Internet search this morning.
I’ll start in 2012, and work back to the 1910s. The idea behind this is that the farther back in history you go, the more clothing women wore to bathe in the ocean. Because I’m doing this post in August rather than June, I figure I’d give you a guide of where you could go with your bathing suits in October, when you’ll really need to stay warm. You could even do like a full length sailor gown in wool.
In recent years, the one piece has really made a comeback, starting with vintage inspired polka dot affairs that Taylor Swift still hasn’t recovered from, floundering in cut-out numbers sported by the likes of Kim Kardashian, and triumphing in the printed leotards made by We Are Handsome. Rihanna sports one such bathing suit above.
I am obsessed with We Are Handsome bathing suits. One time I tried one on, but my torso is really long, so I looked like I was stretching a suit I wore when I was 9-years-old over my adult body. Epic fail. Still, they are killer.
A lot of celebrities wore bathing suits in the aughts, but whenever I think of the 2000s, I think of Sienna Miller, sometimes topless, sometimes in a string bikini, most of the time on a yacht.
Kate Moss looked a little rough in the face area when she was young (in my opinion), but her simple black bikinis, which she wore almost exclusively, almost seemed like a protest against the ridiculousness that was going on with bikinis in the 1980s.
Case in point Christie Brinkley in the 1980 Bikini issue of Sports Illustrated.
The 1970s were a time of bathing suits that looked like they had been ripped to shreds by a rabid dog, a la Raquel Welch and Jane Fonda, which led to the string bikini. And no one did the string bikini more classy than Ali Macgraw.
Speaking of Raquel Welch, she really looked best in the mid-1960s, when wearing suits like the one above bordered on scandalous.
Sock bathing suit break to ruin the flow.
No one was really as scandalous as Brigitte Bardot, however, who showed up at Cannes in 1953 just aching to be photographed with beach balls in her bathing suit.
It was her coming out.
Brigitte definitely took cues from Lana Turner, who made the little white bikini famous in the 1946 flick The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Paired with a blazer, and John Garfield in that tight little number, I think she looked pretty fab.
Agh! Greta Garbo in a bikini in the 1930s. That just scared the shit out of me.
In the 1920s, only sluts and Ziegfeld girls wore revealing numbers. Case in point Zelda Fitzgerald, who sports less skin than her husband, F. Scott.
These bitches are so ashamed of the amount that they’re revealing at the 1912 Olympics that they are covering their bodies with their arms. I bet you’d still hit it with the one on the left, though.
Because the only ladies who were really wearing bathing suits in public in the 1910s were the kinds of ladies who frequented Coney Island, looking to have a good time.
Their only concerns must have been getting those one-pieces off the men.
Most surprising of all, as a non-expert on the subject, is how little bikinis changed once women started showing some skin. We think that we’ve become so hyper-sexualized as a culture, but really, we were already. I mean, look at these Western infidels (above), bathing on a beach in Karachi in the 1960s. I wouldn’t sport shit like that in Pakistan today, but maybe it’s just because I’m a woman, and like most women, no matter how beautiful, I will never feel completely secure in a bathing suit.