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The History of the Bikini

In the early 1900s, swimwear for women covered as much of the body as possible, but it's modest shape soon proved to be constrictive when worn for swimming. While the first bikini did not come into being until 1946, moves towards a new style of swimwear started much earlier. Australian swimmer and performer Annette Kellerman famously challenged attitudes towards appropriate beachwear by designing and wearing a fitted swimsuit causing controversy and leading to her arrest! In 1913, the first two piece swimsuit was invented, although this was still very discreet in style. During the 1930s and 1940s, swimwear for women began to get smaller and more revealing, until Louis Rerd, a French man, unveiled his design for the world's smallest swimsuit - the Bikini.

The Bikini Today

Today's woman can choose from a vast selection of bikini styles ranging from the refined and elegant tankini to a sporty racer-back style or daring string bikini. Swimwear brands such as Sunseeker, Seafolly, Jets, Speedo and Moontide offer women the opportunity to look fashionable and sexy, without losing out on comfort.

Beautiful Bikini Trends

When shopping for a new bikini, there are plenty of beautiful trends to catch your eye. Luscious, summery colours in floral print bikinis are very popular, for a feminine look which is just right for fun in the sun. One-colour bikini separates make a very versatile choice for the dedicated fashionista who likes to mix and match textures such as a shimmer finish which adds a sophisticated touch to your swimwear style. Of course, black is a colour which is an eternally chic choice for swimwear, but for those who like some vibrancy, jewel-like shades and pastels offer a fun alternative. The influence of 1950s styling is also very much in evidence dainty polka dot bikinis and sailor-stripe bikinis which are exciting news on the fashion scene.

A Bikini To Suit Your Body Shape

The excellent range of bikini styles available make it possible for every woman to find her dream bikini, regardless of her body shape or clothing size. Buying separate bikini bottoms and bikini tops mean that it is easy to choose pieces which enhance and flatter, while disguising problem areas. Tankini style tops, for example offer coverage of the torso and abdomen, for women who want to wear a bikini without flashing too much flesh, while a push up bikini or one with a booster biscuit (often removable) will create cleavage for women who have a naturally small bust size. Add to a smaller cup size with frills and gathering or a moulded cup. Triangular swimwear tops are ideal for smaller breast sizes as they can usually be tied to fit and the slide tri feature means the top can be placed where it looks best.

Larger busts require more support. Brands such as Freya, Aqua Blu and Sunseeker make bikini tops specifically for larger cups. To reduce the appearance of a large bust keep colours monotone with a matt finish - black bikinis are the answer here. But to enhance the appearance of a large bust use a balconette or bustier bikini for great cleavage and support halter neck to give some oomph.

A retro swimwear bikini brief with high waist or fold-down top is great for covering a tummy, or wear a skirtini or frill on your bikini bottom can draw attention to your hips and away from your top or tummy. Tie side pants, microkinis or brazilian bikini briefs are attention-grabbers for those with smaller bottoms and hips and look sensational worn with a bandeau bikini top for real latino style.