Welcome summer! Time to go to the beach and, of course, to be able to wear a swimsuit. But what seems like a very common garment was invented not so long ago.
And it is that in history 200 years are nothing although it seems to us that the 19th century is very far away. The invention of the swimsuit was linked to improvements of roads, and transports in general, that allowed people to move around for recreational purposes. Nonetheless at first it was far from the swimsuit we imagine today because it consisted of a kind of shirt with baggy pants made in thick fabrics so that nothing was transparent with weights on the hem, in some cases, in order that the garment didn't roll up during the bath. The modesty was such that in some beaches men and women were segregated by sex and even existed a kind of portable wagons in which people changed or directly got into the water for more privacy but ... what before that? Well, the people who had rivers and beaches within their reach also took a dip but perhaps in privacy when they could discard all their clothes or bathe only with a kind of interior chemise.
At the end, given the lack of practicality of the first "swimsuits", the garment had no choice but to evolve not without controversy when the "Australian mermaid" Annette Kellerman appeared at the beginning of the 20th century with a one-piece swimsuit similar to those of the men with bare arms and tights. She was arrested in Boston but there was no going back, the rise of Olympic sports asked to satisfy other needs to fit better the female body when it came to swimming and the rest of the women could also benefit from the advance.
And then firms such as the American Jantzen arrived in 1910 with their technical swimsuits knitted in one-piece wool knit, made, at first for a rowing team but later an object of desire of athletes and bathers with their logo of the "Red diving girl".
Coco Chanel again changed the rules of the game in the 20s and looking tanned was no longer frowned upon, so along with other designers such as Molyneux or Schiapparelli they joined the swimsuit design party although Jantzen continued to pioneer in many aspects patenting many improvements. That earned them pages in numerous magazines and that in the 30s their swimsuits were on the bodies of budding stars like Loretta Young or Ginger Rogers. With the wars came new advances in aviation, which led to the boom of the commercial airlines that advertised their trips to tropical destinations such as Brazil, Acapulco or the Amalfi coast. This, along with Hollywood advertising and the invention of lighter materials that dried faster, was reflected in beaches and swimming pools during the 50s and 60s as well as an unprecedented invention ... the bikini!
Now with the fashion show that beach destinations were and are, there is no longer any limit in terms of shapes and designs, some even from famous firms and it has been a long road in which pages and pages could be filled until women have been able to free our bodies on the beaches but now that we have done it, the fight is another. Now the war is played in our minds due to the negativity that we feel in many cases towards our bodies due to social factors. There we still have battles to win.