Before we hit the pool or shore this summer, we're taking a look back at how the swimsuit has evolved through the years. From wool shorts to corsets, this might be what you need to appreciate your faithful tankini.
100 years ago, swimsuits were practically unrecognizable to the modern eye. Bloomers, skirts, sleeves and stockings are the look for women. Though it is a lot to wear, know this: These garments are actually more body-conscious than .
We start to see the modern one-piece silhouette come into play, with a more streamlined look and a dash of whimsy (like the striped detail). One thing that's still a holdover of older swimwear trends are the , designed to protect the wearer from seashells and rocks.
Hems are getting higher, which is liberating for bathers ... and something that the police apparently needed to get involved in. Welcome to the age of , where one must be measured before being legally allowed to enjoy the day.
The figure-hugging maillot gives women new freedom to move around, thanks to the new styles made popular by the new company Jantzen. The top portion is designed much like a tank, with the bottom ending at mid-thigh. Here, movie star Fanny Brice frolics on the shore in a similar style.
Hello, legs! The leg is cut even higher in the 1930s, while stylistic trends (like bows and collars) expand swimwear choices. Men's suits are also cut with a high leg, with a tank top resembling a running or wrestling singlet.
Of course, the rise of modern swimwear coincides with the rise of modern accessories. Here, sunglasses and cute sandals complete the ensemble for one Florida trendsetter.
In this era of swimwear, new and wool were common. However, very high-end swimsuits (like this one worn by film star Ida Lupino) could be found that used touches of silk. Perhaps these were for posing only?
Unlike Ida's silk swimwear, some women demanded designs that were functional yet pretty. Such was the case for bodybuilder Relna Brewer, who modeled a halter bikini while ripping a phone book in half.
But, not everyone was into the two-piece. These darling one-pieces were simple, but definitely not plain.
Men ditch the tank top, though still wore trunks with higher waists than we're used to today. Meanwhile, women's swimwear sticks to the one-piece, often with a skirt effect over the thigh.
Here, you can see that "skirted" trend (really, just a longer panel in the front that created the illusion of a skirt) in this group of women happily modeling the latest looks in swimwear. Swimsuits also had a bit more structure with built-in bra cups, and fun details like belts, piping and even one-shoulder necklines.
Ruching and a sweetheart neckline make for a very '50s look that's still being replicated today.
Not-so-bare two-pieces rise in popularity, with bottoms that generally hovered around the belly button.
The 1950s were also a fanciful time for swimsuit design, as seen in this French fashion show. Oui, there is a bikini or two in the mix, but also a heavily corseted swimsuit with a star-spangled skirt.
Fashion also went in an unwearable direction, with swimsuits made entirely of fur.
Metallic lamé fabrics brought glamour to swimwear in this era. This very fabulous mermaid-inspired suit (the cups are shells!) was made out of the glittering material.
Covered in faux flowers, this bikini gives new meaning to the term "bloomers."
The structured silhouettes of the '50s crept into the early '60s, with supportive strapless bras and high-waisted bottoms.
The pattern was a favorite of '60s suburbia, so it was a natural choice for suburban sunbathers.
Natalie Wood models an on-trend Y-neck halter, done in the fun pastels of the era.
In the '70s, bikinis get smaller and less structured. This simple white suit wouldn't be out of place on a 2017 beach.
What to wear with your minimal bikini? Big sunglasses.
Playful patterns make this family the most stylish at the beach. Here, we can see that men's suits haven't changed too much from the late '40s look — the higher-waist is still here, but the fabric is not as bulky at least.
One-pieces were still worn in the decade, with asymmetrical necklines and the very'70s color palettes keeping the look stylish.
But if we had to pick an era for statement suits, it would have to be the '80s. This one-piece is distinguished by bold gathered details on the back.
No, tankinis didn't debut in the '90s. These midriff-baring tops were paired with high-cut or string-style bottoms.
Jamie Lee Curtis models another common look for swimwear of the '80s: Plunging necklines.
Strong colors make the familiar high-leg '80s maillot pop poolside or the beach.
The high-cut legs of the '80s still were very much a part of '90s swimsuit fashion. Combined with cutout details, a one-piece could be just as risqué as a bikini.