Look Sexy and Feel Comfy: The Evolution of Resort and Beachwear – Thalassa Boom


Look Sexy and Feel Comfy: The Evolution of Resort and Beachwear

Posted on 10 February 2018

Look Sexy and Feel Comfy: The Evolution of Resort and Beachwear

Resort and beachwear have evolved over the years from simple bandeau styles during the Roman times to bathing gowns in the 1700s. In the early times, it was the mix of modesty and limited freedom that dictated the type of resort wear. Imagine how the Greeks and Romans dressed up in bathhouses using bandeaus and bikinis while the women in the early century covered their body completely and avoided the sun. Today, there are many different styles and accessories in resort wear catering to all types of tastes. More importantly, not only has the style of swimwear changed, sizes were also transformed to accommodate changing bodies that have evolved over the years due to nutrition, scientific breakthroughs, and lifestyles.


Early styles of bathing costumes included the Romans’ two-piece bandeau style depicted in wall arts and drawings. During the early centuries, you would have likely seen bathing apparel that was a dress. At that time, modesty was high on the agenda so you would see women bathing in full clothes on even using weights to keep their garments from floating and baring their legs.

The concept of resort wear was also prominent in the early 1800s with women walking in their seaside walking dress which was basically detailed gowns made of thin white muslin. During the Victorian Era, modesty was still the norm and changing in public was not acceptable so women had to use bathing machines.  In the mid-1800s, the famous bloomers were born and in the early 1900s, sailor-inspired styles dominated the beachwear scene. During the 1910s, women started baring their skins ditching traditional sea garments for bathing suits which were more comfortable to swim in. However, the length of the swimwear was still measured for modesty continued to rule. Then the body-hugging fits with cutouts were introduced by Jantzen in the early 1930s. Fashion was also integrated into swimwear in the 1940s including sweetheart necklines and ruching in the design.

The first official bikini was not launched until 1946 when stripper Micheline Bernardini modeled the skimpy swimsuit designed by Louis Reard.

In the 1950s, bikinis went mainstream with Brigitte Bardot popularized the outfit in her movies. From California beach babes to the first cover of Sports Illustrated of Babette March donning a simple white swimwear, there was very little that could be done to stop the bikini rage except for the introduction of the sexy low-cut one-piece swimsuit made famous by Farrah Fawcett. After that, the thong was introduced and high-cut bikinis and swimsuits were all over the place. Today, it is totally your call for there is a variation of beachwear available for women providing ample to little coverage.

Size Charts

Designs and styles were not the only facets of beachwear that were changing. Size charts were also revolutionized to cater to the different dimensions of wearers. In the early days, diets and lifestyles were different, as both men and women were smaller and shorterTheir diets were simple and the absence of advancements in modern technology meant that they had to do more manual labor. They moved more and did things without automation. They got more exercise and were leaner and trimmer than the people of today.  Manufacturers of resort wear, however, recognized the morphing of bodies creating and designing size charts that would cater to a wider clientele. Whereas before, there would be straightforward sizes, today there are sizes in between to fit the woman who is hovering between body dimensions. A new segment of sizing was also included for women who are on the ample and generous sides. Plus sizes helped women feel that they too belonged to society and they could feel and look good in different resort wear from swimsuits to après-beach clothing. Overall, sizes of clothing accounted for the differences in body dimensions.

Styles and design revolutionized the way resort wear is what it is today. With changing bodies and tastes come the adaptation of sizes to make every woman look sexy and feel good about their bodies no matter the size or lifestyles.


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